Fintech Adoption: Israel and Latvia Now Home to High-Potential Fintechs and Early-Stage Startups

During the past year, Latvia and Israel have experienced a significant surge in Fintech interest, according to a recent analysis published by the Fintech News Network.

Google Trends data for the period between April 2020 and April 2021 reveals that online search queries for Fintech and other related topics saw strong growth in Latvia. Some of the frequently searched financial industry topics in Latvia included mobile payments, Open Banking, Insurtech and digital banking. The growing interest in Fintech comes as the nation’s financial tech sector continues to expand while being supported by progressive regulations.

Latvia, which is home to at least 118 Fintechs, has been able to take advantage of its position as a  former center of finance for Central and Eastern Europe. The country is now supporting a regional Fintech hub where companies like Creamfinance, Mintos, Twino have launched operations.

According to a July 2020 report from Swedbank, around 20% new Latvian companies offer Fintech services, with the majority of them providing B2B solutions.

Latvia has one of the most business-friendly environments for early-stage ventures. As reported by Fintech News, the country is working on policies that will help expand the nation’s Fintech economy.

Latvia’s Fintech strategy is being supported by Ministry of Finance, the Financial and Capital Market Commission of Latvia, Fintech sector professionals, local banking institutions, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), and other associations. The policy should be introduced by October of this year.

Israel has also experienced an increase in Fintech activities and interest. The country now ranks third globally in Google search query growth for the period between April 2020 and April 2021.

Bank of Israel data shows that the country is now home to around 600 Fintechs such as OurCrowd-backed BioCatch, Fundbox, eToro, and Riskified.

During the last year, new regulations were drafted and passed by Israeli regulators in order to support the local Fintech sector. The country now has a comprehensive Fintech regulatory sandbox program, a new payment services regulatory framework, and also an Open Banking strategy.

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