“Banking is necessary, banks are not.” This comment by Bill Gates epitomizes the most recent addition to the financial sector – financial technology, or fintech for short. In a world dominated by big data and cloud computing, apps and algorithms, new kinds of banking and insurance solutions are being developed by young entrepreneurs in start-ups, though increasingly also in cooperative ventures with established banks.
“Between the Towers”
Although the United States and Great Britain are leading the way, Germany is catching up, with more than 500 million euros having been invested in German fintech companies in 2015. Berlin and Frankfurt are the main areas of regional focus. In Frankfurt, Germany’s financial hub on the River Main, Commerzbank – the country’s second-largest bank – entered into a partnership with fintech think tank Main Incubator a good two years ago: it helps start-ups put their business ideas into practice by providing them with funding and support. Every month, pioneering players in the scene meet up at the “Between the Towers” event. Furthermore, a fintech centre is set to commence operations in Frankfurt before the year is out. Home to international banks, universities with a strong research focus and innovative IT companies, Frankfurt is the perfect place for such activities. What is more, it boasts excellent transport links. Investors and innovators from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Central Europe already attend regular fintech forums at Frankfurt Airport.