According to Merchant Machine, 94% of Swiss had access to the internet in 2021.
Switzerland has adopted a market-driven approach. The market participants proactively work together to drive the necessary standardisation that allows solutions to scale in an industry-driven approach.
According to The Global Findex Database, 99% of Swiss adults had bank accounts in 2021. In 2021, a significant proportion – 94% – of Swiss consumers were not yet familiar with Open Banking in general; however, after knowing more 52 % indicated that they were interested in Open Banking and 62% were even willing to pay for Open Banking-enabled services when they are explained. As awareness for such services increases in the market and consumers are able to recognise their value in everyday life to a larger degree. 49% of Swiss consumers indicated their willingness to change their primary bank or add a banking relationship to benefit from Open Banking-enabled services, once available. Therefore, in their report, Mastercard expects demand to materialise once more products and services are available.
Since the end of 2020, with the publication of the strategy paper “Leading worldwide, rooted in Switzerland: Policy for a future-proof Swiss financial centre” by the State Secretariat for International Finance (SIF), the Swiss government has been taking a clear stance and calling for banks to open up by means of standards and internationally compatible framework conditions. A Senior Policy Advisor at SIF, has advocated this with great enthusiasm at a number of events, including the Open Banking Summit. They are keeping a watchful eye on developments and will initiate further measures if necessary.
As of the end of 2021, Switzerland was home to 384 Fintech companies. The number of Fintechs declined by 21 companies compared to the previous year, or around minus 5%. The number of Swiss Fintech companies shrank in 2021 for the first time since 2015. However, a closer analysis of the sector shows existing companies have grown.
A study by Mastercard concluded that Switzerland presents a favourable environment for the development of Open Banking-enabled services. In Switzerland, the establishment of an Open Banking ecosystem is well underway through its industry-driven approach, although arguably at earlier stages than in the surrounding regulatory-driven European Union.
IT skills shortages across Switzerland have risen by 22% in the past three years. The demand for skilled workers in the Fintech sector exceeds the offer. While some universities have announced plans to boost the local blockchain sector and create more jobs, many businesses struggle to find talent at present.
OpenBankingProject.ch offers guidance around Open Banking in Switzerland. The project is open source and welcomes all companies to participate as partners, members or community participators.