It is obvious that Europe’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is shaking up the financial services market, having a grotesque impact on the strategies of traditional banks. Driven by PSD2, the European financial sector is in the midst of profound change, with a growing number of FinTechs gearing up to engage in payment-related activities. As of this writing, Capgemini data from the Open Banking Market Observatory shows that there are 159 PSD2-licensed FinTechs in 20 EU countries with a steady growth of approximately ten authorizations per month (Exhibit 1). Because of the unknown future market situation, having a diversified group of new entrants, it is important for banks to closely observe the dynamic European FinTech landscape and to have a clear overview of what to expect.
The UK’s leading position in FinTech is under pressure
More than half of the licensed FinTechs are from the UK, the leading global FinTech hub. This market concentration on the British mainland is mainly explained by the Open Banking launch in 2017, one year prior to its European counterparts. However, this trend is turning. With a rising fear of a hard Brexit many massive FinTechs are seeking alternative host countries for their licenses (Revolut, GoCardless, Trustly in Lithuania; Stripe and Paysafe in Ireland). Also, now that the time is approaching for PSD2 to be implemented, we see a larger uptake in licenses in other “FinTech hubs,” including Germany, France, and the Nordics – regions in which the central banks were considered slow in issuing authorizations so far.
Large tech players are stepping in to offer payment initiation
One of PSD2’s main objectives is to foster innovation and competition between financial service providers, of which FinTech were until then underprivileged in terms of service possibilities. Now that PSD2 is being implemented, it is remarkable to see which key service offerings are emerging (Exhibit 2). In view of booming e-commerce activity, initiating payments (€1B+ in funding; averaging ~€88M per licensed player) is a desirable service in a crowded field: on top of FinTech startups, also Big Tech (e.g., Google Pay; Alipay; Amazon Pay), and unicorns such as Stripe (~€20B Valuation) and Transferwise (~€3.5B Valuation) are joining the field.
Account aggregation emerges as a new service to connect financial businesses
Moreover, a novel service offering exercised by these authorized FinTechs is the so-called “account aggregation,” offering API services to banks and developers. Companies such as Tink (Sweden), Token (UK) and Figo (Germany) already aggregate over thousands of financial institutions across Europe, connecting banks with banks and banks with third-party developers. This new form of open banking, triggered by PSD2, is only the first step in connecting a wide range of businesses. Open data sharing will move to other industries and more and more services will be connected in one chain. Think of personalized offerings and discounts through financial data analysis in retail, or seamless travelling without a tangible ticket in public transport.
Spotting, monitoring, and analyzing the FinTech landscape can help financial organizations identify successful service offerings that will be part of the future financial ecosystem. Therefore, keep an eye on this blog series in which we will further expound on the latest trends in and beyond the financial services industry.
PSD2 (Open Banking) Market Observatory, the Netherlands
Capgemini’s Open Banking (PSD2) Market Observatory Research Team in the Netherlands is conducting monthly analyses on topics such as:
- Tracking FinTech activity (AIS/PIS authorization)
- Actions of (non-traditional) competitors
- New business opportunities emerging
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Alexander Eerdmans (Principal Consultant – Financial Services; firstname.lastname@example.org), Joost van Putten (Managing Consultant – Financial Services); email@example.com or Marc Houben (Consultant – Financial Services; firstname.lastname@example.org).
OVERVIEW MOST POPULAR FINTECH SERVICE OFFERINGS
Provide a product or service that allows individuals or businesses to control their digital financial accounts. Commonly, they also employ data analytics to gather information on the users’ financial situations to hint at opportunities.
Act as a layer between banks and businesses that do online sales. They connect customers with their preferred method of payment and handle the payment process from a digital perspective.
Lending & Credit Checks
Either provide products and solutions that focus on using information and data to assess the creditworthiness of individuals or business or fulfill their desire for financing.
Offer business-to-business solutions for connecting multiple financial services. Common products include software solution
 Capgemini PDS2 Market Observatory and Database
 Financieel Dagblad, “Wandering British fintechs clash with De Nederlandsche Bank”, April 10, 2019, https://fd.nl/beurs/1291250/dolende-britse-fintechs-botsen-met-de-nederlandsche-bank
 Dealroom, https://app.dealroom.co/companies/transferwise
 Dealroom, https://app.dealroom.co/companies/stripe
 Capgemini PDS2 Market Observatory and Database