Fintech ecosystem research to shine light on NI's booming sector

  • Photo: NI's Minister of State Robin Walker MP met with Fintech Envoy Andrew Jenkins yesterday

    A fintech research project is to be published later this year to help understand where competitive advantages lie within the sector in Northern Ireland.

    The results will be published in a report which will provide recommendations as to how Northern Ireland can collectively look to develop and capitalise on these areas of competitive advantage both nationally and internationally.

    It is being conducted by Whitecap Consulting, in partnership with FinTechNI and Invest Northern Ireland, with the support of a number of other participants from the local fintech ecosystem.

    FintechNI will host a webinar at 10am on Wednesday 23 September, where members of the NI community will have the opportunity to find out more about the research, share their experiences and opinions with the panel. Click here to register for the event. 

    The last two years have seen numerous fintech developments in Northern Ireland, including job creations with significant global investment announcements from Cygilant, Riskonnect and Vox Financial Partners.

    40,000 people are employed in this sector across NI.

    RELATED: Ulster University is launching a brand new fintech degree

    There has also been the creation of FinTechNI as an industry association and the appointment by HM Treasury of Andrew Jenkins as FinTech Envoy for Northern Ireland.

    Envoy Jenkins commented: “Northern Ireland’s fintech sector has steadily been going from strength to strength with recognition coming from fDi Intelligence, the specialist division of the Financial Times, as the region being one of the top three global destinations for the future for fintech. The fintech sector here has a lot to be proud of, and it’s not resting on its laurels.

    “The project comes at a time when the UK Government has announced an independent review into the financial technology industry. I’m confident that the findings from the NI-based report can feed into the broader UK-wide review and help identify opportunities to support further growth in the sector”.

    Innovate Finance, the independent industry body for the fintech community in the UK, added: “Only by understanding the needs of the sector, can we boost the industry and in turn support the wider economy."

    RELATED: NI fintech envoy stresses potential of NI fintech sector

    Yesterday (9 September) Envoy Jenkins outlined how the fintech sector has remained strong and resilient across Northern Ireland to its Minister of State, Robin Walker MP.

    He noted that fintech has the potential to fuel economic recovery here but highlighted challenges including skills and talent, access to later stage funding and ongoing support for the start-up and scale-up ecosystem which need continued focus to meet the long-term needs of the industry.

    Envoy Jenkins added after the meeting: “As our economy recovers from Covid-19 and with Brexit on the horizon, it is vital that fintech is central to this.

    “Despite being a relatively small place, in terms of fintech we punch well above our weight. We have a rich start-up and scale-up community across Northern Ireland and the combination of factors including talent availability, infrastructure, cost-effectiveness, and a supportive business environment have contributed to our attractiveness to foreign investors.

    “Furthermore, we have world-class technology expertise across Northern Ireland including in cybersecurity, AI, big data and advanced analytics. There is momentum and energy in the sector. We need to harness that, and also recognise there is more work to do.”

    Envoy Jenkins also recently met with Economy Minister Diane Dodds and was appointed to the National Connectivity Advisory Panel for the UK Fintech Strategic Review in July.

    RELATED: FinTech sector sees a boom period during the Covid-19 lockdown

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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