Swiss Fintech: Overview

March 13, 2023

Country is known for its innovation and stability, making it an ideal location for fintech startups.

Overview

Switzerland has a rich history in the field of finance, and it maintains its status as a major center of global finance to this day. A significant share of global banking capital is located in country, which creates a strong monetary infrastructure and makes it an ideal location for the development of the fintech industry.

Below are some interesting facts about this manufacturing:

  • State is the leader in the ranking of states with the most developed fintech manufacturing in Europe according to Swiss Finance Startups, and also ranks high in global rankings.
  • More than 1,000 fintech firms are working in jurisdiction, which are engaged in the development of the latest technologies in the field of finance.
  • A large number of financial establishments operate in Switzerland, including banks, insurance firms, pension funds and others, which makes the country attractive for developers of fintech solutions.
  • Fintech firms in state are actively using blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies, which allows them to create new products and services for customers.
  • Swiss fintech firms operate successfully in various fields, including online banking, settlements, investments, insurance and much more.
  • In 2020, Swiss fintech companies received a record investment of $2.4 billion, which is the largest figure in the entire history of this industry in the country.

Do fintech firms need a license or registration?

In country, fintech companies may require both licensing and registration depending on their activities and volume of operations.

Banking and finance firms operating in country are subject to adjustment and supervision by the Swiss Federal Financial Administration (FINMA). In order to obtain a license from FINMA, companies must meet a number of demands regarding financial stability, risk management and legal compliance.

On the other hand, most fintech companies are not banks or financial establishments and therefore do not require FINMA licensing. However, they may require registration with other regulatory authorities, such as the Swiss Securities and Exchange Commission (FINMA), the Swiss Anti-Lies Office (MROS) and others.

Will there be a digital Swiss franc?

There is currently no official confirmation that Switzerland will introduce a digital national franc. However, some experts believe that Switzerland may consider issuing a digital currency in the future.

In February 2021, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) conducted a successful experiment using digital currencies on blockchain technology. The experiment created a digital franc based on distributed ledger technology, and explored possibilities for efficiency, security and possible implications for Switzerland’s financial stability.

There is also already some experience of issuing digital currencies in Switzerland. For example, in 2019, Facebook announced plans to launch its own Libra cryptocurrency, which was developed in Geneva. However, due to significant problems with adjusters and opposition from some states, the project was significantly limited.

Assets tokens

In 2021, the Swiss Federal Act on the Adaptation of Federal Law to the Development of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT-Act) entered into force. The DLT-Act did not introduce a separate legal framework for tokens, but aimed to adapt the existing law to the new technology, particularly in the area of so-called registry-based securities.

The DLT-Act takes a principled approach to determine whether a DLT qualifies as a book of securities within the meaning of the DLT-Act. Below are the principles that DLT must comply with.

  • it uses technological processes to give creditors, but not the debtor, the right to dispose of their rights;
  • its integrity is ensured by appropriate technical and organizational measures, such as shared management by several independent participants, to protect it from unauthorized modification;
  • the content of the rights, the operation of the book and the registration agreement are recorded in the book or in the related accompanying data; and
  • creditors can view relevant information/records in the register and verify the integrity of the contents of the register relating to themselves without third party intervention.

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