Stockholm Tech Fest recap: Humblebrags for FinTech

Earlier this week, some of Scandinavia’s most innovative minds in tech came together at Stockholm Tech Fest to look at how far the region has come and examine the challenges and opportunities we will face going forward.Of particular interest to the Trustly team was a panel titled “Future of Fintech,” featuring speakers from Klarna, Nordnet, KnCMiner, iZettle and Swedbank. The session started out with some humblebragging, with The Nordic Web’s Neil Murray noting that Stockholm has seen 3X as many investments per quarter in 2016 than it did just one year ago. And of those investments, FinTech is the most-funded vertical, with 20 investments in the first half of this year. Nordnet CTO Tuva Palm went so far as to say of Stockholm, “With the Brexit, we have the opportunity to become the fintech hub of Europe, and then the world.” It’s certainly an exciting time to be a FinTech company in Stockholm!The same panelists from last year’s session returned to the stage to discuss what has changed in the FinTech landscape in the past 12 months. With Klarna launching in the US and KnCMiner declaring bankruptcy, much is certainly different today, but perhaps the most notable shift has been toward a more collaborative mindset. Banks and FinTechs no longer see each other as threatening competitors, but rather vital allies.“I think what’s changed over the last year is that there’s a totally different type of discussion now,” said iZettle CEO Jacob de Geer. Every day, he added, it seems like we are hearing about a bank collaborating with a new FinTech service.That’s all very true, “but in Sweden,” said moderator Tyler Crowley. “It’s not necessarily true in the US yet. So I think the Swedish banks are in a really interesting scenario where they’re figuring it out before the American banks are that the key is to partner.”The panelists agreed that some of this collaborative mindset can be attributed to the PSD2 legislation, which the European Union passed last year to promote innovation and open the doors for FinTech collaborations.At Trustly, we know collaboration to be crucial. We’ve partnered with the likes of Nordnet, Avanza and PayPal to offer safe and speedy bank payments, and we look forward to more fruitful partnerships in the future.