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Swiss fintech companies defy the crisis

As survey by the industry association Swiss Fintech shows

Zurich, 02/17/2021 – Covid-19 has turned many things upside down and brought great changes for society and the economy in a short time. In a recent survey among the members of Swiss Fintech on economic development during the Corona pandemic, it appears Swiss fintech companies are facing challenges but also seizing opportunities and defying the crisis.

In May of last year, according to a survey conducted at the time, over 55% of the respondents were planning to hire new staff, and just under half also saw the crisis as an opportunity for digital solutions in particular. Now, almost a year later, the Swiss Fintech association wanted to know again how fintech companies are doing in the meantime. The survey reveals challenges, but also great opportunities.

Christina Kehl, managing director Swiss Fintech explains: “In particular, a lack of networking and business development platforms are among the much-mentioned challenges. Although fintech companies, as digital pioneers themselves, are routinized in online events, on the customer and partner side this form of event is not yet a matter of course everywhere, even one year after the start of the pandemic. On the other hand, a certain change is perceived by the respondents. Even large companies now seem to be developing an increased willingness to collaborate with remote teams. This opens up opportunities for successful collaborations with startups.”

Swiss Fintech has collected reports from the Swiss Fintech community:

"The COVID crisis is leading to increased financial needs for the public sector, including the threat of tax shortfalls and support for local SMEs. This has been reflected in our figures: In 2020, a volume of CHF 7.1 billion was concluded through our platform - 50% more than in the previous year," said Martina Bühler of Loanboox. "In Germany, demand has increased the most - the annual closing volume quadrupled. We are very pleased to have been able to make a small contribution to the financing of the public sector, the transport sector and the energy sector in these uncertain times."

"Volatile markets and a lot of time at home to get things in order: This was an ideal situation for our Altoo wealth platform to prove its added value. Our user numbers more than quadrupled last year. In addition, the topic of 'succession planning' was also prominent to provide the family with an overview of all assets including real estate or stock market shares with all relevant information and documents just in case," says Martin Stadler, CEO of Altoo AG. "The internationalization of our business has also developed surprisingly positively despite the travel stop: We were able to acquire customers from 14 different countries, all purely digital, which was unimaginable a year ago."

Oliver Johannsen, CEO Adamant Lane explains: "Due to the growing need for a suitable platform for Supply Chain Finance (SCF), we have used the pandemic period to develop LiquidityHub for Corporates. With the solutions for SCF (Reverse Factoring) as well as Dynamic Discounting, we have succeeded in tapping into the new customer group of corporates. That's why we are currently enjoying exciting discussions with well-known companies that are using the time to restructure and equip themselves with adequate software, especially in view of unprecedented market requirements and increasing volumes."

"The spreading of COVID-19 and the associated measures prompted many companies to switch to online sales. Through our fully comprehensive payment platform, we were able to help SMEs in particular with this transition," explains Ivan Schmid, CEO of Payrexx. "In addition, last year we developed a new COVID-19 secure QR tool that enables contactless payments on the spot. Every month, around 650 merchants register on our platform. The total transaction volume increased by 95% year-on-year and we generated a 120% increase in revenue."

"The COVID crisis has led to a lasting change in trust and awareness of digital services in Switzerland. This is especially true for the financial industry," says Patrik Schär, CEO of Selma Finance. "Digital account opening, live chat support, and round-the-clock access via apps have become the new standard. Despite Corona, we were able to open more than 2,800 new accounts with Selma last year, more than tripling our business. We now see that this growth is also sustainable: In 2021 alone, we could already open more than 1,000 new accounts with Selma."

"The Corona pandemic massively intensified the pressure to digitalize, especially for trustee companies with an analog way of working," says Alessandro Micera Co-CEO of Accounto, "Digital and innovative solutions - such as those from Accounto - enjoyed extremely high demand as a result. In numerous live demos with SMEs and trustee companies, Accounto succeeded in building up a solid customer base within a very short time. The only downer: Canceled events and thus lost opportunities to present Switzerland's only fully automated accounting software to even more interested parties."

In order to support the fintech industry in networking and business development, Swiss Fintech is once again organizing the Swiss Fintech Fair, Switzerland's largest fintech trade fair, this September. After moving to virtual space in 2020, the Swiss Fintech Fair 2021 will be back as real-life event themed #backtogether21 and will take place at the SIX ConventionPoint in Zurich. | 08 September 2021 | SIX ConventionPoint, Zurich


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