An Overview of FinTech in Canada

  • Charlotte Watson, Research Associate,Global Risk Institute
  • Alex LaPlante PhD, Managing Director of Research, Global Risk Institute
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With each passing year, technology is becoming an increasingly integral part of our lives. New technologies are revolutionizing everyday tasks and fundamentally changing industries as we know them. The financial industry is no exception and is now in the midst of its own revolution. In recent, there has been a wave of new financial technology (FinTech) products and firms that offer increased automation and accessibility paired with cost savings, putting pressure on financial institutions (FIs) to do the same.

The United States and United Kingdom have proven to be FinTech leaders, offering regulatory sandboxes, tax-exemption benefits, and all-around encouragement for tech innovation. Monetary and regulatory barriers to entry in Canada’s financial sector pose unique challenges for startups in this space, but Canada has nevertheless begun to emerge as another major FinTech hub.

The “big six” banks and other Canadian financial institutions have welcomed innovative technologies and have collaborated with FinTech firms to improve efficiencies and product offerings. Technological innovation has long been an area of focus in Canada and the financial services industry is no exception. Canada is home to one of the largest international financial hubs and has some of the world’s top technological talent, making it a great environment for FinTech firms to flourish.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of Canada’s FinTech landscape by comparing Canada to other FinTech hubs in terms of funding, regulations, and collaborations; discussing the geographic and categorical distributions of Canadian FinTech firms; and listing key players in the Canadian FinTech space. GRI will be releasing a follow-up report highlighting the risks and opportunities of Fintech to traditional financial institutions as well as to the financial system as a whole.