The rise of disruptive technology in Switzerland

Posting date: 09 July 2019
Technology continues to disrupt industries across the world in numerous ways; for example, the mobile phone changed the way we communicate. Then came cross-platform messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp, which nearly killed SMS. But disruptive technology doesn’t just involve replacing existing technologies; it also creates new marketplaces in itself, like Apple’s App Store and ss technology has continued to disrupt modern society, countries have been racing to keep up.

Switzerland is rated the world’s most innovative country, and is leading the way with blockchain and fintech. But why Switzerland? Heinz Tännler, President of the Swiss Blockchain Federation offers the suggestion that start-ups are attracted to Switzerland due to its legal security, world-class infrastructure and the “Crypto Valley’s” strong ecosystem.

What also makes Switzerland stand out is the government’s willingness to adopt and adapt to these industry-disrupting technologies as they emerge.

It’s important to consider what’s happening in three key industries in Switzerland including fintech, cryptocurrency and blockchain, what led to their rise and the future of these industries within Switzerland.

Fintech

The popularity of fintech in Switzerland is no surprise. The nation is a world leader in financial services, featuring an array of financial institutions and a corresponding rise in innovative banking software. In addition, huge tech corporations such as Google and IBM have set up base in Switzerland.

A lot of the fresh talent can be accounted for by Zurich and Lausanne’s first-class international universities for technology and engineering – a promising factor which may lead to the rise of innovation in the future of technology in Switzerland. This talent surplus is aided by the country’s high quality of life and salaries, attracting international talent and retaining more Swiss grads.

Fintech’s current state in Switzerland sees it act as a home to 10% of all global European fintech enterprises with 46% of those in Zurich and 30% of these offering financial services. This can be explained by the fact that Switzerland supports fintech innovation through its financial market laws and the attractively low tax model for start-ups — leaving innovators feeling supported and encouraged.

So what has the Swiss government been doing to aid the growth on fintech in the country? Thanks to The Federal Council’s sandbox exemption the start-up process is becoming more streamlined in Switzerland compared to other European countries. This means that under the Banking Act, public deposits that equal CHF 1 million or less won’t require a license requirement, and as of April 1st, 2019 this law has been extended for crowdlending business models as part of the Consumer Credits Act. The new fintech licence also became active as of the 1 st of January, 2019 which saw more lenient requirements when compared to fully-fledged banking licences — for instance, no interest needs to be paid on deposits and there are additional safeguards for customers.

Government interest in the continued growth of fintech with these new laws and the rise of new talent, means it’s no surprise that investors are biting — in particular, venture capital giants such as Index Ventures and Google Ventures.

Because of the focus on expanding this sector of finance Investments in Swiss start-ups hit the billion mark in 2018, with fintech accounting for CHF 685 million of this, making it Switzerland’s largest venture capital sector. These investments are only likely to increase, and with it, further advancements in fintech thanks to exaggerated buoyancy of government interests.

Cryptocurrency

Zug, Switzerland’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency hotspot, nicknamed “Crypto valley” has seen billions invested in the sector in just the last few years. Cryptocurrency has revolutionised financial services with its game-changing potential to increase efficiencies and decentralise services.

Zug hosts low tax rates — the entire canton charges 14% corporation tax, making it an ideal spot to build a business. Innovators seem to agree as Zug had over 750 companies with over 3,300 employees registered in it by the end of 2018.

To keep Switzerland at the forefront of finance innovation the government ensures the crypto-movement in Zurich, and other leading cities in Switzerland, thrives doing so with its’ advantageous elements of digital privacy, a stable economy and supportive IT laws, when compared to other European countries. In addition, companies have begun to form clusters to innovate their services to offer unique expertise in cryptographic and security issues.

The Swiss government is clear in its stance to embrace all forms of technical innovations, shown through the way cryptocurrencies are treated as foreign currency, meaning there is no special law based around them. In fact, Zug became the first region in the world to accept bitcoin as a form of payment for a range of governmental services and in politics, and has just successfully completed a trial of blockchain-based voting. Furthermore, it established a digital identity system built on Ethereum as part of the new “e-government” initiative which offered blockchain-based digital IDs for the 30,000 employees working in the Swiss Federal Railway.

Switzerland continues to integrate cryptocurrency into businesses, and even into government, due to its low security risk and high accessibility.

Blockchain

The biggest stakeholder in blockchain development is Switzerland’s affluent financial sector, one of the largest and most diverse in the world. SIX Group, which owns Switzerland’s Stock Exchange, is at present building a trading infrastructure for digital assets using blockchain technology.

