Geneva
27 September 2016
Reporter: Stephanie Palmer
Sibos: No holes in Swiss fintech innovation
Switzerland is a hot bed of financial technology innovation, according to speakers at a Sibos Innotribe session in Geneva.

Brigitte Baumann, CEO of GoBeyond, argued that ‘angel investing’ in financial technology start-ups can be considered as a new asset class, and that Switzerland is leading innovation in this space.

Baumann noted that there is a “big need for new asset classes”. She said: “Entrepreneurship is here to stay, and not only to [entrepreneurs] need financing, they need smart money.

Historically, she said, investing in start-ups has been considered as high-risk, with 80 percent of so-called business angels losing either all or most of their money.

This has now been reversed, however, and Baumann suggested that individuals investing less that CHF 50,000 are seeing an average return on their portfolio of 14 percent. Those that invest more than CHF 50,000 are seeing average returns of 16 percent.

Baumann argued that the Swiss ecosystem is supportive of fintech companies, and noted that, in turn, the fintech sector provides opportunities for investors to learn while building their portfolios, acting as hands-on advisors, and developing their own technical knowledge.

She also later noted that angel investing can serve as a way to keep financial services professionals in the 40 to 50 age bracket relevant and up to speed, in an industry that is quickly changing.

In the same session, Johann Gevers, founder and CEO of Monetas, suggested that we need to be developing ‘version two’ of the financial system.

Gevers also named Switzerland as a hub for financial innovation, noting its decentralised nature and its strong ecosystem for ‘cryptofinance’.

He suggested that using blockchain technology in traditional banking could save institutions millions per year, enabling secure voting, digital tokens and digital cash.

However, Gevers said the industry will only revolutionise finance is to create true digital wallets, whereby individuals have digital currency in their personal wallet, rather than in a bank, and can literally transfer it with no intermediary involved, as one would with cash.

This would cut out some of the liability and costs of compliance, allowing institutions to focus on adding value elsewhere through advanced financial products.

Drawing attention to Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ in Zug, where a lot of firms are developing cryptofinance solutions, he stressed that the industry should not see cryptofinance as a threat, but as an opportunity, offering instant settlements, cost reduction, risk reduction and faster services.

He concluded that companies should not all try to do the same things. While start-ups are good at getting products off the ground, big organisations are the ones that can scale them. He said: “I think that’s a great symbiosis.”

More sibos news
The latest news from Asset Servicing Times
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Sibos: Cultural change is imminent
30 September 2016 | Geneva | Reporter: Stephanie Palmer
The biggest changes to the financial services industry between now and 2020 will be cultural, according to panellists speaking at Sibos 2016...
Sibos: Easier standardised than done
29 September 2016 | Geneva | Reporter: Stephanie Palmer
Standards mean different things to banks and corporate treasurers, but they should collaborate to make them work, according to speakers in a debate session at Sibos...
Sibos: Financial services should lead ‘new era’ of tech, says IBM head
28 September 2016 | Geneva | Reporter: Stephanie Palmer
Cognitive technology will give financial services firms a competitive advantage, as long as they seize the opportunity, keynote speaker Ginni Rometty told Sibos attendees...
Tax services top the outsourcing list
28 September 2016 | Geneva | Reporter: Becky Butcher
Tax services have been identified as the function to most successfully outsource, according to 52 percent of respondents to a SIX Securities Services survey...
Raiffeisen Bank tackles Basel III principles
28 September 2016 | London | Reporter: Becky Butcher
Raiffeisen Bank has implemented SmartStream’s cash and liquidity reporting solution...
Broadridge extends GPTM solution
28 September 2016 | Geneva | Reporter: Becky Butcher
Broadridge Financial Solutions has expanded its global post trade management (GPTM) solution with cash management capabilities...
Sibos: Do the time to prevent cyber crime
28 September 2016 | Geneva | Reporter: Stephanie Palmer
Developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning increase the threat of financial cyber crime, and the financial services industry must be prepared in case of an attack...
More sibos news