Categories: Bitcoin Business

Money20/20 Payments Race Shows How Far The Likes Of Bitcoin And Ripple Have To Go

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The winners of the Money20/20 Europe Payments Race were revealed today in Amsterdam

Cash has been dying for a long time, according to some. It's probably died more times than Bitcoin, over the years.

However, cash (and its closest digital cousin, card payments) are far from dead and perhaps not even dying — despite the hype around wearable payments, mobile payments, and cryptocurrency.

The Money20/20 Europe Payments Race — something the conference has done in other parts of the world with significantly different results — pitted Team Cash, Team Card, Team Crypto, Team Wearables (using a Curve Ring and Apple Watch), and Team Mobile against each other to find the fastest route from Istanbul to Amsterdam.

In the end, the results were:

  • (Joint) 1st – Team Cash / Team Card
  • 3rd – Team Wearables
  • 4th – Team Crypto
  • 5th – Team Mobile

Despite coming in first, Team Card said it suffered as a result of Visa’s service outage last Friday, describing it as "a nice spanner in the works".

The Visa outage on Friday left millions of people unable to pay for goods and services across Europe for a few hours.

Last year the European Central Bank (ECB) said there were some 804 million payment cards in the European Union in 2016, representing around 1.6 payment cards per EU inhabitant, as well as around 54 billion transactions processed by retail payment systems that year, totalling €41.8 trillion ($48.7 trillion).

In the UK payment processing through Visa's systems accounts for £1 in £3 of all spending.


In the UK payment processing through Visa's systems accounts for £1 in £3 of all spending.

Team Wearables and Team Mobile, both dependant on contactless technology, said the the race was "very challenging".

Team Mobile summed up their performance: "People love cash in the EU."

People in the EU use cash on average 1.2 times per day, with card payments second most frequently used at an average of 0.3 times per day, according to a recent ECB report.

Cash outstrips card and other payments in almost every EU country

Interestingly, ahead of the result an audience poll predicted that Team Mobile would come out on top, with Card in second place and Cash in third. The Money20/20 audience are fintech pros and have perhaps been drinking their own mobile payments kool aid.

Meanwhile, it should also be remembered how quickly technology can change the world. Cars wiped out carriages, telephones wiped out the telegram, and (eventually) digital payments will wipe out cash. But not yet.

Elsewhere at Money20/20, Brad Garlinghouse, the chief executive of blockchain startup Ripple, said Bitcoin is not the "panacea" people had thought it was due to its slow transaction times.


The winners of the Money20/20 Europe Payments Race were revealed today in Amsterdam

Cash has been dying for a long time, according to some. It's probably died more times than Bitcoin, over the years.

However, cash (and its closest digital cousin, card payments) are far from dead and perhaps not even dying — despite the hype around wearable payments, mobile payments, and cryptocurrency.

The Money20/20 Europe Payments Race — something the conference has done in other parts of the world with significantly different results — pitted Team Cash, Team Card, Team Crypto, Team Wearables (using a Curve Ring and Apple Watch), and Team Mobile against each other to find the fastest route from Istanbul to Amsterdam.

In the end, the results were:

  • (Joint) 1st – Team Cash / Team Card
  • 3rd – Team Wearables
  • 4th – Team Crypto
  • 5th – Team Mobile

Despite coming in first, Team Card said it suffered as a result of Visa’s service outage last Friday, describing it as "a nice spanner in the works".

The Visa outage on Friday left millions of people unable to pay for goods and services across Europe for a few hours.

Last year the European Central Bank said there were some 804 million payment cards in the European Union in 2016, representing around 1.6 payment cards per EU inhabitant, as well as around 54 billion transactions processed by retail payment systems that year, totalling €41.8 trillion ($48.7 trillion).

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