On Friday, March 27th, 2020, SFTA hosted a virtual roundtable regarding different issues Fintechs and SME’s are facing during the corona pandemic. After a brief introduction by the host and SFTA president John Hucker, the panelists discussed the challenges and opportunities the crisis offers. Among the panelists were Daniel Christen (“Systemcredit”), Ghassen Benhadjsalah (“Acredius”) and Christian Meisser (“LEXR”). The event was hosted online instead of at a live venue due to Covid19.

The roundtable discussed the impact of the current crisis on SME’s. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of liquidity that goes along with the lockdown, although Fintech are less affected in this area, because they usually have less revenue. Discussed were also the consequences of the measures taken to help combat the crisis. In those government programs, “fraud detection and prevention must play a key aspect, because after an initial call for more government activity, there is an outcry if money is misspent, and rightly so. Fintech solutions come here into play, e.g. for the background check of government loans”, says Christian Meisser.

SME’s are hit the hardest by the current crisis, because they have usually few reserves they can resort to. The government programs aim to “provide liquidity for SME’s at virtually zero costs, and there is a huge demand” says Daniel Christen. For smaller loans (up to 500’000 Francs) there is no interest charged, and especially SME’s are using those smaller loans. The pandemic also offers investors new possibilities of investing, and Fintech can contribute with creative investment solutions. “We only become more creative and genius in difficult times”, concludes Ghassen Benhadjsalah

Article by Robert Matic