Belfast Telegraph

MoneyConf: Organiser vows to bring bigger and better conference in 2016

By Jamie Stinson

MoneyConf has found a "new home" in Belfast and will be even bigger when it returns next year, its founder said.

Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of the Web Summit, the parent company of the conference, confirmed it will return to Belfast's T13 from June 20-21 2016.

And MoneyConf is expected to follow a similar growth trajectory as the Web Summit - dubbed 'Davos for geeks' - which saw its numbers effectively doubling year-on-year.

This would mean the fintech event, which ran on Monday and Tuesday this week, would see around 2,500 visitors, up from 1,200 this year.

Mr Cosgrave said: "From being here, I can see that the fintech community is very much alive and kicking in this city. From the dinners we've hosted to the buzz of the opening parties around the Cathedral Quarter, MoneyConf has found a home in Belfast."

Andrew Buckley, senior vice president core products Europe at Mastercard, spoke at the event on Tuesday, where he said that fintech companies were leading the innovation in how consumers make payments.

The way in which customers make purchases is changing faster than ever, whether through the use of contactless cards or through mobile devices.

He said Mastercard was using payment apps and 'tokenisation' to take advantage of mobile payments.

It has joined with noodle chain Wagamama to launch the Qkr! app, which allows customers to have their meal in Wagamama and pay for it on their mobile.

On Monday Mastercard announced it is expanding its tokenisation platform MDES (MasterCard Digital Enablement Service) to the UK, with Amazon and Tesco already signed up. The service already has a million users in the US and is a more secure way to make contactless payments via a mobile device.

While there is a shift in consumers spending more through mobiles, Mr Buckley said that he doesn't believe that it is the end for the plastic card just yet. "Around 85% of the world's transactions is still in cash, so I think that the cards of some form will go on for years," he said.

Contactless payments through bank cards have begun to spread as society begins to shift towards using less cash. Mastercard's plan is that by 2020 all retailers across Europe will accept contactless payments. Mr Buckley said the firm's role is to be the link between retailers and companies developing new technologies. "Our job isn't to necessarily develop all this stuff ourselves, we want to be the middle man."

Belfast Telegraph

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.