The digitalisation of financial markets has brought about exciting and fast-paced developments, and in this Switzerland is a leader in many ways, tracking these trends and establishing itself as a catalyst for financial innovation on a global level.
10% of all global European FinTech enterprises are located in Switzerland, with 46% of them located in Zurich – one of the new FinTech metropolis in Europe. 30% of all Swiss FinTech firms offer financial orientated services. The Startups Crowdhouse, an investment platform for real estate in Switzerland, and Qumran, which offers products to examine and track digital interactions, both won FinTech Awards in 2017, highlighting the practical and scalable nature of Swiss innovation in this field.
Since 2016, the amount of FinTech Startups in Switzerland, currently 170, increased sixfold, with 14 incubators in the FinTech ecosystem. In 2015, CHF 27 million were invested in Fintech firms, CHF 15.3 million in the digital insurance broker Knip.
In global terms, every tenth FinTech Startup was founded in Switzerland. Currently, investments on the global financial market in Swiss FinTech enterprises amount to CHF 10-14 billion.
Swiss banks are facing the challenge of adapting to this technology and the potential impact it could have in their business model.
On the other hand, there are already financial institutions who are forecasting their potential in FinTech, such as Swissquote Bank who started the integration of blockchain technology and robo-advisory in their business model.
Although many people look to the west when they think of groundbreaking financial technology, it’s worth it keeping an eye on the developments in Asia-Pacific. According to the latest figures by consultancy firm Accenture, Fintech investment has risen in the Asia-Pacific region from 87 million EUR in 2010 to 3.6 billion EUR in 2015. Investment in the region now accounts for more than 19% of the total worldwide. It’s therefore not surprising that no less 7 countries are in the top 25 of most popular destinations among finance professionals.
Singapore, where the government and the financial regulator are actively supporting innovation, has become the testing ground for new financial technology. In the upcoming years, the government will invest 145 million EUR in smart solutions for the banking industry. It makes the country, which also hosts the yearly FinTech Festival, one of the main Asian hotspots in the finance industry, ranking as the number 1 destination of finance professionals in the region, and number 18 worldwide.
Leading Fintech capitals
The most popular destinations for finance expats on a global level are still mostly located in Europe and the United States, with London being one of leading FinTech capitals in the world. Nevertheless, companies that are looking for expertise have other emerging hubs to choose from. In Continental Europe, Amsterdam and Berlin are also known for their FinTech start-up scene, as are cities like New York and Toronto.
Another global Fintech hub is Sweden. The country, which ranks number 10 on the list of most popular destinations, might soon become the first cashless society in the world, depending completely on mobile apps and cards to make transactions. Swish, a hugely popular app developed jointly with the major banks in Sweden, uses phone numbers to allow anyone with a smartphone to transfer money from one bank account to another in real time. Adopted by nearly half the Swedish population, Swish is now used to make more than 9 million payments a month. Cash transactions make up barely 2% of the value of all payments made in Sweden, with many banks no longer keeping cash on hand.
Ranking global hotspots for finance professionals
For Trend Watch PageGroup surveyed 18352 job seekers worldwide, who applied on our Michael Page and Page Personnel websites during the 3rd quarter of 2017.
Of the 2145 finance professionals who participated in the study, 50% were willing to relocate, for job opportunities, a better salary or a different lifestyle.
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