Amsterdam becoming “Silicon Valley” of FinTech

Aerial picture of Amsterdam (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Debot). Aerial picture of Amsterdam (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Debot)

The FinTech sector is on fire in the Netherlands, to such an extent that Amsterdam may well be on its way to becoming the "Silicon Valley" of FinTech companies, according to Don Ginsel, chairman of financial startups trade association Holland Fintech, in an interview with Dutch newspaper AD.

"The Netherlands has a fantastic financial infrastructure. Nowhere in the world is payments more digitized than here. The Netherlands is the country with the fewest cash payments in the world", Ginsel said to the newspaper. "The Netherlands also has headstrong people who work on new ideas."

Online asset manager Pritle employs people from Lebanon, Singapore, Russia, The United States and the Netherlands. "If we place a vacancy we get reactions from around the world within 48 hours," founder Thomas Bunnik also stated in an email to the NL Times. "They even indicate that they want to move to Amsterdam and sometimes even what day they can start." Amsterdam is a pleasant place to live and work, and the fact that Dutch companies can bring in FinTech experts from around the world as knowledge migrants is a big strength. "That means they quickly get a visa and can start working. It saves a lot of red tape," Bunnik said.

While Amsterdam has the people, the knowledge and the infrastructure to become the Silicon Valley of Fintech, it is still lacking in financing and legislation that ensures a good business climate. To work on these issues and make the Netherlands more attractive, Willem Vermeend was appointed as the ambassador of the FinTech sector last week.