fintech and blockchain icons on financial technology background

While Canadian fintech hubs are positioned for growth during the economic rebound, they’re also in need of innovation, collaboration and international expansion to catch up to global peers, according to a new report from Accenture.

The multinational consultancy’s analysis found that Canadian cities benefit from strong foundations provided by government support and high-quality talent but are behind Hong Kong, London and Singapore when it comes to overall fintech adoption.

Out of 20 leading and emerging fintech hubs globally, Toronto ranked No. 8; Vancouver, 12; Montreal, 14; and Calgary, 16.

While Canada punched above its weight in terms of the number of fintech equity deals closed in 2020, total deal value was down compared to the leading global hubs. In fact, the Canadian hubs scored lowest on the metric of “fintech activity and financing.”

To increase competitiveness in that area, Canadian cities and governments should consider continued promotion of regional fintech investment and attraction of venture capitalists, a release said.

Canada also lagged on “technology availability and adoption,” attributable to high speed internet connectivity challenges for remote populations.

“Canadian hubs could improve by looking at how leaders such as Hong Kong, Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv encourage businesses to embrace disruption and develop products and services based on the latest technologies, e.g., fintech-friendly policies and incentives,” the release said.

The report’s suggestions for closing the gap between Canadian cities and leading fintech hubs included a push for innovation, by developing regulatory sandboxes, for example; collaboration, such as between fintechs and financial institutions; and leveraging international expertise and capital.