Fintech World Tour: Luxembourg

Efma feature

10 January 2019

Nasir Zubairi is the CEO of The LHoFT Foundation. He spoke to Efma’s Boris Plantier about LHoFT and how it is enabling Luxembourg’s fintech industry.

The LHoFT Foundation is Luxembourg's dedicated fintech platform. It is a partnership between the public and private sectors tasked with ensuring the future competitiveness of Luxembourg's financial services sector with a focus on digital innovation. LHoFT works to develop and align the Fintech ecosystem within Luxembourg and connect that ecosystem with the rest of the world to advance solutions. Staff at LHoFT develop knowledge of fintech and innovation across the community through education programs, workshops and events, and drive projects at industry level or sector level that solve large scale problems. In this exclusive interview with Efma, Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the Foundation, tells us more.

How many fintech startups are there in Luxembourg and how many employees work for fintechs?

There over 100 fintechs in Luxembourg that employ over 1000 people.

What are the specialties of these fintech startups?

Luxembourg has always been an attractive destination for payment firms due to the language capabilities and international skill sets present. We put a lot of focus in areas such as regtech, fundtech, insurtech, financial inclusion and in the business-to-business space, in order to align with Luxembourg’s industry. Fintech firms that address these verticals can easily reach decision makers and engage in faster procurement cycles than in most other financial jurisdictions. Key technologies within these verticals are blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.

How much money is invested in Luxembourg fintech startups? Why should fintech startups settle in Luxembourg?

The home-grown industry is in its early stages, and although it is developing rapidly it is not yet at a large-scale funding level. Right now, the domestic scene is being catalyzed by prominent international fintech firms such as Ant Financial (Alipay), Paypal, Bitflyer, Amazon Payments, Rakuten Bank and Lendinvest.

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How do you see the future of fintech startups in Luxembourg in the next five years?

I expect there to be continued and rapid growth of fintech startups, due to the access to and engagement from the financial institutions in Luxembourg. Luxembourg is becoming the leading financial centre in the EU and is one of the few truly international finance centers in the world. The traditional financial institutions are hungry for new solutions and are fast becoming more capable of agile engagement.

The extensive use of English and access to most other EU languages, as well as knowledge of international business in Luxembourg should also attract business owners. The effective cooperation between the public and private sectors also spurs the development of the ecosystem.

What's coming next for LHoFT?

A number of our projects that have been in the pipeline will come to fruition in 2019; we are very excited to see their impact on the industry. We will continue developing international links and working collaboratively to drive the development of fintech globally. There will also be some really interesting education workshops early in the year. We will of course also continue to be involved in a local and international events.

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Keywords : Fintech

Geography : Luxembourg