Airwallex hits the global stage, attending this year’s Money 20/20 circuit
Reflecting on the rapid international growth of the business, and its commitment to help businesses grow without borders anywhere, anytime, Airwallex had a key presence in this year’s Money 20/20 flagship events in Europe and the United States [and I was fortunate to have been able to take part in both!].
This year has been pivotal towards the international expansion for the company, with Airwallex securing its EMI License in the Netherlands and Malaysia, and with its launch into North America. To support the growth of the business, Airwallex recently completed a Series E fundraising round, valuing the business at US$4 billion.
In a forum to discuss the forces and ideas reshaping the future of money, or in fact, the future of how businesses operate, Airwallex played a key part of the conversation this year; exploring themes around embedded finance, globalization, and transformation, with a future focus perspective as businesses of all sizes are looking for more global, and more inclusive financial solutions.
At Money 20/20 Amsterdam, Jed Rose, Airwallex’s General Manager, EMEA, took the stage as a panelist in a lively discussion about what cross-border trade with zero intermediation would look like, focusing on the increasing capability of existing rails to make faster, more secure payments globally. Jed commented how standardization is an important piece in driving efficiency, and fintechs’ critical role in demystifying the payment process for customers who are looking for a simple solution.
Shifting to the U.S., Money 20/20 Las Vegas was an opportunity to celebrate and gather as a team following Airwallex’s launch in the U.S. in August. As some may already know, Airwallex was inspired by real-life experiences. Out of their love for good coffee, two of Airwallex’s co-founders, Jack Zhang and Max Li, started Tukk & Co, a coffee shop in Melbourne. As small business owners, they recognized first-hand the impact of high FX fees and banking costs on their profit margins, and sought out to build a better solution for businesses operating cross-border.
Paying homage to Airwallex’s roots, Airwallex met with other Money 20/20 attendees, speaking with hundreds of individuals over a cup of coffee (what else?) at an Airwallex-branded coffee bike. People came for the coffee, but stayed for the company.
Live events like Money 20/20 not only allow for teams to meet in-person after a long period of Zoom calls, but also for organic interactions to happen by bumping into an old colleague or friend, or spontaneous meetings to take place. Given how global and internationally-focused Airwallex is - not just the business, but the teams as well - it was important that employees from all over were able to get together. In fact, aside from talking about the latest financial technology trends and activities, the most popular topic among attendees was the excitement everyone had about meeting in person again, many for the first time, to be able to socialize, and to do something as simple as to grab a coffee with one another.
Digital transformation has introduced tremendous opportunities in the financial industry. That way money is managed and transferred has, and will continue to change dramatically. The future of money, and the future technology will continue to merge, and Airwallex will continue to be a part of this ride!
Vivien Cheung is part of Airwallex’s Strategic Partnerships team. Life has taken her all around the world, having lived in Hong Kong, California, New York, Shanghai, and Amsterdam.