FinTech in Canada
The Fusion of Finance and Technology
Leveraging technology to innovate the Financial Services industry is at the heart of Canada’s growing FinTech ecosystem. Ranked as having the most stable banking system in the world, Canada is hotbed of ingenuity and tech expertise spanning financial services, insurance, e-commerce, wealth management, cybersecurity, crypto currencies, quantum computing, and more. A global leader in the development of artificial intelligence, the technology behind many FinTech innovations, it’s here, through collaboration between government, academia and industry, that Canadian innovators are addressing a wide range of complex challenges that will have legacy impacts for generations to come.
“Canada’s progressive regulatory system and tech leadership is attracting the attention of the world’s leading multinationals,” says Virginie De Visscher, Senior Director of Business Development, Economic Sectors with Destination Canada’s Business Events team. “Such depth of talent and infrastructure is enticing organizations to host conferences, develop and test their new technologies, and establish North American or Canadian headquarters here, fueling the rate of growth in Canada’s FinTech space.”
Canada’s Top FinTech Hubs
The second largest financial centre in North America, and one of the continent’s most innovative tech hubs, DeVisscher says, the Toronto region is the beating heart of Canada’s Fintech industry. The financial centre and business capital of Canada, Toronto is also home to the third largest stock exchange globally by total trade, is headquarters to Canada’s five largest banks, and is one of Canada’s leading conference host destinations. Because of its wealth of knowledge capital, industry, and innovation centres, “Toronto is an ideal destination where meetings can capitalize on its extensive talent, including the businesses and leaders that ensure events are successful,” says Tara Gordon Vice President Sales & Service, Business Events Toronto.
Such depth of resources is exactly why FinTech Connect selected Toronto for the North American debut of its annual conference. Slated to take place in Toronto in May 2020, the event expects to draw upwards of 3,000 delegates to network and engage with global leaders in the financial services and technology spaces.
Dynamic and multi-faceted, Vancouver’s Fintech ecosystem is on the rise. Ranked amongst the top 20 Fintech clusters globally, the city is a hub of collaboration for business intelligence, security and financial tech, and e-commerce organizations. “One of the key factors that has helped Vancouver (to) become one of the top 20 Fintech clusters in the world is our unique ‘creation culture,’” says Shivam Kishore, Manager, Technology & Partnerships with the Vancouver Economic Commission. “Not being the financial capital of Canada, our Fintech talent has had to develop innovative and bespoke business models resulting in some outstanding world-leading Fintech products and services.”
Accelerated growth is transforming Calgary’s Fintech industry which more than doubled its number of Fintech businesses in recent years. The same spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that built the city’s oil and gas industry is fueling growth across the city’s financial services, attracting top talent in wealth and personal finance management, blockchain, and capital markets technologies. “Calgary’s Fintech companies offer solutions as varied as crowdfunding (peer-to-peer), small business lending, payment technology and debt collection,” boasts David Woodward, Executive Director, Meetings + Conventions Calgary, noting that the stage is set in Calgary for ground-breaking face-to-face meetings in an innovative Fintech environment.
Home to the highest concentration of quality tech talent, in the Waterloo Region entrepreneurs are moving Fintech into the future thanks to the region’s rich density of incubators, research centres, and accelerators disrupting business as usual. A naturally collaborative culture permeates the Waterloo Region’s Fintech ecosystem which is home to three post-secondary institutes including: the Perimeter Institute at the University of Waterloo, Canada’s largest engineering school and home to the world’s largest concentration of math and computer science talent.
Meanwhile, Montréal has emerged as a key regional platform to support North American Fintech activities and is quickly becoming a major player in the global Fintech space. Host city of the Canada FinTech Forum which annually welcomes up to 3,000 delegates to Montréal, the city is a hub for tech accelerators and incubators. Montréal’s interconnected and collaborative startup ecosystem helps fuel innovation and helps rank Montréal as the world’s largest ecosystem for cryptocurrency and blockchain startups.
Nicknamed Canada’s “Insurance Capital,” thanks to the wealth of insurance companies headquartered here, Québec City is the cradle of North American French culture and Canada’s second largest insurance industry hub. Home to the world’s largest credit union, Québec City is also home to The Insurance Innovation and Performance Centre, is the first of its kind in North America, bringing together professionals who assist with organizational and technological transformation projects in local, national and international markets.
Cited by The Globe & Mail as one of the top five technology boomtowns, Fredericton entrepreneurs and researchers are cybersecurity pioneers with a track-record of producing security software tools that attract global attention. Fredericton is home to Canada’s first Critical Infrastructure Security Operations Centre, an integrated security operations centre to protect critical infrastructure, coordinate security intelligence gathering, produce threat intelligence and fuse these for consumption by industry and federal agencies.
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