Bern, 09 June 2016
Today, Swisscom is already supporting more than half of Swiss banks in digitisation issues. The ICT provider is now boosting its co-operation with FinTech start-ups. A Swisscom internal FinTech cluster is institutionalising co-operation with young companies in the financial industry. Swisscom Ventures is also being expanded by a dedicated FinTech Fund over CHF 10 million. This is to advance targeted investment in promising FinTech start-ups and collaboration in innovative Digital Banking Services.
In the meantime, over 180 FinTech start-ups are putting forward innovative business ideas and services in the Swiss financial industry. Swisscom is already bringing start-ups and established banks together to make new digital offers possible. This is why Swisscom recently launched digital identification or online bookkeeping for SMEs. Swisscom is also promoting FinTech start-ups in the scope of the KickStart FinTech Accelerator of DigitalZurich2025 or the Swisscom StartUp Challenge.
Swisscom is supporting financial institutions in the digital banking sector with market forecasts from the banking think tank e-foresight and innovative achievements. “Close co-operation with FinTech companies is an important factor for success in terms of product development. We are thus integrating digital creativity into a complex enterprise,” explains Oliver Kutsch, Head of Banking at Swisscom. Swisscom is now creating the optimal organisational conditions for this collaboration: In the Digital Business unit a dedicated FinTech Cluster is now being developed. Under the direction of Johannes Höhener, the founder of e-foresight, collaboration with FinTech Start-ups will now be institutionalised. The focus will be on the following topics: Collaborative economy (e.g. crowdfunding and B2B lending), Access and identification (e.g. identity management for opening an account digitally), Blockchain financial applications and digitisation of SMEs (e.g. digital accounting for SMEs). “Our goal is to identify innovations in an early development phase to examine business ideas together with the start-ups and to make them ready-to-market in collaboration with our Banking specialists, like we did with Run my Accounts for Valiant and wemakeit for Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank,” says Johannes Höhener.
As a strategic investor, Swisscom Ventures offers young companies financial support as well as access to Swisscom infrastructure and sales channels. Since 2000 Swisscom has invested over CHF 100 million in start-ups and with it the SMES of tomorrow. Swisscom Ventures also receives a dedicated FinTech Fund over CHF 10 million. With it, targeted start-up partnerships with potential for the financial industry can be concluded. Swisscom focuses on national and international FinTech growth issues thereby and is contributing to Early Stage and Series A financing rounds. Dominique Mégret, Head of Swisscom Ventures: “Co-operation with start-ups has enabled us to develop innovative solutions for financial service providers. I am looking forward to further developing co-operation in the FinTech area.”