The government is also updating financial and corporate regulations to support blockchain advancements. Oliver Bussmann, president of the Crypto Valley Association has said that Switzerland is “a global leading ecosystem for blockchain technology. To establish that, you have to work on all dimensions: start-ups, investors, governments, corporations, R&D etc. You have to bring them together.”

These factors are exactly what Switzerland’s government has considered and incorporated with the introduction of ICOs, which allow start-ups to sell digital crypto tokens to investors globally online and have accounted for over $9 billion in assets last year.

Financial security is of utmost importance in fintech, and blockchain technology provides this along with five other sources of value. These include:

1. Simplification of internal operating procedures 
2. Time-saving financial transactions
3. Optimised use of a company’s liquid assets
4. Reduced risk of fraud and efficient regulator
5. Supervised financial firm interactions 

Blockchain technology is still being developed and refined every day. It has countless possibilities for growth within the fintech industry and Switzerland’s governing parties are keen to play a leading role in cultivating innovation within its businesses.

Disruptive industries still require established recruitment

Swisslinx are market leaders in recruiting for the technology sector and financial services. We have been an established part of the recruitment landscape since 1999 and have successfully placed thousands of candidates in technology and finance roles, winning countless awards while doing so.

We also have offices internationally and a home office in the heart of innovation capital, Zurich. Our expert consultants on hand are equipped to hire the best financial services and technology candidates for your company while being trained and steered by industry-leading experts so you can recruit reliably with Swisslinx.

If you’re interested in working in these booming industries, we have exciting roles available in key tech hotspots in Switzerland, Germany and Dubai. Apply for a role with us today.

How a recruitment consultancy can add value in a new world

How a recruitment consultancy can add value in a new world The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed how companies attract, recruit and retain new employees. Businesses around the globe have swiftly embraced remote working. While there are huge benefits of in-person meetings, it’s difficult to ignore that many businesses have thrived working remote. For recruitment consultancies in Switzerland, they’ve had to adapt to a new way of hiring. The recruitment industry has entered a new era defined by flexibility and the increasing use of technology. In a post-COVID world, recruitment consultants will be high in demand for their expertise, but the landscape has changed, paving the way for a range of challenges. So, how can recruiters continue to add value to clients and candidates? Dedicated, relevant expertise One of the major benefits of using a recruitment consultancy is that they provide staffing solutions for businesses across a range of different sectors, and they remain up-to-date with market trends, which includes recruiting during this challenging time. For example, at Swisslinx, we’re able to give our clients an overview of the market, helping them to plan their recruiting and ensure they only hire the best candidates. Right now, it’s all the more important that job specifications are in line with the market. Recruiters can provide consultancy around job specs, offer sector expertise and engage passive talent using platforms like LinkedIn. With businesses receiving a strong push into the world of virtual working, recruiters have been forced to provide their expertise virtually. This means recruitment consultancies, like Swisslinx, have been able to connect with people more efficiently and build strong and lasting relationships. Streamlined process There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has accelerated the rise of technology. With in-person contact limited, businesses will need to become more agile and innovate fast, to thrive in this competitive environment. However, the recruitment process can still be a long and daunting task for many businesses, despite the new tools available. One of the most desirable attributes of a recruitment consultancy is they can streamline the whole process, from CVs and interviews to talent community building. While the lack of in-person meetings with clients and candidates can be a challenge, video interviews can take place anywhere. In the future, there’s likely to be advanced recruitment tools to facilitate virtual meetings, so that all the information can be stored and analysed in one place. Hiring in a new world The current uncertainty around the employment landscape means that businesses will need to adopt a strategic mindset to attract the right type of candidates. One of the ways recruitment consultancies can add value in this area is by helping companies make their hiring much more targeted. Recruiting in a particular niche area has become essential in recent years, but with more candidates on the market, it’s much harder to find suitable candidates. At Swisslinx, we focus on recruitment markets such as financial services, technology, science and engineering across many sectors, which enables us to provide tailored solutions to our clients. There’s no doubt the future of recruitment will be more personalised and holistic and tailored to the specific needs of clients. Let Swisslinx help your business The pandemic has had a huge impact on the recruitment sector. At Swisslinx, we’ve always had a strong value proposition and an excellent track record of building excellent relationships with clients and candidates. As we progress through the year, our consultants will remain on hand to provide companies in Switzerland with the best recruitment expertise. Our team have years of experience in recruiting the most in-demand companies and we always take the time to understand the needs of every business. Contact us today if you need help finding the top candidates and take a further look at our insights page for more engaging articles.

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