Fintech in Switzerland and Lichtenstein

Executive summary

Situated at the heart of Europe and the global financial industry, Switzerland presents a wealth of opportunities for Canadian players looking to expand their international horizons in the Fintech space.

These opportunities range from the recent boom in crypto-technologies, blockchain and digital asset management; to the plumbing of the financial industry itself, in digital payments and settlement; to the highest tech developments in applied artificial intelligence and machine learning.

This report identifies and frames these opportunities in the context of local market developments, recent favourable changes in the regulatory landscape, the burgeoning start-up scene, and of course the vaulted positions of Zurich, Zug and Geneva at the heart of the global financial sector. Whether it is the long standing pillars of wealth management and private banking or the flourishing new generation of digital disruptors, there are niche markets for a wide variety of technologies and business models.

Key findings reported in this study include the following:

The insights presented here stem from primary and secondary research on the market, including a case study of Ottawan firm Solace, who has benefited hugely from its Swiss presence over the last years. This first-hand account provides relevant and timely information to Canadian players considering a similar journey. Importantly, it was highlighted that the close cultural fit between Canadians and the Swiss was a key success factor for their unproblematic and indeed rewarding venture into this market.

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