The peak financial technology (fintech) industry bodies in Australia and Switzerland have signed a memorandum of understanding to help drive increased collaboration as well as knowledge sharing between the two growing fintech markets.
Signed in January, the formal agreement was witnessed by representatives of Geneva Fintech Association and FinTech Australia as well as the State of Geneva and the Committee on Economic Development, represented by Michael Kleiner.
Seed Space founder and managing partner, Dirk Steller, represented FinTech Australia in helping to broker the deal between both parties, together with Ochsner & Associes partner Fabien Gillioz, on behalf of the Geneva Fintech Association.
The memorandum of understanding is recognised as an important step towards supporting the development of fintech industries across both jurisdictions.
The agreement has four key areas of focus:
- Promote collaboration between the Swiss and Australian fintech ecosystems
- Knowledge sharing on the latest emerging technologies, such as blockchain and digital assets
- Encourage talent exchange and partnerships between both fintech jurisdictions
- Increased market entry facilitation to promote fintech businesses finding suitable partners across both markets
FinTech Australia and Geneva Fintech have also committed to partner on a series of projects in the coming months, including leveraging the wealth of knowledge in Switzerland on blockchain and digital assets to produce education materials for dissemination to FinTech Australia members.
Both parties will also be hosting joint events for their respective members in the coming months, with the first being a digital asset workshop in Geneva in April.
Commenting on the announcement, Seed Space founder and managing partner Dirk Steller said Australia has shown a strong commitment over the last two decades towards supporting its partners in international jurisdictions for promoting financial inclusion, financial system stability and a balanced approach towards furthering cross-regional innovation.
He said Switzerland has consistently ranked among the most innovative countries in the world by the Global Innovation Index, leading transformative developments emerging from the digitalisation of its banking and financial sector.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Geneva Fintech Association. Geneva and Zurich have for many years been considered among Europe’s leading financial centres for private banking and wealth management and their appetite for fintech innovation is no different,” Steller said.
“The strong regional dialogue between both Switzerland and Australia has resulted in this landmark agreement as both jurisdictions map out a blueprint for increased market interoperability, fintech innovation and fintech regulation. On behalf of FinTech Australia, Seed Space welcomes this cooperation between both parties as we move towards facilitating greater knowledge sharing on the latest emerging technologies like blockchain and digital-asset based solutions.”
FinTech Australia General Manager Rebecca Schot-Guppy said the fintech ecosystems of Australia and Switzerland complemented each other in their nature and what they hoped to achieve.
“The memorandum is the first step in an important partnership that will support integration and various initiatives between our ecosystems as well as aid in market access.”