Digitalisation and Fintech

Digitalisation and Fintech

Digitalisation is posing challenges, but also benefitting Switzerland on many levels. This reality also applies in the financial sector. In order to ensure the Swiss financial centre remains attractive at the international level, the framework conditions must continue to be efficient and conducive to innovation. Digitalisation is therefore a core strategic issue for the Swiss Bankers Association.

What is the impact of digitalisation?

Digitalisation in the financial sector is one in a series of technology-driven economic changes: in recent years, journalism, the hotel industry and transportation services have all been affected by this trend. These developments are resulting in the emergence of new markets, products and services. Accordingly, the rules of the game for existing market players are also changing.

Challenges and opportunities for the financial centre

Digitalisation represents a significant challenge especially for traditional banks – in particular against the backdrop of shrinking margins and rising costs. Further to this, new technologies have the potential to facilitate market entry for potential providers and therefore intensify competition, which would negatively impact the profitability of the financial sector. On the other hand, efficiency gains and new product offerings that are better attuned to customers and their needs are some of the positive effects of digitalisation. These affect both the front and back offices. The new technologies are therefore a challenge and an opportunity at the same time. The Swiss banks have positioned themselves well in recent years in the area of digitalisation. They offer a combination of the new digital possibilities and the firmly-established strengths of Swiss banking, such as financial expertise, discretion and reliability. Thanks to this combination, Switzerland will remain a leading financial centre in future. It is already among the most important global fintech locations.

Position of the Swiss Bankers Association

The Swiss Bankers Association is contributing to the creation of the regulatory framework conditions for digitalisation. To this end, a group of experts at the SBA is developing foundations for strategic and tactical positioning, as well as for shaping views and opinions. In this context, the SBA advocates commensurate regulation for fintech in order to continue to safeguard the competitiveness of the Swiss financial centre. The SBA’s key areas of focus currently include: 

  • Adaption of the barriers to market entry for digital business models,
  • blockchain,
  • opening up of programming interfaces (incl. PSD2),
  • electronic identity,
  • outsourcing and cloud services,
  • application and analysis of big data, and use of regulatory technology (regtech),
  • promotion of the financial centre.

The SBA is making a substantial contribution to the strengthening and further development of Switzerland as a leading global financial centre.