By Rhonda Martinez
Today it’s easy to imagine yourself sending money to a friend, or buying a product within several seconds. It’s all thanks to the boom in fintech. The investment in fintech has been dramatically rising in the last years, as many countries want to become the hubs of cutting-edge fintech innovation.
With the help of the latest innovations in fintech, financial services are becoming easier, more convenient and more secure. These innovations directly impact our day-to-day lives and the way we pay for services, store and receive money online. Even though cash remains the mainstream means of payment, digital payments show the streamline growth from year to year.
According to the recent report by Findexable, the USA, the UK, Singapore, Lithuania and Switzerland take the lead and form top 5 countries that drive fintech innovation forward. These countries actively contribute to improvement of electronic payments, payment security, digital banking, cryptocurrency, blockchain and other branches of financial technology.
1. United States
Fintech Capital Cities: San Francisco, New York
At the top of the list there’s the USA with its two cities with a thriving fintech ecosystem. Both cities’ strengths mostly include: Insurance, Lending, Payments, B2B fintech, and Cryptocurrencies. In the recent years fintech entities started to provide an increasing amount of financial products that were historically provided by traditional financial services in the USA.
In 2019 the fintech investments reached $9,5 billion in the USA. The range of fintech accelerators in New York spans all fintech disciplines.
Mobile payments and digital wallets are no longer a surprising service, as such entities like PayPal, Venmo, Square, Stripe, Google Wallet and Apple Pay made the payment process a piece of cake. There’s a considerable rise in digital currencies services, as more and more companies are created to facilitate the process of buying and selling digital currency, such as Coinbase, Robinhood, and Riddle.
Despite some aggressive enforcement by securities regulators made, the USA is still an inviting hub attracting capital and investment in the fintech sector.
2. United Kingdom
Fintech Capital: London
The UK with its fintech hub in London remains at the top of our rank being of the best platforms for fintech startups. It is safe to say that with billion-worth giants like Transferwise, Monzo, Revolut and Funding Circle, the UK has become a capital of Europe for fintech unicorns. Today, the UK is a global home for more than 20 fintech accelerators, including Anthemis Venture Studio, Anthemis & BBVA Bank of England, Accelerator Barclays Accelerator and others.
The fintech strengths are Alternative lending and finance, Blockchain and digital currencies, Digital banking, Insurtech, Payments, Personal finance and wealth management. Not only fintech innovations are thriving in the UK, but also thanks to rigorous policy and efficient tax deductions, you can truly rely on fintech services in the UK.
It’s also worth mentioning that Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab London, for instance, focuses on increasing the number of female founders in fintech, thus narrowing the gender gap. Surprisingly, while there was a drop in fintech investment in 2019 globally, investment in the UK doubled to approximately £1.9 billion.
Fintech Capital: Singapore
For many years, Singapore remains well known for being a leading fintech hub. The three main strengths include: Insurtech, Lending and Payments. As well as the UK, Singapore is home to over 20 fintech accelerators. Here are some of them: ANZ Blue Space, Bank of China Innovation Lab Singapore, DBS Asia X, and HSBC Singapore Innovation Lab.
The Singapore government is investing considerable money in fintech projects, reaching approximately $735 million in 2019.
Singapore is famous for its Singapore Fintech Festival as well as Singapore Week of Innovation and Finnovate Asia. These events encourage innovations, investments, and cybersecurity management. Another benefit that fintech startups and businesses may enjoy in Singapore is low fees.
Fintech Capital: Vilnius
A recent surprise in fintech industries is Lithuania with its fintech hub in Vilnius. Its strengths mostly include Lending, Banking and Payments. Vilnius is home to nearly 70 ventures, like Katalysta ventures and Business Hive Vilnius.
Fintech is rapidly developing in this small European country, placing Lithuania at the 4th place in the global ranking. Its main distinctive features is a well-thought-out strategy regarding every level of fintech ecosystem.
There are 170 fintech based in Lithuania ready to transform financial services for businesses and individuals. There’s a business-friendly environment, including low corporate taxes that make it a perfect place for startups.
The Bank of Lithuania plays a crucial role in a speedy development, as it focuses on increasing competition and creating the right environment for innovation, so that FIntech products can enter the market transparently and smoothly.
Fintech Capital: Zug
Being the second richest country in Europe, Switzerland holds all the aces in fintech as well, thus reaching our top 5.
It’s mostly known for its self-styled “crypto-valley” — Zug. This city is thriving and fast emerging for currency and digital money innovation.
While it may not be booming with accelerators: Crypto Valley Venture, Capital Blockchain Valley Ventures, and Spectral Capital; it’s considered by many as one of the world’s most innovative countries.
Thanks to the historical strength of the Swiss financial sector, the country’s fintech ecosystem presents an ideal combination of dense and diverse features. Not to mention their pool of talents ready to come up with innovative solutions.
Switzerland focuses on attracting young innovative companies and professionals, as they know better than anyone the value of the fast emerging fintech.
This year it holds Swiss Fintech Awards 2020, so you’d better not miss it.
Once fintech has become a middleman between people and financial services, it’s difficult to come back to the way it was. For this reason, huge amounts of money are invested in fintech, as it can ensure rapid solutions as well as transparency.
In our list we’ve examined the top leading countries in fintech innovations. These are the countries that have become real fintech global hubs that drive fintech innovation and improve the world of finance.
We live in a fast paced world, so there’s no way anyone can predict whether these countries will hold these positions next year. But one thing we know for sure, fintech will remain one of the leading industries in our digitalised world.