SIBOS 2016 in Geneva granted a unique opportunity to the Swiss FinTech Ecosystem to claim its relevance and importance. Here we discuss the immediate takeaways and the most relevant highlights from the Conference as well as medium and long term plans for the international expansion of the FinTech made in Switzerland. 

The Swiss Finance + Technology Association was part of this year’s Sibos in Geneva. Together with Alp ICT and the State of Geneva and with the great support of Innotribe we put together the Swiss Lounge and the swiss fintech corner. This was the first-ever country lounge at a Sibos conference. The 300 square meter area hosted more than 30 local startups. This unique opportunity allowed us to highlight the importance and relevance of the Swiss FinTech Ecosystem. However, this is only the start – we are working to leverage our international network to bring FinTech Made in Switzerland to its next level on a global stage.

Changing landscape – transforming the financial industry

It is hard to keep up with the rapid changes, which are currently changing the financial industry. Countless forces are transforming the world in which banks and other financial service firms operate. Consequently, the theme for the 2016 conference programme at Sibos in Geneva was “Transforming the landscape”. The exhibition was a hive of activity, with over 200 stands and various larger stages and Theatres, which saw over 60 exhibitor talks throughout the week. In terms of booths – all the large players had a well-established presence. Countless smaller entities were attending and are expected to do so in the future; this included many attendees from emerging markets.

Four streams and Five Big Issue Debates

Sibos was structured in four streams covering banking, compliance, culture and securities. The Banking stream focused on payments and correspondent banking in an ever more regulated and digitised world. The Compliance stream provided delegates with developments from financial crime compliance and counter terrorism financing practice, with a focus on tools, tactics and strategies. The Culture stream explored skills, practices and methodologies that will help to continue an improvement in behaviours and attitudes of individuals within the financial industry. This seemed especially relevant with news on Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank large in the media prior to and over the course of the conference. Lastly, the Securities stream examined how market infrastructure operators, securities services firms, technology vendors and new service providers are collaborating and competing across the securities markets, given the regulatory environment and continued pressure on costs.

In addition to the stream, this year’s conference had five Big Issue Debates, bringing together forward-looking thinkers from the industry. The topics covered the Future of Money, the necessary steps to financial stability, cybersecurity, the advent of cognitive business and the question of whether we are in the midst of a fundamental technology-led transformation.

Links to videos from the Big Issue Debates:

More From Sibos – Link

A continuum of perception on FinTech’s

The perception of FinTechs is diverse but it is hard not to notice that awareness and a certain level of interest has managed to transcend the entire industry. However, there is a continuum of expectations of what FinTechs represent and imply for the industry. This is driven by the still vaguely defined concept and its current hype-like status. Diverging opinions ranged from almost complete unawareness, acknowledged development, opportunity to complement offerings of traditional banking services, possibility to supplement banks in house innovation, problematic competition, to a disruptive force, and lastly a new financial era.

To increase awareness and knowledge within the industry, a number of FinTech corners were offered great presentation space at Sibos. Largest was the area for the Swiss ecosystem, but not far behind were the representatives from the BenNeLux states.

Topics and presentations were mainly driven by Innotribe, which offered a great selection of subjects trying to increase not only the awareness of the need for FinTech in a more complex world, but also showcasing different international FinTech ecosystems. Three presentations specifically highlighting FinTech Hubs (Switzerland, Emea, Americas) were prove to the fact that the push over the last years is starting to show fruits.

A platform for the Swiss Finance + Technology Association and the Ecosystem

The Swiss Lounge, was the first-ever country lounge at a Sibos conference. It hosted 24 Swiss FinTechs and was put together by the Swiss Finance + Technology Association in collaboration and great support of ALP ICT, as well as the State of Geneva. This platform allowed us to display the relevance of Swiss Technology in the financial sector. Startups present included:


Innomatika NetGuardians WealthInitiative





Validity Labs eWise



b-Sharpe Go Beyond Early Stage Investing



Global Data Excellence InvestGlass


ForestFinance Inpher OneVisage

You can watch the short presentation videos from the startups present at the swiss fintech corner here

Looking Ahead – Going Global

The post Geneva-Sibos time has left us with substantial opportunity for coordinating an approach to push outward globally. Next year’s Sibos is going to take place in Toronto. We are now working on plans that would allow us to have a Swiss delegation of startups attend this opportunity. It is never too early to save a date: Sibos 2017 will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre between 16 and 19 October. We look forward to welcoming you and taking the Swiss FinTech Ecosystem to the next chapter.