The energy is amazing. There's a lot of excitement. There's a lot of energy. There's a lot of people. It's been fantastic walking around the show and just seeing what everybody is talking about. I'm most excited about seeing our clients. We have several clients here from across the globe in the telecom, communications and mobile industry. We really want to talk to them about payments innovation and how that can help accelerate their business model. It's focused on a couple of things: what we really want to do is help think through strategies with our customers to enable an ecosystem to drive brand loyalty back to their business. So it's really quite simple. It's about keeping your customer within your ecosystem. It's leveraging payments as a strategic advantage and making sure that you're creating an experience that brings those customers back to your ecosystem.

Event highlights
It all started with pizza…

Today’s key takeaway came from J.P. Morgan’s Nazim Ali: for big changes, take a phased approach. Put your users in the middle. His session, ‘Is embedded finance a win for all?’ took the audience through all the use cases, the winners and the stragglers, beginning with the first ever online purchase (a 1994 order at a Pizza Hut in Santa Cruz, fact fans). The true wins for embedded finance, Ali explained, was in using payments to monetize and create sticky (i.e. recurring) customers. Citing commerce platforms such as Shopify for SMEs was the perfect example, he said. Why would users leave, when the system works?

In other discussions, 5G was front and center. How to monetize it, how to create an immersive experience with it – and a full day of roundtables discussing the future of it. Mirroring the 5G releases happening across the region, it was a timely and topical inclusion.

Day three wrapped up with sessions on mobility, quantum and the rise of digital finance. It also wraps up our coverage; thanks for having us #MWC23, it’s been better than pizza.


  • Chilling in the MWC23 garden.
  • Can consumer mobile use over recent decades offer clues to the future of the metaverse?
  • Last but not least, the much-coveted J.P. Morgan Payments best-stand-in-show award goes to homegrown heroes Telefónica, who were offering visitors the chance to become a hologram.


Death and Payments

Payments are messages and if you’re not talking the same language as your customers you could be missing opportunities. J.P. Morgan’s Shahrokh Moinian entertained a packed-to-the-rooftops Industry City with a spicy retelling of payments history – from the marketplaces of the ancient world to programmable payments, machine learning and supply chain finance. Shahrokh spoke to the payments industry’s new buying committee – CFO, procurement, e-commerce, UX, tech – bringing the history right up to the present.

The day continued with other big stars talking mobile – Lucy Bronze from FC Barcelona was a must-see, discussing tech and fan engagement alongside Greg Peters from Netflix. Digital health was a new topic on today’s agenda also, along with the intriguing ‘Everything you wanted to ask about avoiding death but never dared.’

Meanwhile, on the less metaphysical side of the house, an industry roundtable comprising of Mike Whiting, Tasha Condon, Martijn Stoker and others led a wide-ranging conversation on macroeconomic trends and the impact on supply chains. The takeaway: some storms are subsiding, but others are here to stay, and the panel explored how will that play out for SMBs, corporates and e-commerce.

Rounding out with a bang: “The critical unaddressed problem faced by the tech sector, and others, is inventory”. This was the expert view from the last panel session of the day, ‘Thriving in adversity: Financing strategies within the communications supply chain’, where Liam Casey of PCH International and Michael Whiting of J.P. Morgan discussed the challenges of providing a stability of supply. Expertly moderated by Natasha Condon, the group highlighted the increasing requirements for global financing from the tech and telco sector, and the oft-understated role of trade and working capital within that.


  • The competition for best stand is a close call between Accenture, Ericsson, Nokia and (of course) Huawei. Check back in tomorrow for the highly anticipated prizegiving.
  • Top chatter: Nokia’s rebranding definitely declares the final Finnish (sorry) on their handset manufacturing. Nice logo too.
  • It was a hard one to call but we’re fairly confident that the queue for the robot helicopter was longer than the queue for jamon sandwiches.


Accelerating opportunities

As large scale gatherings go, Mobile World Congress is unique. Drawing together big tech with small startups, this event creates its own ecosystem – an opportunity for a confluence of hardware, software, network and connectivity to meet, discuss and inspire the next gen of connectivity.

2023’s core themes include mobility, and the blurring between industries, as well as metaverse and NFTs, 5G to 6G, Artificial Intelligence and all of the innovations needed to bring the future to life.

Unsurprisingly, the mentions of payments and mobile arrive early, as a key trends session – hosted by GSMA Intelligence – highlight the importance of focusing on mobile money in developing markets. This session sets the scene for others to follow with payments deep-dives, notably ‘DeFi and Beyond’ which looked to use cases, compliance and regulations, safety, convergence of DeFi and CeFi, and innovation breakthrough. Such nitty gritty is not too much for the audience, judging by the capacity seating.

It’s a great foundation for the Fintech Pitch Battle, rounding out the day as five start ups pitch on stage to investors hoping to discover the next big thing. The talent is immense, and the future looks bright – no one envies those judges.


  • Robotic dogs ‘unleashed’ and roaming the halls.
  • ESG took center stage at the very first keynote, spotlighting the mobile industry’s commitment to become a forerunner in the space.
  • Cars, trucks, robocars, helicopters…. bullet train? The competition for most-outrageous-mobility-stand is INTENSE at MWC.
  • The search continues for the stand offering the best free coffee….

J.P. Morgan also joins the lineup this year, sponsoring the Fintech Event Theme and as Industry City Fintech Lead Sponsor. We will be bringing you all of the best finance-themed bits from the event, which promises to spotlight new ideas to create a bold future.

Stay informed and stay ahead with our monthly newsletter

Receive key updates and news with relevant actionable insights and best practices — including the latest intelligence on payments trends, digital innovation, regulatory change, ESG and sustainable financing and much more.

Subscribe to THE MONTH IN…Treasury & Payments

Discover payments solutions

Whether your business is a large multinational or a small business enterprise, we can support you through every stage of growth with award-winning client service, global reach and local expertise

Discover payment solutions customized for your business


J.P. Morgan is the marketing name for the Wholesale Payments business of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and its affiliates worldwide.

The products and services described in this document are offered by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or its affiliates subject to applicable laws and regulations and service terms. Not all products and services are available in all locations. Eligibility for particular products and services will be determined by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or its affiliates.