B-Hive, the collaborative innovation platform, together with Roland Berger, one of the leading global consultancy firms, and Sirris, the collective centre for and by the technological industry, has published B-Lens 2.0, a fintech landscape report that takes a look at the state of financial services and fintechs in Belgium and Europe.
The survey is based on research conducted by B-Hive Europe as well as data collected by Roland Berger and Sirris. The results showed that most fintechs have focused on the banking and insurance sectors to find potential clients while the fintechs thought their key differentiators included the digitized business models, short time-to-market and convenient processes. For international expansion, France, Belgium, Germany and the UK were the most favourable destinations in Europe.
The biggest challenges discovered were talent shortages, slow customer adoptions, low collaboration rates with financial services and opportunities to grow due to the difficulty to attract customers and investors.
Financial services takeaways:
• Mobile banking subscriptions are growing fast followed by an increase in digital transactions and online purchases
• Consumer acceptance saw an increase in the use of digital financial services but is below neighbouring Southern European countries and the UK
• Belgium confirms its strong business enablers for digital activity, thanks to higher R&D expenditure and high concentration of ICT specialists and short time required to start a business. However, the cost of starting a new business has been increasing recently
• Although significant efforts have been put to secure internet servers, increased investment into cybersecurity is needed to limit cases of internet banking fraud and to catch up with the average online security in the EU
• Belgian Fintech sector is stabilizing in 2017 (4 Fintechs created) and the trend is confirmed in 2018 with the average deal size almost doubling but decreasing number of deals. Most common investment by funding round has shifted from Seed to Series B
• Significant change can be identified in the top 3 Fintech technologies with a shift from Blockchain & Data analytics to Saas, App and Artificial intelligence and a shift from marketplace and crowdfunding business models to commissioning and subscription
Fabian Vandenreydt, Executive Chairman of B-Hive, said: “Here at B-Hive, we work to put Brussels on the map as a smart gateway to Europe and working together with Roland Berger and Sirris enables us to have a fuller view of key metrics, which will inform how we can further improve the position of Belgium in the market.”
Grégoire Tondreau, Managing Partner of Roland Berger, said: “The B-Lens 2.0 data has been compiled in a way that gives the readers a better overview of the market, and allows B-Hive to further focus on areas of innovation in the financial services and fintech industries. We are proud to have been part of this initiative from its launch last year and look forward to continuing our collaboration with B-Hive.”
Omar Mohout, Entrepreneurship Fellow of Sirris, said: “Fintech has a long history and deep roots in Belgium. But it's only recently that a real fintech ecosystem is emerging ensuring a bright future for innovation in the financial services industry in this country. It was a pleasure to take a deeper look into the topic together with B-Hive and Roland Berger and discover what the future of fintech in Belgium looks like.”