“In the end,” said Alistair Croll, moderator of this year’s Digital Money Summit, “finance is about two things: trust, and context. Trust allows transactions to happen; even a cash transaction is based on trust in the stability of nations and currencies. Context lets us audit those transactions, knowing our customers, preventing fraud, and complying with regulations. And both are about to change forever.”

Whether that context takes the form of a digital wallet, a mobile payment or a cryptocurrency, the changes are happening at lightening pace. Mastercard, the forum’s title sponsor, took the lead in calling for payment systems that are frictionless, safe and secure.

The conference included new discussions of digital wallets from companies including Venmo, Samsung Pay and Intuit. There was a focus on the underbanked as well as how high tech is cementing itself into the world of wealth management. Robo-advisors, loyalty programs, cryptocurrency and RegTech conversations dominated the day.

Why does this matter to CES attendees? Whether you’re creating a new fintech product, an established institution wrangling with a new generation, a hardware manufacturer looking at developing a payment ready Internet of Things, or a consumer that won’t be a carrying a dollar much longer, the world of digital money is changing everything.

Here are a few highlights. Make sure you look at the photo gallery and the videos. See you in 2018.


On BlockChain Technology

“I’ve never seen anything as exciting as blockchain technology in my career, and I think it’s gonna have profound effects on enterprise, government and especially on humanity, and I definitely want to be a part of that.”
Matt Roszak, Bloq Capital

On New Payment Experiences

“The reason this chart is so far up and to the right and so galactically colossal in terms of the impact they’re making on these businesses is precisely because they’ve solved for a magical payments experience”
Bruce Parker, Modo

On Digital Wallets

“We wanted to understand the consumer’s interest level and fascination with mobile wallets not by asking consumers how they felt about it but by observing what they do. 19 out of every 20 people when given the opportunity to use Apple Pay at the physical point of sale, don’t. They don’t.”
Karen Webster, Pymnts.com
“Whenever you’re thinking about changing consumer behavior, creating a new product, there needs to be an incentive. We started thinking about how do we provide an incentive for the long term, sustainable strategy.”
Nana Murugesan, Samsung
“How do we train that behavior of trusting your phone and trusting an app, and part of the premise of building that trust is if your friends use it and they trust it. We thought it was important to build that critical mass of users.”
Michael Vaughan, Venmo

On New Payment Experiences

“The larger the retailer, the more difficult it was to share infrastructure for their staff.”

Heather Peterson, National Merchants Association
“Anytime you’re changing something that has been as basic as a credit card transaction, consumers are going to be annoyed, but I think over time as they get used to it, I think all of that stuff with smooth out.”
Matt Schultz, CreditCards.com
“When the consumer experience is part of the payment and then you layer our loyalty for a better experience it actually enables behavioral change.”
Michael Lawlor, USA Technologies
“With Western Union and the big banks, they’re trying to do multiple things. They haven’t narrowed it in and really done something, one thing, very well, so I think our opportunities are through partnerships.”

Michael Ward, World First USA

On the Digitization of Commerce

“There are many different reasons for people to still shop in stores, how can we recreate that experience with technology?”

Sih Lee, Synchrony Financial
“As the cost of VR/AR continues to fall, I can see some amazing use cases for that kind of technology.It can bring the store to you, to be able to share it with other people.”
Wendy Mackinnon Keith, Digital Retail Apps
“Digital is everything to retail. Right now we have a sea of changing consumer preference and consumer demands, and in that sea, smart digital strategy is either the lifeboat that saves you or it’s the anchor around your neck if you have a lack of digital strategy”
Maya Mikhailov, GPShopper
“Inasmuch as you are a transaction provider or a provider of an application, you are also an identity provider.”

Rakesh Loonkar, Transmit Security
“It is really about building a platform on which new and innovative consumer experiences can take place.”

Mark Schulze, Clover Network Inc.

On High Tech Tools for Retirement

“What’s exciting about millennials is they have the longest run rate to change their behavior.”

Jeff Makowka, AARP
“It’s all about the data. There is a big need for the consumers to actually fund their own retirement, so technology really needs to help them understand how to do that.”

Cheryl Nash, Fiserv
“Millennials are afraid of getting into the market, and because of that, a lot of them are not participating in the market or have money in cash.”
Jean Chatzky, NBC Today

Unleashing the High Tech Power of the Underbanked

“We look at behavior, how often they log into Quickbooks, how often are they running reports, what their customer growth is… We can use this kind of data to predict whether someone’s credit worthy, and we can share that with the lender and make a case for the small business.”

Dr. Diane Chang, Intuit
“In informal lending people are paying 2-4% per day. We built our platform (in India) so that lending could take place, and it’s not the technology that’s stopping it. It’s more the anthropology that’s the hold up. People going to get a loan from the local money lender. His family has been there for generations providing this loan, and we just cannot provide that trust. How do you go from social lending to institutional lending?”

Ashutosh Pande, Nucleus Software
“We think many of us are underbanked, it’s really not determined by the economic standard in which you live. We see these archaic systems in place, and through technology we’re trying to provide something to everyone to help them improve their credit.”

Chad Swenson, Lantern Credit

On Loyalty and Rewards

“Do we expect that mobile wallets are going to be an essential staple in marketing?”

Laura Rich, Street Fight
“The American adoption rate when it comes to payment is a little different than worldwide. I was at McDonald’s in Montreal last week, and I bought everything without interacting with a human. As new technologies becomes more convenient and there are more incentives that’s the moment when we’re really going to see adoption. A year or two from now.”
Pierre Barbeau, Moblico
“Frictionless interaction is really the goal, so people can be rewarded the way they would expect and the way they should be. It’s recreating that brick and mortar experience that people loved a hundred years ago.”
“We expect to see faster adoption of the mobile wallets now that more and more merchants have NFC equipment on site.”
Amelia Powell, USA Technologies
“Our mission is to take the connected consumer and help them find locations nearby. We provide reputation analytics. We all want to have frictionless experiences.”

