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Finance & FinTech

The world of Finance & FinTech is undergoing some profound changes at an unprecedented pace. And the Netherlands, currently ranked as the 2nd-largest FinTech nation in the EU is helping to pave the way for this new, digital society. Our country is a renowned hub for financial startups and corporates alike, with Amsterdam at the centre of it all. We’re currently home to more than 600 ingenious FinTech companies, employing over 20,000 people – with an additional 200,000 in the general finance sector.
Business center of Amsterdam and train station by night.
Roel Backaert

Tech companies and FinTech startups

We don’t just thrive in tech, we have a global legacy in finance that goes all the way back to 1602. That’s when the first ever company shares were issued, launching a viable business model, now more commonly known as the stock market. And that’s only one of many financial innovations we’ve brought to life. Another was created back in 2005, when our banking system launched an interbank system named iDEAL. This innovative instant payment initiative is now one of the most popular online payment methods in the Netherlands. Fast forward to today and Dutch startups like Paylogic, Mollie and Ayden are at the forefront of the global FinTech industry.

Banking pioneer Bunq is based in the Dutch capital, as is the social investment app BUX. The Netherlands is also home to blockchain-specific startups, including ticket resale platform Guts Tickets and cryptocurrency and blockchain market data analysis firm Blockdata. All this development and activity means those working in the industry can easily connect with one another at the many blockchain-oriented conferences and meetups hosted in Amsterdam. Nearby Delft is home to a blockchain startup incubator, Yes!Delft.


The evolution of financial systems

Of course, we’re not going to wave goodbye to the big banking brands just yet, as there’s more to the Finance & FinTech sector than meets the eye. Global financial companies like ABN AMRO, Rabobank, ING, Aegon, Nationale Nederlanden, and so on, all have headquarters in the Netherlands and continue to deliver important contributions and innovations to international financial services. It’s the collaboration between the old and new that encourages worldwide digitalisation. Diversity keeps this sector thriving, and the banking sector is investing more in IT & tech than any other sector. And with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) making new collaborations possible on platforms previously unheard of, innovation is endlessly creating a playing field for all those who dare to dream up the next big thing.


Employee working on the computer on bitcoin blockchain
©ANP Foto: Rob Engelaar

Looking to the future

To support all these activities, the Netherlands has set up a world-class financial infrastructure and an open regulatory system with well-known institutions like the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) and the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets (AFM). These thoroughly regulate licences and ensure that our financial services meet the highest global standards. And the Dutch government wants to strengthen the position of the FinTech sector in the Netherlands yet further. That’s why they presented the FinTech Action Plan in 2020, which provides an overview of the various lines of action that will enable the FinTech sector to continue to flourish in the future.