Earlier this week, Holland FinTech, a knowledge and network centre for global developments in fintech, officially started. Holland FinTech aims to stimulate and accelerate innovation in the financial sector by bringing together start-ups, (large) traditional organisations and investors. Global consulting firms KPMG and Dutch firms Innopay and Van Doorne join the initiative as launching members.
The financial and banking sector is the year 2014 completely revolutionized. Organisations in the sector must join the flow of digitalisation and other technological developments in a blink of an eye. More and more organisations within the FinTech sector* enter partnerships to use each other’s expertise to prepare their organisation for the new market reality. To play into this development, Holland FinTech was recently established, a knowledge and network centre that brings together stakeholders in the fintech sector, such as small start-ups, traditional players and investors, through among others the organising of events. Don Ginsel, founder of Holland FinTech, explains: “We launched Holland FinTech because there is a need for an independent platform where organisations can share and find knowledge about technological innovations and meet the players that drive this change.”
Holland FinTech aims at creating a level playing field in order to support Dutch start-ups in their growth. In addition, foreign start-ups and businesses that have entered their second growth stage and are looking to expand are supported with their launch in the Netherlands or Europe. Holland FinTech also focuses on existing players both from corporate live as well as governmental and educational partners. According to Ginsel “sharing knowledge and expertise is essential to live up to the ambition of positioning the Netherlands as the centre of global financial innovation.”
Organisations of every type can join the platform. Members pay an annual fee with a maximum of a few ten thousand euros at most, depending on the size of their organisation. Early stage start-ups join for free “to ensure the best and latest technologies” are presented in the network, says Ginsel. Holland FinTech connects a wide variety of organisations and encourages the sharing of expertise among members.
Four consulting firms have joined the initiative as launching members. Global IBM (ICT) and KPMG (accountancy and consultancy), and Dutch Innopay (innovation) and Van Doorne (legal). According to Ginsel, the early commitment of the firms shows that they understand that it is necessary to collaborate. “It is only way to foster a climate of open innovation that enables real change in the financial sector and supports the economy.”
According to Edwin Herrie, partner at KPMG, many innovations in the financial sector are driven by start-ups that are able to concentrate on one single issue. “For KPMG it is important to closely follow the start-ups in the fintech industry in order to serve our existing clients in a better way. Moreover, we want to connect them with these start-ups in an early stage,” says Herrie.
Shikko Nijland, Managing Partner at Innopay, specialised in transactional services and digital identity, expects the European market for payment to completely change once new European legislation comes into force. “This generates many opportunities for new players. With sound cooperation of banks and new players connected to the Holland FinTech community, the Netherlands can take the lead,” predicts Nijland.
Arno Voerman, member of the fintech team of Van Doorne, argues that especially innovative companies in the financial sector have many questions regarding privacy, licences, requirements from supervisory institutions and IT related law. “We want to share our knowledge and experience with existing and new players.”
* Fintech is an umbrella term for modern technologies within the financial sector.