Friday, November 2, 2012

Money2020 Expo - Key Conversations and Companies & Services to Watch

By Randy Smith,
November 2, 2012

Is Bluebird the way to fly in prepaid? This monthly fee free model will do well.

The focus of the event was clear. Mobile and Digital Wallets are the future. Many great insights were shared by top executives, providing a preview of their direction and focus.

You would never have guessed this was the premier event for Money2020 Expo. The abundance, quality and diversity of keynote speakers, presenters, panels, moderators, exhibitors and attendees would, if you were an industry outsider, make you think the event had been held for years. It was impossible to capture it all and attend all panels and meetings! I'll start with companies I interviewed.

American Express

Joanna Lambert of American Express shared with me a bit of the company's vision and focus of the future:

"We want our Serve app to be used several times a day. This requires an intuitive interface focused on saving time and money. Maybe it's saving a trip to the bank or receiving a notification from your local bakery when the when rolls are hot and fresh? . . . We want to help merchants to drive incremental value and increase consumer loyalty . . . We are very open to partnering to reach our goal of being agnostic . . . With Bluebird our aim is to make loading money and transacting as fast and simple as possible . . . We are spending a lot of time asking what consumers want. We are transitioning from payments company to a service company."

I've always seen Amex as delivering extra value via services like OPEN and their concierge services. If they can continue to provide that extra value and merge it with Serve, I believe this is a winning formula. By the way, we all can take part of Amex's upcoming nationwide event, Small Business Saturday. This event on November 24th has the right focus, social strategy and charm to make for a big hit in supporting your local small business. Check it out and spread the word!

First Data
I sat down with Dominic Morea and Mark Herrington of First Data to hear first hand about their new merchant and consumer engagement platform Universal Commerce.

Dominic and Mark shared: "Universal Commerce is a framing strategy. We've realigned product around this concept. We reach over half of the terminals in the U.S. and paired with our Open API - Rapid Connect. New value-added services and offers tied to transactions can be delivered seamlessly. We have the ability to recognize a consumer and link relevant offers.  We can help publishers with precise results."

I've looked far and wide and First Data does have a solid vision about a the future of connected or Universal Commerce. It's worth taking a look at their 3-minute video below about Universal Commerce.

First Data's Vision of Universal Commerce

Read the entire article!

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