Romanian fintech start-ups combine powers and create the first Romanian fintech association
For the last couple of years, the fintech industry has become of great interest in the Romanian entrepreneurial scene. Numerous Romanian start-ups or long-existing financial and IT companies have switched focus on what fintech means and on what it can bring to the table.
As a result, recent studies show that the Romanian fintech market grew exponentially in 2019. However, domestic companies activating in the fintech industry realised that there was a lack of legal and business know-how in the market regarding fintech and soon felt the need for reciprocal support. The first actual result came in January 2020 when 16 Romanian fintech companies came together and founded the Romanian Fintech Association – RoFin.Tech.
This is the first professional entrepreneurial domestic body whose purpose is to contribute to a vertical innovation development specific to the fintech area. The founding companies of RoFin.Tech carry out their business in various financial subsectors, such as crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, factoring, electronic payments and money deposit services.
The association's members' list remains open and new companies can adhere to RoFin.Tech as long as they are domestic companies which develop products/services whose purpose is to facilitate certain financial processes.
The creation of the RoFin.Tech Association is more than welcomed on the Romanian business scene. It also brings Romania in line with many other countries from Central and Eastern Europe that already have associations supporting fintech companies for a few years now.
In the short term, the RoFin.Tech Association says it will try to organise or facilitate as many domestic and European events as possible to help Romanian fintech companies gain access to financing and to expand their activity, even outside Romania.
Initiatives such as the creation of RoFin.Tech prove that fintech is becoming more and more interesting for entrepreneurs all over Europe. This also can be seen in other recent measures taken by local financial authorities. In 2019, the Romanian National Bank and the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority launched Fintech Hubs to create a regulatory sandbox permitting companies to present and test their fintech businesses or ideas for the authorities to understand and create a well-adapted legal framework that would be favourable and acceptable for players from the financial industry.
Associations such as RoFin.Tech, together with financial supervisory and regulatory authorities, will play an important role in facilitating and implementing innovation within the financial-banking industry.
It remains to be seen how soon the developments in the fintech scene will occur and how well the relevant local authorities will cooperate with domestic or international fintech companies or associations.