Belgium is rapidly establishing itself as a significant player in the global FinTech landscape.
Despite its small size, the country is home to an array of innovative FinTech start-ups and has become a hub for digital finance, not to mention a magnet for FinTech talent. Here are some of the latest market trends in Belgium’s FinTech sector, along with their implications.
Increasing Adoption of Digital Assets
The Digital Assets market in Belgium is projected to grow by 15.52% between 2023 and 2027, resulting in a market volume of US$693.70m in 2027. This trend indicates a growing acceptance of digital currencies and assets in the country, providing ample opportunities for FinTech companies specialising in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency exchanges. The implications for hiring and talent are:
Surge In Talent Demand
The surge in the adoption of the Digital Assets market implies a paralleled surge in demand for professionals with associated expertise. Experience in blockchain technology, cryptocurrency exchanges, and digital asset management will be in high demand. It’s time for organisations in Belgium to revisit their hiring strategies and ensure they’re able to attract and retain the right kind of talent during this upturn. Employers should look at offering attractive compensation and packages for the highly sought-after tech candidates required.
Embedded Finance Solutions
More Belgian banks are offering embedded finance solutions. This trend signifies the integration of financial services into non-financial platforms, creating a seamless customer experience. As this trend continues, we can expect an increased demand for professionals with skills in API integration and platform development.
Embedded finance offerings also mean increased regulatory scrutiny. The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) and The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) are the main regulators for banks, insurers, payment institutions, investment companies, and more.
But as embedded finance solutions become more widespread, there’ll be a heightened need for compliance experts who understand the ever-evolving regulatory landscape. The implications for hiring and talent are:
Internal Skill Optimising
This integration of financial services into non-financial platforms suggests a rise in demand for professionals skilled in API integration, platform development, and user experience design. Employers should consider internal mobility and training/development opportunities to enhance the specific skill sets required.
Regulation changes will necessitate a higher demand for legal and compliance experts who can navigate the complex regulatory landscape of fintech.
AI and Automation
AI, automation, and big data analytics are key themes for the Belgian FinTech sector. Countless companies are using these technologies to enhance their services and streamline operations. The implications for hiring and talent are:
Calling All Data Scientists
The adoption of these technologies calls for data scientists, AI specialists, and automation experts who can provide companies with a competitive advantage.
Attracting the Right Talent
As innovation is key to data, AI and automation specialists, companies should work on their overall EVP, as well as promoting themselves as innovators and thought leaders within their space.
Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
M&A activity is shaping the FinTech landscape in Belgium. Despite an overall global decline in the number of international mergers and acquisitions recently, Belgium bucks the trend. The country is responsible for several smaller and strategic transactions, but the average transaction price remains at an all-time high. An article by Vlerick Business School stated that “The Belgian M&A market has become much more professional over the past 10 years. Acquisitions also tended to be made from a growth-related perspective rather than with cost savings in mind.” The implications for hiring and talent are:
M&A Will be Highly Sought After
Experts in M&A strategy and execution are likely to be highly sought after. This trend is also likely to result in an increased need for professionals specialising in due diligence, integration, and change management. Employers need to reassess their packages and benefits to ensure they’re remaining competitive and are an employer of choice for M&A, diligence, integration and change management talent.
Innovation in Fintech
Belgium’s FinTech scene is buzzing with innovation. FinTech start-ups are everywhere and are introducing new applications and products, disrupting traditional banking practices. And organisations such as Fintech Belgium (an association of c.100 Fintech companies creating partnerships, creative collaborations and working to improve industry dialogue) demonstrate the country’s dedication to FinTech.
This continuous innovation will likely drive the demand for creative thinkers and problem solvers who can develop cutting-edge FinTech solutions. The implications for hiring and talent are:
Creative Thinkers are Key
This continuous innovation necessitates creative thinkers and problem solvers who can develop new FinTech applications and products. Professionals with a knack for innovation and the ability to disrupt traditional banking practices are likely to be in high demand.
Standing Out from the Crowd
Companies should look at creating attraction strategies to entice individuals with these soft skills. The aim is to stand out from the crowd of other FinTech competitors who are also trying to vye for the most creative FinTech professionals. Thought leadership pieces, FinTech events and meetups, podcasts and webinars, as well as consideration for the company’s overall brand are all tactics that could be employed.
Belgium’s FinTech sector is thriving due to a combination of technological advancements, regulatory developments, and an innovative start-up outlook. As these trends continue to shape the industry, they present exciting opportunities for both FinTech companies and professionals in the sector. Want to know more? Download the full EMEA 2024 Salary Guide.