Economic Forum: Poland may become a regional FinTech center

An innovative banking sector is a good starting point for the development of the Polish fintech sector on a European scale.

“For the time being, we are just starting out in the FinTech sector. If we want to make the next step, it’s worth specializing in the given area, which we are good at, for instance in transactional security,” stressed Magdalena Borowik, strategic advisor to the Minister of Digitalization during the debate that was to answer the question whether Poland can become the FinTech center in Central and Eastern Europe.

She pointed out that systemic support is of crucial importance, an element of which would be, for instance, a report summing up ideas to overcome the about 100 barriers limiting the development of FinTech in Poland, which a special task force in the Polish Financial Supervision Authority is working on. Julia Krzysztofiak-Szop, President of Startup Poland pointed out that we need a larger number of FinTech companies. To achieve the right scale it’s not enough to have a few outstanding innovative banks. Banks play a significant role here, though. As Tomasz Bogus, President of Bank BGŻ BNP Paribas stressed, the support offered by large financial institutions, such as the BNP Paribas Group is important, as they may enable international expansion for FinTech start-ups. Without it, we will not become a regional player in the sector.

He reminded that the BNP Paribas Group at the end of 2016 announced its new transformation program based on the development and use of new financial technologies, in which it wants to invest EUR 3 billion, collaborating with innovative start-ups. An important element of this collaboration is BNP Paribas International Hackathon, carried out in ten large cities in the world, including Warsaw, to which the bank invites innovative start-ups, wishing to fish out the ones that will help the Group in the transformation process.

The winners of Hackathon can count on assistance in development and an opportunity to roll out their solutions on many markets, where the BNP Paribas Group operates. “This is the key advantage that the BNP Paribas Group, which is itself in the midst of a transformation, can offer to other companies that already have ready innovative solutions and are now looking for a larger scale of development,” said Bogus.

“Today it’s impossible to become successful in the FinTech industry only in one country. The point is to address the solutions created in Poland not to 40 million but to a few billion people,” stressed Franciszek Hutten-Czapski, head of the Polish office of The Boston Consulting Group. He added that we must use technologically advanced banks to promote our FinTech solutions worldwide, which is also the role of consulting companies.

Jarosław Chudziak, Vice President of Accenture Poland, also pointed to the importance of marketing and promotion of Polish FinTech solutions and reminded that Poland belongs to global leaders in terms of innovations in the banking industry.

A debate about the advantages and challenges in the Polish FinTech industry.