The answer, as most in the industry will concede, is not a straightforward one to find. However, across the more than 450 speakers, 85 hours of content, entrepreneur pitch battles, fireside chats and over 4,000 meetings booked between participants, several recurring themes emerged.
The event itself covered several areas related to that overarching question, looking in more detail at areas such as regulation and entrepreneurship, emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and cryptos, cybersecurity and financial freedom and fintech for social good.
Courtesy of a much-welcomed post event roundup - and comparing against our own notes, or course - here are a few of the main talking points that emerged from the event (for reference, more information can be found on each here).
Mainstreaming financial services: Gone are the days, it seems, where innovative financial services and technologies were the preserve of a niche market of millenials - at least, that is the sentiment from many of Money20/20's key movers and shakers, with the general consensus being that fintech has firmly rooted itself in the mainstream.
Customer-centricity: A fundamental focus of the sector at the moment, and one echoed at Money20/20. Specifically, several speakers discussed using customer feedback to not only solve any issues they are experiencing, but to also help shape future developments.
Security, and trust: One clear message came through Money20/20: trust still rules. During the four days, several cybersecurity topics reared their head, including the delivery of some 'interesting' research from recovering hacker Alissa Knight, who has managed to hack 29 of 30 leading financial services apps - all in under eight minutes. More on this story will appear in the next issue of FinTech magazine in the form of an exclusive interview with Knight.
Serving the underserved: From the first day keynote speech by PayPal's Dan Schulman, who discussed how the online payments platform is addressing the plight of the many Americans finding it difficult to make ends meet, through countless other moments, fintech's impact on society was a key theme.
We discussed the latter in more detail with Money20/20 President Tracey Davies.
Discussing three keynote speeches delivered by Uber’s Head of Payments Peter Hazlehurst, Head of Calibra, David Marcus, and Dan Schulman, President and CEO of PayPal, Davies told us that there has been a" definite shift over the past few years that has seen the sector move away from ‘shiny and new’ technology, to thinking more about fintech for social good and how technology and financial services can impact people’s lives for the better."
Read more exclusive Money20/20 USA content in the next edition of FinTech magazine