Is Toronto the world’s next Fintech hub?
The Fintech world is in a constant state of flux, and while the major hubs around the world have established themselves over the last decade or so (think London, New York, Singapore), there are a host of new hotspots that are looking to welcome new innovations to their central business districts. Places like Israel, South Africa, India, the Netherlands, France, and Ireland are all picking up the pace and becoming key players in the future of this bustling industry.
One place in particular, however, has been quietly going about its business in an unassuming manner, growing stronger each year in the shadow of its much more powerful southern neighbour. Canada may not be the first place you think of when it comes to Fintech, but the east-central province of Ontario and in particular the provincial capital Toronto is set to become the next Fintech powerhouse.
Canadians have always been early adopters of financial technologies, from ATMs to online banking. Non-cash payments account for 90% of the total value of consumer payments in the country and now they are also rapidly they’re embracing mobile payments:
- 81% of Canadian mobile subscribers have smartphones and of those, approximately 8 million (out of over 22 million) are NFC enabled smartphones.
- 28% of Canadians use their mobile device to conduct banking activities, and 18% have used their mobile device to pay for products or services.
In this blog, we take a look at what makes Canada’s most populous city the best place for your fledgling Fintech to take its first, or next steps.
Looking at the financial services world, Toronto is second only to NYC in terms of industry employment and is also ranked eighth in the word of top international financial centers.
The World Economic Forum ranks Canada’s banking system as one of the world’s soundest, and Toronto is home to the country’s four biggest banks, as well as over 8-% of the foreign banks operating in the country.
Furthermore, Ontario is attracting huge numbers and high concentrations of IT firms and the talent that they bring along.
Almost 300,000 people work in over 20,000 IT firms in Ontario, a staggering number which is approximately half of Canada’s IT workforce. It is also home to 7 Fintech companies listed on Deloitte’s Canadian Technology Fast 50.
The combination of solid financial institutions, the presence of leading technology companies and a second-to-none tech workforce make Ontario the perfect melting pot for testing, growing and developing new businesses.
Ontario also boasts the lowest business costs in the G7. The high-quality talent that is found in Toronto is available at up to 45% less than in Boston or New York, while the average employer health costs are a third of those in the U.S. Another benefit is that less money buys more living space in Ontario, compared to its North American competitors.
Various ratings and sources named Canada:
- 2nd best place in the world to start a business (The World Bank 2017)
- 3rd in the 2018 global entrepreneurship index (Global Entrepreneurship & Development Institute)
- 2nd best place to locate a global HQ (US News and World Report 2018)
Interestingly, of the multiple Fintech products found in Canada, payments & money transfers are the most used, making up almost a quarter (24%) of the Fintech companies in the country. Investment services come in second, with 14% of the market. This sector, which includes personal finance, wealth management, and robo-advisory is also seeing record funding.
The province of Ontario and the city of Toronto in particular, are bustling with opportunities for the future leaders in Fintech. Are you looking for your next step in one of the fastest-growing industries in the world? Take a look at our most recent jobs and get in touch with our team to see how we can help you land your dream job!