Developing our strengths

The first initiatives, such as online banking, date back to the early 2000s. Today, financial services have moved beyond online and mobile banking, making payments from a smart phone possible. Tomorrow, data management – from storage to secure transmission of information – will be a crucial differentiating factor. The aim of the main financial centre players is not to create FinTech banks but to incorporate FinTech into banking.

Geneva Financial Center

The strengths of the Geneva financial centre

The Geneva economic cluster

In the age of big data, Switzerland remains a location of choice for data management and protection. Thanks to its favourable legal environment and framework conditions, our nation is uniquely able to offer the high level of data protection essential for many FinTech companies. Mounting pressure on encryption further reinforces Switzerland’s potential in this area.

Geneva excels is in its infrastructure and experience of data management. It offers both transparency and a high level of privacy protection. Though rooted in tradition, the Geneva banking industry is highly innovative and embraces cutting-edge technology. The Geneva economic cluster comprises not only banks but also companies providing infrastructure to financial institutions, as well as software developers and other product and service providers.

To further develop and promote these strengths, the Geneva Financial Center (GFC) is active in the independent association Swiss FinTech Innovations and promotes events focusing on FinTech. It also takes an interest in the development of blockchain technology, which can be used to optimise data transmission and storage with a high level of security. This forward-looking approach is essential, since cybersecurity is now a major differentiating factor.



Geneva Financial Center

Education in the Tech vanguard

A response to changing employment needs

The skills that are needed in the financial sector are evolving all the time and at an increasingly rapid pace. According to the GFC’s economic survey 2022-2023, one-third of all banks and independent wealth managers describe fintech as their top challenge and believe that successful implementation of the digital transformation requires better education and training.


For several years now, the digital transformation has been affecting all economic players. The banking sector is no exception to this rule and is continually innovating in order to remain competitive. Several factors explain the increasing importance of the digital sector. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the banks had to reinvent themselves in an unstable political and economic environment. They were also confronted with changes in their clients’ behaviour and with the appearance of new players.


Hence, the digitization of certain activities was at the same time a means of containing costs and a response to the demand by clients for greater responsiveness and availability on the part of their bank. These profound changes led the banks in particular to look for new ways of optimizing the customer experience. Consequently, it stands to reason that commercial and retail banks as well as wealth managers have seen the biggest transformation of job requirements linked to the digital transition. The demand for continuing education therefore remains greatest in these two areas of activity.

A number of continuing education courses meet this need in Geneva. The Haute école de gestion Genève (HEG) awards a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in digital transformation in order to improve its leadership in the digital field. Since January 2024, the HEG also offers a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Blockchain & Finance; this is designed to impart a better understanding of the financial aspects of blockchain technology and decentralized finance. For its part, the Institute for Studies in Finance and Banking (ISFB) focuses on financial sector personnel whose activity is impacted by the digital transformation and offers them a “Future of Finance” Certificate.

SAQ CWMA (Certified Wealth Management Advisor) certification is also designed to respond to developments in the field of fintech. For the purpose of the regular audits linked to this certification, the requirements for knowledge of the new technologies are being strengthened through modular Fintech: Refresh & Apply courses taught largely by the ISFB in Geneva. In this way, the 8,207 SAQ CWMA certified advisers in 2022 will further enhance their level of expertise. Last year, the ISFB awarded 60 SAQ CWMA certifications and 192 candidates are currently working towards their certification.


Academic education is not immune to the digital trend. The University of Geneva was the first university in Switzerland to offer a CAS in fintech, from 2019 onwards. Working in cooperation with the Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI), this course aims to develop a 360° understanding of fintech, blockchain, cryptocurrencies and big data in the field of finance. Participants in this programme will accordingly acquire an exhaustive knowledge of future advanced technology trends and will be well placed to respond to digital challenges throughout their careers.

Digitization of the banking and financial sector opens up new fields of research in other disciplines. Bridges between financial technologies and law are being explored at Geneva University through a CAS in Digital Finance Law. This course adopts a practical approach and gives an overview of the risks involved in the digital transformation. The Graduate Institute has also responded, by setting up a Tech Hub in November 2022. This centre of expertise aims to support teaching and research projects by exploring the opportunities offered by the new technologies and the dangers they pose. It will enable the creation of synergies, for instance between fintech, artificial intelligence and humanitarian law.


Geneva Financial Center

The GFC is active in the association Swiss FinTech Innovations

One of the main criticisms of the Swiss FinTech industry is that it is too widely dispersed among various networks and associations. In an effort to remedy this, a group of financial institutions created the independent association Swiss FinTech Innovations. Founding members include Credit Suisse, Raiffeisen, Lombard Odier, Zurich  Kantonalbank, Vontobel, the insurance companies Helvetia and Swiss Life, and SIX Group. The Geneva Financial Center joined in June 2016 with the intention of taking an active role in the digital transformation of finance.

Geneva Financial Center


SIBOS 2016

Organised by the interbank messaging service SWIFT, SIBOS has emerged as the main global conference on FinTech and the future of the financial industry. From September 26 to 29, 2016, Geneva hosted SIBOS 2016. For the first time in its history, the organizers of Sibos decided to provide the host country with a booth at the congress. The "Swiss FinTech corner" in the "Swiss Lounge" featured presentations by 24 FinTech start-ups on various topics such as the banking sector, security, compliance, blockchain, big data, etc. The booth was the result of a public-private partnership between the State of Geneva, the Geneva Financial Center (GFC), AlpICT, Barclays, Temenos and the Swiss FinTech Association.

Digital Economy Forum

The Geneva Financial Center Foundation co-organised the 5th Digital Economy Forum with the Geneva Economic Development Office, in November 2019. The theme of this edition was to discuss impact of the digital transformation on employer-employee relationship and the question of employability. Experts from a Geneva bank hold an interactive seminar and provided valuable information about the strategy for a successful digital transformation.

Les "Assises de la place financière genevoise"

The "Assises de la place financière genevoise" are the main annual event for banking and finance industry professional in Geneva.  FinTech was the topic of the fifth edition, on June 5, 2016 , which was attended by 360 participants.









Geneva Financial Center