Ontario: an emerging fintech hotbed

Fintech is the convergence of Information Technology (IT) and financial services. Examples include mobile payments, cybersecurity, trading analytics and the list goes on. Global investment in fintech ventures tripled from $4.1 billion in 2013 to $12.2 billion in 2014 and that is expected to grow over $11 billion by 2018. Canada's financial services industry, centered in Ontario, spent $9.2 billion on Information Technology in 2013. The industry here isn't just thriving – it's expanding.

This is where IT decisions get made

Industry growth is creating huge opportunities for financial technology companies, particularly those with offices in Ontario. Why? Because when it comes to Canadian financial services, Toronto, Ontario is where key technology decisions are made.

  • Canadian financial services companies spend more money on IT than in any other sector. Major developments have been made in risk management and financial IT systems.
  • Toronto is unique among international financial hubs for its combination of globe-spanning financial firms and leading-edge information technology companies.
  • For growing financial technology companies, this is where you will find both market opportunities and a rich talent pool. Our talent doesn't just know the technology; it also knows how customers use it.

Grow in a global hotspot for financial technology

Toronto, Ontario is the largest city in Canada and the fourth largest metropolis in North America. It is unique among international financial centres for its combination of global financial firms and innovative IT companies – a fast-growth mix for financial technologies.

Toronto is North America's second largest financial services hub after New York City in terms of industry employment. Canada's largest city is also ranked second only to New York in North America, and eighth in the world, as a top international financial centre. The city is Canada's financial services capital and headquarters for:

  • One of the world's soundest banking systems
  • Canada's five largest banks
  • More than half of the world's top 10 banks by market capitalization
  • Eight of the 10 largest Canadian asset managers
  • The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), the world's ninth largest equity exchange in terms of market capitalization

Ontario is turning heads due to its high concentration of IT firms and industry-leading talent:

  • 280,700 people work in 20,000 IT firms in Ontario, which is roughly half of Canada's IT workers
  • The Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo regions in Ontario are largely considered two of the largest start-up ecosystems in the world
  • About half of the companies on Deloitte's Canadian Technology Fast 50 list are based in Ontario

The concentration of global technology leaders, strong financial institutions and top-notch talent provides an excellent opportunity to develop, test and showcase new technologies.

Ontario is already attracting world leaders in financial technology: this unique combination of financial services and IT has attracted recent investors including Square, Oberthur Technologies and L&T InfoTech Financial Services.

Mobile payments

In the MasterCard Global Mobile Payments Readiness Index, Canada ranks second only to Singapore among countries worldwide.

From ATMs to online banking, Canadians have been early adopters of financial technologies. Within Canada, non-cash payments account for 90% of the total value of consumer payments. Now, they're embracing mobile payments:

  • 81% of the over 22 million Canadian mobile subscribers have smartphones and of those approximately 8 million are NFC enabled smartphones
  • 28% of Canadians use their mobile device to conduct banking activities, and 18% have used their mobile device to pay for products or services

Canada's financial services and financial technologies sectors are ramping up their mobile capabilities. That's creating huge opportunities for companies like yours.

We have what you need to take your mobile payments solutions to the next level:

  • leading firms in IT, finance and mobile application development
  • strong smartphone penetration and use of near field communications (NFC) technology
  • wide adoption of NFC-enabled terminals
  • a highly collaborative environment

Time-to-market for m-commerce innovations has gotten shorter, which creates a big advantage when you're rolling out products first in Canada then internationally.

Leaders in mobile payments are discovering Ontario

World leaders in mobile payments, such as global solutions providers Square, MasterCard, VISA, Gemalto, Ingenico and Giesecke & Devrient, have operations here and the list of top companies continues to expand.

Logos for MasterCard, VISA, Gemalto, Ingenico, Square and Giesecke & Devrient

Other Ontario-based mobile financial service companies include Moneris Solutions, Telepin Software, SecureKey, and DonRiver.

Discover specialized tech talent

Find the specialized skills and experience your company needs with an exceptional talent pool in both information technology and financial services.

A leading talent pool in North America

  • Ontario employs some 280,700 people in IT and within the financial services sector, more than 40,000 people work directly in IT.
  • Some 360,000 people are employed in the financial services sector in around 12,000 firms across the province.
  • About 85% of IT workers in Ontario have a post-secondary degree.
  • Each year, our 44 colleges and universities, produce 40,000 new graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.
  • Ontario's Kitchener-Waterloo region is home to the University of Waterloo, ranked as Canada's most innovative university for 24 years in a row, the first in engineering, math and science and the first in career preparation. It has long been one of Google's top three recruiting universities globally and has been praised by top entrepreneurs from around the world.

Profit from an innovative and growing economy

Ontario's steady economic growth is part of the reason why an increasing number of global companies have chosen Ontario for new investments, as noted by leading publications including Forbes, Area Development and Site Selection magazines.

  • Ontario's real GDP is projected to continue steadily grow. Ontario's diversified economy is proven to weather economic uncertainty in global markets – allowing your company to focus on long-term planning.
  • Eight of the Canadian Top 10 Tech start-ups compiled by PwC are based in Ontario.
  • In 2015, the Canadian Innovation Exchange's Top 20 Most Innovative companies list had 13 Ontario companies.

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