Europe’s fintechs join forces to boost push for common financial services market

Following the European Commission’s ambition for a new digital finance strategy and in light of the extraordinary circumstances consumers and businesses are facing, fintech companies across the continent have united to launch the European FinTech Association (EFA).

EFA is the first not-for-profit Brussels-based organisation representing over 20 leading fintech companies of all sizes from all over Europe. The association brings together the previously established EFAlliance and FinTechs4Europe to give one voice to European fintech players.

The association unites a diverse group of fintech providers ranging from payments to lending, banking, robo-advice, identity verification, investment as well as software-as-a-service for the finance sector with a clear focus on enabling a common market for financial services.

The association’s mission revolves around three pillars: to promote, communicate and develop cooperation and dialogue between fintech companies within the European Union; to speak with one voice for the European fintech sector and highlight the significant developments in the fintech fields providing pragmatic solutions; and to advocate and represent the interests of its members in policy making, notably vis-a-vis the EU institutions and other European regulatory bodies.

Speaking at the launch of EFA, Jan Ceyssens, head of unit, digital finance, at the European Commission’s department for financial stability and capital markets, said: “Making Europe fit for the digital age is a key element of the EU recovery strategy. Now is the moment for fintechs to coordinate their voices across Europe.”

“Fintech companies deliver much-needed innovative, transparent and understandable financial services products but have until now not sufficiently been heard at the European political level,” added Marc Roberts, president of the board of the European FinTech Association.

“By launching the Brussels-based association, EFA will be able to support the voice of fintechs in Europe by encouraging proportionate and smart regulation that will support European financial innovation while taking consumer protection into account. Digitalisation is an opportunity for all to build a better functioning market for financial services. We believe that Europe can be a leading hub and kick-start for global growth of fintech companies.”

Delivering the EU Single Market and removing cross-border barriers for financial services is at the heart of the EFA’s goals. The association therefore intends to promote customer-centric regulation, to build a fairer and more accessible financial services landscape.

Some of the issues the EFA will focus on include removing digital-only and cross-border barriers such as a fragmented Anti Money Laundering rules and IBAN discrimination, delivering open banking and open finance initiatives, showcasing the benefits of digital offerings to stakeholders, leveling the playing field and increasing competition in digital offerings for consumers and businesses for a competitive Digital Single Market, and supporting talent and growth of fintechs in Europe.

To do so, EFA is leveraging the expertise of a diverse group of leading fintech providers, including: AcceptEasy (now Serrala Solutions), Billie, elinvar, finleap, Funding Circle, Kantox, Kontist, Mintos, Moneyfarm, N26, Raisin, Satispay, Scalable Capital, solarisBank, Tink, TransferWise, Truelayer, Verimi, viafintech, Wirecard and Zalando payments.

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