Fintech Mundi’s annual Nordic Insight Briefing focuses on ‘Digitalization’s Next Act’. At the Mastercard Lighthouse event in Tallinn we discussed what’s next for the region which continues to produce world-beating solutions, and incubating industry giants. Read here about the key opportunities in store.
A (pandemic) year in the making – the 2021 Global Fintech Rankings
#PoweredbyMambu, after a year of crunching the numbers, interviews with fintech ecosystems around the world – we’re thrilled to bring you the second edition of the Global Fintech Rankings – the only global rankings of fintech ecosystems now covering 264 cities and over 80 countries (including 50 newly crowned fintech hubs).
While many of the Top 20 remain unchanged – there are some surprises. Tel Aviv joins the top 5 for the first time while Berlin’s rise up the rankings is making the city a genuine contender for Europe’s fintech crown.
A joint undertaking between Fintech Mundi and findexable and with FCG, Huawei and Mastercard, the report seals the success of the Nordic fintech community, which stands strong, with investors and innovators hard at work across the space.
The region’s early success at moving away from cash, its embrace of collaborative models for the development and distribution of innovative financial services long before fintech became every bank’s favourite bandwagon, and commitment to digital services have created the foundations for a thriving fintech ecosystem.
Fintech exists to solve global problems. Of access – such as in emerging markets where banking economics stop the poor from getting a bank account. Of speed – where old infrastructure slows the sending of money, receipt of payments or makes international trade difficult. Or of cost and convenience – by making it easier to pay, or cheaper to borrow. There’s another problem too. An industry founded on principles to make the world better, needs a global index to track progress, and benchmark its success.
This is the vision of the Global Fintech Index of which I am a proud Ambassador. The City Rankings Report 2020 is the first glimpse of what the Index algorithm is designed for. To identify emerging hubs, fintech com¬panies and trends. To promote growth and adop¬tion of progressive, inclusive financial services everywhere.
Together with our Partners we’re building a global coalition to promote the values of fintech. We hope you’ll join us in our mission too.
Mundi has teamed up with long-standing partner MagnaCarta Communications and a
coalition of other global partners to identify, compare and track the
development of fintech everywhere – even in the furthest corners of our planet.
in October, the Global Fintech Index, presented under the banner of Findexable,
will be the first fully global index of cities ranked by fintech activity.
Fintech Mundi’s Susanne Hannestad explains the needs of the fintech sector in the Nordics and how accurate, tangible data can help raise the Nordics’ status as a hub of fintech innovation globally.
The Nordic and Baltic region has all the building blocks to generate wealth and opportunities and is punching above its weight in terms of producing unicorns, moving from start-up to critical scale-up phase and it leading the rest of Europe on Open Banking and PSD2 progress. Results from the fourth Nordic Fintech Disruptors Report launched during Money 2020 in Amsterdam finds confidence in abundance at 68%, 14% up from 2018.
The report produced by MagnaCarta and Fintech Mundi in partnership with Mastercard and BDO, is a comprehensive review of the current position and future trends in Nordic and Baltic fintech. It features extensive interviews with banks, fintechs, regulators, accelerators and leading innovators, alongside the results of an industry-wide survey.
Although more than half the survey respondents believe that the Nordics and Baltics will dominate the fintech landscape after 2020, the confidence is tempered with realism and a recognition of key challenges. 67% of respondents feel the region needs greater access to investor capital to realise its potential (24% higher than 2018), while over half believe that greater openness to partnering will help the region compete on the global stage.
Against this background, this year’s report is more of a manifesto, setting out a vision for how the region can fully realise its strengths and take full advantage of the new era of integrated digital finance. Much of the answer still lies in viable, effective partnerships and a better connected fintech ecosystem which offers the best chance to:
Attract skills and talent required to continue developing the marketplace
Bring more customers on board to create sustainable businesses
Serve and support new businesses to create more winners
Fertilise new ideas at scale and shorten times to profit
Grow the region’s reputation to create a virtuous circle for success
“Since we started the research in 2014 we have seen a region that has
outperformed many in developing and nurturing fintech innovation but true
collaboration and trust across the ecosystem remains an issue which has to be
addressed if the region is to fulfil its potential as a global fintech hub, ”
comments Simon Hardie,
author and publisher of the report.
The report is a call to arms for banks, investors, regulators, public bodies
and for the fintechs themselves,” says Susanne
Hannestad, CEO of Fintech Mundi, a prominent Nordic based
fintech accelerator. “The Nordic and Baltic regions are ideally placed to
out-perform their peers in Europe, but only if we can find a more effective way
to work together. We are not there yet.”
A new report from Mastercard confirms the power of mobile technology to improve financial inclusion. The research shows that 15 countries account for over 60% of the global unbanked population, where 607 million people have a mobile phone, but do not yet have a bank account. Mobile technology could therefore provide them with immediate access to the benefits of financial inclusion.
