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We are Four Star Sponsors of Money20/20, the world’s biggest payments and fintech trade show, hosted in The Venetian® Las Vegas this October 22 through 25. For some of the finance folk, the trip to Vegas won’t just be a flight… A challenge has been thrown down to five intrepid bloggers to get from the previous week’s event, Sibos in Toronto, to Money20/20 using strictly only one payment method: chip & PIN; Gold; Cash; Contactless; and Bitcoin!


Our team are proud to be sponsoring Jessica Moorhouse, well-known Millennial Money Expert, Blogger & Podcaster, who is aiming to win the race using only chip & PIN payments – no cash old-fashioned swiping magnetic strips… We caught up with her in Toronto yesterday to have a chat ahead of the big race:  


Jessica, how did you get involved in the Payments Race?

 Out of the blue, I get this email from Ali (from Fintech Finance) with the subject line “A crazy idea for you!” Before hitting the spam button (because in all honestly, whenever I get emails with subject lines like that, it’s usually because I apparently have a relative from Nigeria who left me an inheritance), I opened the email to see what exactly this crazy idea was…

It turns out, it was an invitation to be part of the Money20/20 Payments Race, which in summation is basically like the Amazing Race for money nerds like myself.
When I read all the rules, it definitely did sound like a crazy idea. Basically, I would have to get myself from Toronto (where I currently live actually) to Las Vegas in 7 days, complete a challenge each day, vlog about it all, but the kicker is you only get one method of payment to use.
I knew I wouldn’t make it out of the Toronto airport using Bitcoin, so when I looked at the options I liked the idea of using chip and pin. It’s what I use here at home, but I thought it would be interesting to see the difference in the USA.  


Will Chip & PIN be accepted everywhere in the USA?

 So far, from what I’ve heard from my friends who live in the US, it’s not as common as I thought so I might have some trouble. Even though so many fintech innovations have come out of the US, it seems things could be a little behind in terms of modern credit card usage. Apparently, it’s more common to use the mag stripe of a credit card and sign your receipt (which I haven’t done literally in years).


Knowing this, I know I have my work cut out for me. It just means that before every purchase, I’m going to have to see if they accept chip and pin, and if they don’t find a place that does. I know this will definitely be hard when trying to find a taxi to get around, but I’m hopeful that some of the transit systems will be a bit more flexible. I remember a recent trip to Portland, OR, and when buying a ticket for their transit system they accept chip and pin.  


And you’re not allowed to buy tickets in advance right?

 That’s right, another struggle imposed by the race rules is that I and other racers are not allowed to pre-book anything. I’ve gotten use to using AirBnB, Uber and Expedia when travelling, but because I’ll have to use chip and pin I won’t be able to book or pay for anything online which will hard not to do.  


Is chip and PIN a millennial-approved payment method?!

 In Canada, I feel like yes. All of our credit cards and debit cards are chip and pin. And one step further, the tap feature on debit and credit cards is gaining more popularity (though it can be dangerous for your bottom line, way too easy to spend without thinking).

That being said, millennials are always up for trying new things, which is why mobile payments like Apple Pay have been getting more popular as well. It’s actually really rare when I see someone my age pay with cash.  


Do your followers know about you competing in the Payments Race?

They will definitely be following, because who wouldn’t want to see me running around like a crazy person trying to make flights, ask strangers for help and make it to the finish line in Vegas, haha!  


Are your followers in interested in the world of fintech?

I think so absolutely. I didn’t grow up super excited about budgets and taxes. It was something I got into in my 20s because I started really understand how financial strategies and techniques, innovations in the financial industry and changes in industry regulations affected my life. These things affect all of our lives, so learning what’s going on in this space can be a great way to make smarter financial decisions in the future.  


AEVI are very active at working in the B2B layer, helping banks connect more directly with retailers and restaurants to modernize their point of sale. From your point of view can you point to any interesting trends about consumer expectations in bricks and mortar retail?

Although it does seem like from an outsiders perspective everything is moving online and brick and mortar shops are the history, that’s actually not true. Why do you think all these pop up shops are gaining so much popularity?
People still prefer the experience of going to a shop, looking at things up close, getting a feel for the products and so on. The only barrier sometimes is the convenience (or inconvenience) in payment.
I can’t tell you how many amazing shops I’ve been to where I was ready to buy and the tell me they only accept cash, they charge a fee for using a credit card or they only accept certain cards and not others. And that’s not even going into accepting other methods of payment like Apple Pay or Bitcoin.
Even the brick and mortar shops want to sustain themselves, they need to make sure that convenience is the focus. Don’t make it hard for the customer to pay, make it so easy that they’ll tell their friends and come back time and time again. If I go into a shop and they only accept cash for instance, I won’t go to an ATM, get cash then come back. I’ll leave and never come back because I remember that I didn’t have a good experience when it came time to checkout.  


Thanks for talking with us, and good luck from all of us at AEVI, Jessica!

THANKS – I’m actually really excited to do something totally crazy and outside my comfort zone. Heck, who knows, maybe I’ll even win!


Follow all the racers’ progress on the hashtag #M2020Race:



About Jessica Moorhouse, Millennial Money Expert, Blogger & Podcaster


Jessica won a Plutus Award at FinCon for Best Canadian Personal Finance Blog in 2015, and has been nominated for a 2017 Plutus Award for Best Multimedia/Video Production for her YouTube channel.

Jessica won a Plutus Award at FinCon for Best Canadian Personal Finance Blog in 2015, and has been nominated for a 2017 Plutus Award for Best Multimedia/Video Production for her YouTube channel.
So, a little bit about my background, I’m a full-time blogger, podcaster, and influencer. I gave myself the moniker “Millennial Money Expert” over 2 years ago when I rebranded my blog to set myself apart from other personal finance bloggers, and to be a voice for my generation in the finance space.
My main mission with my brand is to break down personal finance so it’s not complicated, it’s not just for people in suits to understand, and it’s not something to stress out about. Personal finance is actually quite simple at it’s core, and when you learn the main principles, you’ll realize that every single person can manage their money themselves, make smart financial decisions for their future and honestly just take more control of the direction of their lives. It’s why I’m so passionate about it (as nerdy as it sounds). Money to me isn’t just about numbers, it’s about freedom. It’s about opportunity. It’s about choice.
I didn’t come from money so I had to start working from an early age and figure out how to maximize my income to reach my goals. It started with me educating myself reading books and blogs, and now here I am, a homeowner in an expensive city, making a full-time living working for myself, travelling several times a year, all without having any debt and having enough to save and invest for my future. If I can do it, so can anyone, and that’s what I hope to inspire in other people.