B-Lens
 

B-Hive, is proud to announce the launch of B-Lens 2018, in cooperation with Roland Berger. This dashboard brings together a number of key indicators to illustrate and monitor the evolution of the business environment, the financial services industry and the fintech ecosystem. Learn more about B-Lens below.
 

Financial Services

Belgium offers a favorable context to digitization in financial services, yet it can nevertheless further step up its efforts.

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  • The adoption and use of both internet and mobile financial services is picking up fast, with mobile exhibiting the highest growth over the past few years – However, when looking at both financial activities done on the internet, as well as online purchasing, there is still a gap between Belgium and other countries in Europe.
  • The premises for further development of digital activity are good, with over half of the customers in Belgium welcoming new technologies to better support them in making financial decisions and 36% that would even consider switching banks for a more advanced digital offering.

 

Fintech

The world of fintech in Belgium is growing and will continue to need informed policy decisions to move up as an attractive place to invest.

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  • Belgium is well positioned with a 5th place in the European fintech ranking in terms of number of deals, with B-Hive on the 10th place in the accelerator/innovation platform ranking – However, when looking at international hubs comparison, despite good scores in terms of proximity to expertise & customers and innovation, there is still room for improvement in terms of regulatory environment despite the good progress having been made the last few years.
  • The Belgian fintech sector is stabilizing in 2017 (number of new fintechs created on par with the ones closed) and the average deal size almost doubling, yet on a context of decreasing number of deals – When looking in more detail we observe that there is a place for more gender diversity (only 5% of fintech founders are female), the top 3 areas of activity for fintechs are data analytics, blockchain and artificial intelligence – Most fintechs are still in the inception process with seed funding from mainly Belgian investors as the prime source of financing.

 

Business Enablers

Belgium has strong business enablers in place to become an attractive market, yet further improvement of the administrative and technological context is key.

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  • Belgium offers a competitive environment to start-up a new business in terms of both process easiness as well as time to complete the procedures – This offers good opportunities in a context with high R&D spending for all sectors and a steady development of ICT talent over the last 5 years.
  • Investments into cybersecurity continue to be a necessity with trust and online security in financial services to be further improved to reduce cases of internet banking fraud and increase the share of secured internet servers (servers using encryption technology in internet transactions).