Financial services is undergoing digitalization and fintech startups (technology startups in this space) are coming out strongly to the markets

The Federation of Finnish Financial Services has defined the main future challenges for the financial services industry to be:
1. Must be more present in the daily lives of the customers
2. Working cultures must become more flexible
3. Future financial services are provided digitally

The growth of the Fintech sector is in it’s infancy, but Finnish companies have strong heritage on technological competencies which has already raised global interest.

“Potential for Fintech looks strong. Tekes (The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) supports international groundwork related to the Fintech field. It has been internationally recognized that Finland has a lot of good potential startups in this field”, says Janne Peräjoki, service director for Tekes.

Scandinavian countries are well-known as front-runners for online banking and electronic invoicing.

The roots of Fintech are long. Kaj Hed, the main owner of the game company Rovio sold his financial software company Trema to venture capital fund Investcorp for over 100 million euros.

Technology company Nokia built a Nokia Money service, which offered mobile payment solutions to the emerging markets. Based on the experience and knowledge a new company Mistral Mobile was formed to combine financial services and mobile channels.

Other new entrants include Holvi, which provides totally new approach on supporting e-commerce and basic banking services.

Fintech field has a lot of variety: it includes mobile payments, intelligent solutions for investment activities as well as e-commerce services.

The traditional players have also started to exploit the potential offered by the new technologies. For example Nordea as started an accelerator program together with consulting company Nestholma, receiving 171 applications, many of which were outside of Finland.

According to Peräjoki, during the last two years few tens of potential Fintech companies have been started, and many have also been participating in the Tekes Young Innovative Companies program. The program is targeted for the most promising startups.

”Finland has taken a solid grip on the new growth potential which are utilizing existing competencies, experiences and international contact networks”, says Peräjoki.

Link to the original article as it appeared in Kauppalehti: