It started with an introduction from Jamie Dimon. Day two of Money20/20 USA and the Monday Morning keynote presentation by Serena Williams, one of the most accomplished tennis players of all time, and J.P. Morgan’s Global Head of Payments, Takis Georgakopoulos, was about to set the 11,000-strong1 conference buzzing.

There was plenty to discuss: digital identity, web3, and the creator economy’s entry into the world of ecommerce marketplaces were just the start.

Takis opened the discussion. There has been a fundamental change in the shopping experience, he explained, which will bring the consumers right into the process. Their demand for an embedded financial experience, coupled with the advances in smart devices and IoT, has blurred the lines between offline and online worlds. The ownership of digital identities plays directly into this, and bridging the experiences between virtual and physical worlds is foundational for payments.

Serena agreed. “We make sure to think ahead of the curve, and see what everyone is talking about now - before anyone else sees it. With shopping, we like to take out the middle man and go direct to consumer. Our focus is on marketplaces and building those capabilities in Africa, where we do a lot of business, building infrastructure and supporting micropayments”.

Blockchain, cross-border payments and risk management also came under the microscope as the discussion continued, and as talk turned to culture, the energy swelled.

Partnering is our default. We build what we need to build in-house, to help us continue to move $8 trillion a day2. But we understand our limits: we partner to stay agile, to innovate and to continually improve what we offer. We pride ourselves on consistency of investing, even in downturns.

Giving insight into the collaboration process, Takis told the audience, “we’re looking for the right people with the right culture. There are three things we look for:

  • Companies that have ecosystems or networks (such as J.P. Morgan’s InstaMed) – capitalizing on the digitization of information
  • Customer endpoints – companies that are solving for particular issues for particular industries or areas (citing the example of the recent acquisition of VW Pay)
  • Particular tech capabilities – technology is always a binding constraint for our business and we continually need to consider new ways to pay (like Renovite)

Collaboration is our default, he added: “we love to find the right partners to provide new capabilities to clients. We pride ourselves on consistency of investing, even in downturns.”

There was plenty of symmetry in what Serena looks for in founders: passion, motivation, a market need, demand and diversity. These companies –  large or small –  are best positioned to establish a competitive edge by embracing a culture of diversity of people and thought, a long-term vision and investment strategy, and a dedication to putting the user experience at the center of everything they do.

Reverting back to Jamie Dimon’s session opener, “Innovation starts and ends with culture, creativity and leadership.”

And how exceptional to see it all in one place.

Takis Georgakopoulos and Serena Williams presented the keynote speech at Money20/20 USA, “Match Point: Fueling Innovation and the Future of Payments”. See for more information.

And that’s not all. See what else people are talking about at Money20/20 USA

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The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of J.P. Morgan, its affiliates, or its employees. The information set forth herein has been obtained or derived from sources believed to be reliable. Neither the author nor J.P. Morgan makes any representations or warranties as to the information’s accuracy or completeness. The information contained herein has been provided solely for informational purposes and does not constitute an offer, solicitation, advice or recommendation, to make any investment decisions or purchase any financial instruments, and may not be construed as such.

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