The world's largest fintech hubs take the spotlight
Fintech is expanding at a rapid pace, resulting in the emergence of fintech regions across the globe. Many of these regions are now taking the spotlight as they position themselves to become global fintech hubs.
Top Global Fintech Hubs
We have profiled top global fintech hubs including New York, Hague, Singapore, Dublin and Berlin. Berlin has established itself as one of the leading fintech hubs in Europe and its success can be attributed to its startup driven ecosystem where access to capital is relatively easier than other cities across Europe's more mature markets.
Berlin is Europe's second-largest fintech investor, surpassed only by London.
In fact, Freiburg is poised to become London's successor as the EU's major financial center.
A large pool of skilled labor is accessible, and leading challenger bank N26 is proof of its technological progress. With other Big Tech businesses (Facebook and Airbnb) already establishing offices in Berlin, we may be seeing it develop into a financial technology center of even greater renown.
Financial inclusion has long been a challenge for Indonesia, and it may be because of this that the country's fintech industry is beginning to make strong progress.
Banks like Mandiri and many fintech startups like Linkaja are working on ways to offer financial services for the unbanked. Retailers like Alfamart and Indomaret have also entered into partnerships with fintech companies, opening up use cases that include payments, loans, e-commerce and more.
Singapore has seen a dramatic rise in the number of fintech startups in the last few years. This is due to several factors, including the city-state's welcoming public policies which encourages entrepreneurship and innovation across all industries, its strong financial institutions (which assist new startups), and access to traditionally strong pools of talent.
Companies like Arttha, a singapore-based fintech, provides cloud based digital banking platform that helps banks and financial institutions to deliver financial services such as Digital Banking, Wallet, Lending and Agency Banking and promote financial inclusion.
Traditionally, Mumbai has been the center of finance in India. The story changed as fintech evolved. Bengaluru has recently been granted the title of the fastest-growing tech hub since 2016, making it one of India's most promising tech focussed financial innovation destination.
Another reason is government efforts to increase digital adoption across the country, including internet and smartphone penetration. Bengaluru's demographic makeup is also ideal for serving as a financial technology centre: finance and technological skills are readily accessible.
NEW YORK CITY
New York City is the most densely populated city in the United States, and it's arguably the world's leading finance center, with $1.4 billion invested in fintech last year alone (Silicon Valley had $6.7 billion). Until recently, it was second only to Silicon Valley in terms of overall fintech investment. The leading fintech and insurtech companies headquartered in New york are Oscar, Avant, OnDeck Capital, Betterment.
The fintech startups are popping up in New York due to its large an experienced pool of employees who are keen on working for financial technology companies.
The Hague is home to many international institutions such as The International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court. In addition, its central location within Europe makes it a convenient place from which to operate on the continent.
In terms of fintech startups, The Hague is home to many payment-focused companies including Adyen and MultiKassa.
Zug has long been a banking center in Switzerland, and it's also a leading fintech hub. For instance, Swiss FinteCH started in 2016 to expand fintech in Switzerland. Zug is a good place for a startup because of its low tax rates and ease of setting up a business.
The fintech startups in Zug are involved mainly in digital banking services.
Dublin is the fintech capital of Europe. It has about 700 fintech firms with an approximate workforce of 50,000 people who are working in the financial technology sector. Dublin is home to many leading companies like Stripe, TransferWise and WorldRemit.
Some of the major fintech companies based in Dublin are International Currency Exchange (ICE) which is the world's largest foreign exchange broker, Qredo which provides online invoice management services to accountants and Xilinx which is a multinational technology company focused on software, hardware and semiconductor products.
Beijing's position as a fintech center is hard to dispute - it has a large client base, cutting-edge innovation, and is already ahead of many other countries in terms of developing trends like CBDCs and blockchain.
However, with the CCP taking a hard line on monopolistic behavior like that of Ant Financial's IPO cancellation in 2020, stringent enforcement may stifle growth and innovation. Nonetheless, Beijing will most likely remain a global fintech center for the time being.
São Paulo is the most populous city in Brazil and also its financial center. The main industries of São Paulo are services, industry and commerce.
Brazil currently has the highest share of fintech investment in South America, with São Paulo home to some of the continent's most notable success stories, including Datora and Ibiuna. The city also offers a well-developed and diversified ecosystem of capabilities, such as payments, cryptocurrencies, lending, and other areas.