Money20/20 Day One: Apple co-founder Wozniak says technology crucial for banking

PaymentEye is reporting live from Money20/20 Las Vegas. Follow the action on Twitter for instant updates and the latest from the world of payments.

Money20/20 Day One kicked off the with a heavy focus on AI, with an afternoon packed with AI Deep Drive sessions that explored the different use cases and how AI can leverage technology and payments.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple stole the show during the first day of the Money20/20 conference.

Wozniak spoke on the field of machine learning and how AI is experiencing a remarkable period of growth and innovation.

CNBC’s Technology Reporter Deirdre Bosa quizzed Wozniak on how Apple created a revolution in the technology industry:

“Apple already had a good following. We were making computers that were actually easy for people to use, and then the iPod came out, and our revenues doubled. Then the iPhone came out and surprised everyone, and that changed our life.”

Wozniak credits the success of the iPhone for its connectivity to the internet.

“The one worldwide standard we have in technology is Wifi. Anywhere you go in the world, it works.”

Speaking on the importance of AI, Wozniak states that he never believed that computers can get near the intelligence of a human brain. However, he also understands that the idea of new technology replacing human jobs has been around for hundreds of years.

“All the AI we’re building is really just going to help humans, not replace them.

“We should be constructive and ask what we can do to be constructive. How can we help the world?

“We get to run the machines. We have never talked about a single AI machine that would sit and think, ‘What should I do? What problem should be solved? Technology and AI is also crucial for banking.

“We should not be afraid of machines. Treat the machines how you would treat a human. Both learn from experience.”

Panel talk: The power of partnerships

Collaboration has been a big buzzword in the payments industry this year. This session at Money20/20 confirmed the importance of partnerships for greater success – more industry players are working together than ever before.

Session moderator Jack Stephenson from First Data believes that “those who can collaborate effectively in this industry will succeed – you won’t be able to succeed unless you’re good at collaborating.

“It’s about delivering throughout the whole chain – there’s collaboration almost at every point. Payments is really an ecosystem, and partnering is crucial for success.”

Reetika Grewal, Head of Payments Strategy at Silicon Valley Bank added: “A few years ago the conversation was who was going to win in this industry. Now every player realises that actually, there’s not one single winner. You have to collaborate.”

Geoff Johnson, Chief Innovation Officer at Bypass agreed: “The payments ecosystem is so complex – partnerships are absolutely required.

“Partnerships are incredible for vision and helping solve problems.”

The panel agreed that the next greatest innovation won’t be provided by one company: it’s going to come through the power of partnerships. From fledgling fintech start-ups to software providers, the future of commerce is increasingly driven by those outside of the traditional payment ecosystem.

Moderator Jack Stephenson then quizzed panelists on what distinguishes a good partnership.

Both Grewal and John agreed that honesty, transparency and open conversations are the best qualities for a partnership. It’s important to understand who all the stakeholders are in the partnership and what their motivations are for the business. 

Stephenson added: “A lot of the partnerships you do aren’t temporary. Spend a lot of time understanding the business and do your research – there needs to be a really clear vision for the partnership.”

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