The future of Canadian FinTech: Insights from our 2022 Financial Services Conference

February 3, 2022 - 2 minutes 30 seconds
Two professionals looking at financial information on their smartphones.
Hot topics of discussion at our annual Financial Services Conference included FinTech in the new year, globalized talent wars, and growing financial options for Canadian consumers.

We were pleased to host a group of esteemed Canadian FinTech leaders who spoke to the ways interest from international investors has helped accelerate our FinTech progress in the last 2-3 years, and why Canadian FinTech breeds innovation and competition.

"The TD Securities Financial Services Conference is a forum that facilitates open dialogue on key themes and topics within the Canadian Financial Institutions sector," says Geoff Bertram, Managing Director and Head of Financial Institutions Group, Corporate & Investment Banking. "This conference provides a unique opportunity for issuers and investors to stay informed and learn how industry leaders are addressing important issues and developments in the sector today, including FinTech, sustainability, COVID-19, and more."

Here are details on the major themes observed at the conference by four co-founders of Canadian FinTech companies: Andrew Chau, Neo Financial; Andrew Graham, Borrowell; Brett Huneycutt, Wealthsimple; and Malik Yacoubi, Nesto. The session was moderated by Adam Felesky, Portage Ventures.

Canadian FinTech in a pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided strong tailwinds for many Canadian FinTech companies. With the rise of remote work, restrictions on traditional retail financial spaces, and digital banking as the 'new normal', many of these companies are capitalizing on shifts in attitude to win over the masses with fast and flexible services. Our panelists also spoke to the idea of partnering with traditional financial institutions to help defend their territory from advancing foreign companies.

While the tailwinds are notable, Canadian FinTech companies are also considering the effects of the pandemic on their teams, who are managing the increased demand alongside the physical, mental and emotional toll of lockdowns, travel restrictions, and school disruptions.

Cryptocurrency and open banking

The past two years have sparked more interest in cryptocurrency, a highly watched space in the Canadian innovation ecosystem. With excitement brewing amongst investors, our panelists spoke to the present-day challenges preventing new currencies from reaching the average Canadian consumer: marketing cryptocurrency in a simple, accessible way and establishing the practical uses of cryptocurrency. The panel also touched on the potential for consumer-directed finance and open banking to create competition in the space and allow consumers to switch services without disrupting their financial routines.

Talent wars

Remote work and hybrid models have become the new standard, creating vast opportunities in the Canadian workspace. With top talent signing in from every corner of the world, competition between Canadian FinTech companies is rising for the best and brightest recruits.

Our panelists mentioned that the Canadian market can traditionally lag 5 - 10 years behind U.S. and global competitors; however, just like international investors, recruits across the world are increasing their understanding of Canadian markets, accepting jobs with Canadian FinTech companies, and bringing unique operational experience and valuable connections to the table.

Like many industries, the pandemic has proven relevant for Canadian FinTech businesses. While our panelists highlighted the challenging dynamics the pandemic has presented for their businesses, they also expressed that, unlike other industries, the pandemic has mainly accelerated the Canadian FinTech space.

Headshot of Geoff Bertram

Managing Director, Head of Financial Institutions Group, Corporate & Investment Banking, TD Securities

Headshot of Geoff Bertram

Managing Director, Head of Financial Institutions Group, Corporate & Investment Banking, TD Securities

Headshot of Geoff Bertram

Managing Director, Head of Financial Institutions Group, Corporate & Investment Banking, TD Securities

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