The FinTech industry has been around for about 20 years. If you take into consideration that technology years are the exact opposite of dog years, you soon realize that FinTech is still a puppy. This new breed of tech has managed to take the world by storm and establish its name and impact on numerous verticals and industries. From banking and compliance to payments and regulation, FinTech has managed to bring change to a lot fo red-brick industries. Now, it seems that FinTech is ready for its first steps in the business world with its own, independent trade body. The European FinTech Association is now a reality.
The trade body says it is the first not-for-profit organization representing over twenty fintech firms of all sizes from across the EU. This initiative brings together the previously known EFAlliance and FinTechs4Europe and its agenda will be centered around the following key principles:
- develop cooperation between fintech companies within the EU
- to provide a unified voice for the fintech sector
- represent the interests of its members when it comes to policies and interaction with the EU institutions and other European regulatory bodies
The association’s members operate in sectors such as payments, lending, banking, robo-advice, identity verification, investment, and SaaS with notable names such as Mintos, Zalando, Moneyfarm, N26, Raisin, TransferWise, and finleap.
At the heart of the EFA is the removal of cross-border barriers for financial services. This has been a subject of discussion for many years and the only way to tackle it is to approach issues focusing on the customer and not the location or territory. Customer-centric planning, strategy, and execution could be what opens up borders for businesses and creates a global marketplace for financial technology.
Marc Roberts, President of the Board of the European FinTech Association, said the following about the big news: “FinTech companies deliver much-needed innovative, transparent and understandable financial services products but have until now not sufficiently been heard at the European political level. By launching the Brussels-based association, EFA will be able to support the voice of FinTechs in Europe by encouraging proportionate and smart regulation that will support European financial innovation while taking consumer protection into account. Digitalization is an opportunity for all to build a better functioning market for financial services. We believe that Europe can be a leading hub and kick-start for the global growth of FinTech companies.”
In their official announcement on Twitter, the EFA said the following: “We are happy to announce the public launch of #EFAssociation! More than 20 leading #fintechs from across #Europe joining forces to have a say, bring unity and clear agenda over the decisions made for fintech businesses in the #EU!”
This might be a first step for the European FinTech community but it’s a big one. What will happen, remains to be seen but what we can say with absolute certainty is that the future seems brighter for FinTech.