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The new cool kids? Bankers

BY MICHELE ALT


I noticed an interesting change at Money20/20 this year: the crowd was older.


Young tech bros in hoodies were much less of a presence. In their places were bankers in their Friday casual attire. What happened?


Two reasons:


First, the fintech valuation bloodbath of 2022 has taken the shine off the startups and left them with less generous travel budgets than in years past. I heard one fintech founder complaining that tickets for his small team had set him back $15K. Ticket prices seemed beside the point last year when fintechs attended Money20/20 with the reasonable expectation that there would be investors eager to meet with them.


Second, the regulatory pressure on partner banking has created opportunities for the banks that aren’t in the regulators’ crosshairs. Those bankers are looking to become the new partners (or at least backup partners) for fintechs at risk of being offboarded by partner banks in the regulatory hot seat. They were the cool kids at Money20/20 this year.



Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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