Manish Patel, Brandify

On Tech and the Underbanked WorldWide

“Today there are about 2 billion unbanked people, but about ¾ of them have a mobile phone, so there is a huge opportunity that people become part of the economy and use their phone as a bank account. There are a number of countries where there are more phone numbers than bank accounts.”

Reinhard Scholl, International Telecommunication Union

On Digital Payments Lifestyle

“Tokenization allowed mobile payments to scale and become real. So instead of little science projects, we were able to enable Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Microsoft Wallet, Masterpass, and many other wallets to come into being.”
Sherri Haymond, MasterCard

On Regulation in the Age of Digital Money

“[Money] is a medium of exchange. It’s what human beings use to exchange value for value. In a lot of places it’s sovereign currency, but in other places it’s completely different. In a lot of developing countries it can be cell phone minutes. Money has been cigarettes, it’s been cows, and right now the most commonly used medium of exchange is government currency, but it might not always be.”
Caitlin Long, Symbiont
“Digital is everything to retail. Right now we have a sea of changing consumer preference and consumer demands, and in that sea, smart digital strategy is either the lifeboat that saves you or it’s the anchor around your neck if you have a lack of digital strategy.”
Mark Wetjen, DTCC
“A lot of evolution and innovation has been happening with blockchain-based technologies, above and beyond payments and currency. We’re now dissecting other use cases and business models.”

Perianne Boring, Chamber of Digital Commerce
“It’s not really about how are you going to regulate the technology to help consumers, it’s more that you have to keep the consumer perspective in mind. In some ways the underlying technology itself doesn’t matter as much as the way the consumer interacts with it.”

Duane Pozza, Federal Trade Commission
“Every novel technology that’s come out in the last decade. They all have this common problem statement. If you think of a problem statement you can generate because of bitcoin, it’s precisely that the inability to effectively manipulate money. I would welcome a central bank adopting a blockchain-like technology to facilitate money movement. Because doing it alone with small organizations is tough.”

Darrius Jones, USAA

On Creating a Better, Safer, Payment Ecosystem

“I sometimes refer to it as the pre-critical mass stand-off. There are a lot of choices out there, there are a lot of different solutions out there, and there’s a lot of different customer attitudes towards what they’re doing today and what this new solution would offer them. They just may not be aware of it.”

Ben Colvin, Moblico
“If consumers want to add payment to a digital world, retailers will have to make it happen for them, otherwise they’ll lose customers.”

Carolina Milanesi, Creative Strategies, Inc. - Consumer Tech Research
“It’s an interesting time because there are so many options out there, and until recently there haven’t been that many places to use them.”

Matt Scultz, CreditCards.com
“Everyone in the payments ecosystem has equal parts responsibility in [educating the consumer]. As an issuer, we definitely have a set of that responsibility. It’s important that the value is actually being delivered to the consumer and that the value proposition is well articulated and understood.”

Sih Lee, Synchrony Financial

On Building a Payments Ready Device

“We’ve made it difficult for consumers to understand and become educated about how it is that things are actually happening and working. One of the biggest issues is the complexity.”

Jeff Miles, NXP Semiconductors
“We provide security solutions to enable the authentication and identification of your identity securely on proven hardware. You have the ability to become your own password.”
Vince Ramoutar, uConekt Inc.

On Creating a Better, Safer, Payment Ecosystem

“True transformation comes through collaboration. It’s really hard for the incumbents to innovate quickly enough to match all of the great user experiences and technologies and disruptions we’re seeing provided by start ups. It’s very hard for the innovators to backfill all the core technology and processes.”

Margaret Hartigan, Marstone, Inc
“My trend for the coming year is reg tech. For banks and car companies and so on, if these new technologies are really going to deliver some actual change, then marginal improvements in the cost of transactions aren’t going to change any fundamental business models. It’s the regulation that’s the problem.”

David Birch, Consult Hyperion
“We aim to design using deep learning, having a complex communication between human and machine to help offer personalized financial advice. We want to use messy language and have the system understand and act.”
Jason Mars, Clinc
“What’s really important is creating a completely new set of economic models, not necessarily driven by financial institutions.”
Mark Mueller-Eberstein, Adgetec

On Blockchain Unbound

“Is bitcoin a currency, a store of value, a network, a method of payment? Here’s the secret: It’s all of the above. And it’s programmable, smart money.”

Matt Rozsak, Bloq
“There are three magical elements about blockchain. One, because everybody has access to all the data and all the business logic on the system, they can trust that no minority actor can manipulate the data. Money on the blockchain is magical as well. The third item is identity. For the first time in history we have a permissionless shared, potentially persistent transparent database where we can put public identity and reputation.”

Joseph Lubin, Consensys Systems LLC
“It doesn’t really matter where these companies are. When I’m watching Youtube, I don’t care where their servers are as long as I can access it. When I’m using my bitcoin wallet I don’t care where the company is based. Especially for open source technologies, it really doesn’t matter. The internet is bringing us closer together.”

Roger Ver, Bitcoin
“Bitcoin was great when the price was running up. The price is running down, now it’s the blockchain, and that’s because things go in cycles. The primary barometer of sentiment for the industry is price because that’s the easiest one for laypeople to follow. Those people are not doing the researcher to track two, let alone twenty different data points.”

Brock Pierce, Blockchain Capital