The Canadian fintech segment’s future strength will depend on the willingness and ability of participants at every level when it comes to fostering innovation, collaboration, and international expansion, according to a new study by Accenture.
Such robustness is crucial when considering that Canada has emerged as a global tech powerhouse over the past few years. Ranking the world’s top 20 fintech hubs, the Accenture report placed Toronto eighth, followed by Vancouver in 12th, Montreal in 14th, and Calgary in 16th.
“Canada has much to learn and much to contribute to our global peers, including those who are developing open banking, digital identity and data portability solutions,” said Robert Vokes, senior managing director and financial services lead at Accenture in Canada. “Our ecosystem of Canadian fintechs, major financial institutions and policymakers are coming together to transform and reinvent business models that address the changing digital habits of Canadians – they are shaping and developing future standards that will support the industry while preserving the strength of our financial system.”
With strong government support and high-quality national regulation already in place, Canada can focus on attracting a greater degree of foreign direct investment.
“A renewed focus on encouraging and retaining cross-border investment may also benefit Canadian hubs given the negative impact of COVID-19 on 2020 fintech deals,” the Accenture report suggested. “Canadian cities and governments should consider continued promotion of regional fintech investment and the attraction of [venture capital firms] to increase competitiveness in this area.”
Supporting home-grown technologies and greater academe-industry collaboration could also stimulate an accelerated pace of innovation and an even higher-quality talent pool.
“Canadian hubs could improve by looking at how leaders such as Hong Kong, Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv encourage businesses to embrace disruption and develop products and services based on the latest technologies, e.g., fintech-friendly policies and incentives,” Accenture added.