In 14 of these countries, the number of people with a mobile phone outnumbers the number of people with a bank account by several million (rising to 204 million in China). The only exception is India, where more people have a bank account than a mobile phone.
However, the report emphasises that simply providing access to
financial services is not enough to address financial exclusion. To achieve any
real impact, people also need to become active users of financial products. Globally,
20% of people with a bank or mobile money account have not used it for more
than a year, and many more people only ever use their account on an occasional
In the absence of banking services, or if financial products are rarely
used, people inevitably turn to informal providers, such as neighbourhood
savings clubs, local money lenders, and unlicensed remittance services. Most
people on low incomes tend to be experienced users of these informal financial
products, and to have intricate and well-ordered financial lives. However, they
do not have legal protection, face significant risks, and may pay more for a
vastly inferior product.
As the report says, “the battle for inclusion is not about
creating completely new behaviours or building entirely new markets. Nor is it
about providing simple access to the financial mainstream. It is about how bona
fide players and regulated providers can do a better job of out-competing the
Another important consideration is a deep gender gap, which could
be exacerbated if mobile and digital technologies were to become the
predominant delivery channel for financial services. In developing countries,
for example, there is already an eight-percentage-point gap in account
ownership (67% or men have an account compared to 59% of women). This gap
extends to double-digits in many countries, such as Morocco and Peru, and
reaches 30% some countries, like Pakistan and Bangladesh. Women are much less
likely to have made or received a digital payment, more likely to have used
informal financial products, and less able to come up with emergency funds in
the face of an emergency.
The report, Unravelling the Web, was commissioned by Mastercard
and produced by MagnaCarta Communications. It was launched at the Financial Inclusion Summit in Oslo on 28
March 2019, where speakers included Ann
Cairns, Vice-Chairman and President International Market of Mastercard, Greta Bull, CEO of CGAP (World Bank)
and James Mwangi, CEO of Equity Bank
financial technology companies will showcase solutions
Equity Bank, Mastercard, World Bank, World Economic Forum gather to identify
new ways to end financial exclusion
OSLO, 1 MARCH 2019:HRH
Crown Prince Haakon has announced that he will attend the Financial Inclusion
Summit in Oslo on 28th March and invites global leaders, innovators
and financial institutions in Oslo to join him.
The Summit is being held to advance
practical steps to end financial exclusion worldwide and discuss how the Nordic
region can contribute to reducing poverty and driving growth through a dialogue
for long-term solutions to financial inclusion, aided by latest advances in
HRH Prince Haakon will be meeting
thirty-two financial technology companies from across the Nordic region who will be showcasing
how technology can solve the specific challenges faced by the almost 2 billion
adults who are still excluded from formal financial services and act as a key
driver to ending global poverty.
The summit – arranged by Fintech Mundi, the Nordic fintech
accelerator, in partnership withMastercard and the Norwegian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs – will involve key government representatives, development
agencies, fintech companies and private sector organisations from across the
Nordic region and beyond.
Fintech Mundi CEO Susanne Hannestad
explains: “It’s long been recognised that access to banking and financial tools
is a proven route to poverty reduction. But despite significant global progress
in reducing exclusion, the number of poor citizens continues to rise in some
regions. Making a meaningful reduction in the ranks of the financially excluded
will require a unique combination of public and private sector commitment
coupled with technological creativity. We believe that Nordic fintechs can play
a vital role providing concrete solutions.”
speakers already confirmed include Ann
Cairns, Executive Vice-Chairman of Mastercard; Greta Bull, Chief
Executive Officer CGAP (World Bank); Drew Propson, Financial Service
Director of the World Economic Forum; and James
Mwangi, Chief Executive Officer of Equity Bank in Kenya.
Leaders from financial technology
companies represented on stage include Antti
Pennanen, CEO of Moni, Thea
Sommerseth, CEO of Diwala, Selma
Kvelm from Bright, Jens Glasø of
Blockbonds, Sofie Blakstad of
Hiveonline and Yoni Arbel of TransferWise.
This invitation-only event will:
understanding of financial health and the ecosystem drivers that enable
prosperity through financial inclusion
gaps for reducing exclusion and explore opportunities for private-public sector
partnerships to tackle these
and global fintech innovations which can address unbanked customers and
identify a roadmap to maximise their impact
recommendations for government, multilateral agencies and the public sector.
While we can’t exactly call it an outright thriller, “Removing Roadblocks: The New Road of Fintech” – the freshly launched Fintech Disruptors Report takes you on the journey of digital finance 10 years on from the Financial Crisis of 2008. A ride that’s involved exhilarating speed, tricky curves, bumps, the odd crash and acclaimed winners.
Fintech Disruptors 2019 EMEA, launched with Klarna in London in December, identifies four building blocks of a new fintech road, which will sharpen the attention of fintech providers of all sizes in the decade ahead.
Disruptors 2019 surveyed 5,000 industry professionals across Europe, the Middle
East and Africa. The report also provides strong evidence of a seismic shift in
industry focus, away from new payments technologies and towards open banking
and the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in fintech.
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