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EFA opens its doors to new fintech companies

Fintech companies offer innovative and much-needed financial services and products; however, they have not been heard and seen at the political level sufficiently. EFA aims to become the united voice of the Fintech companies in Europe.

European FinTech Association (EFA)

European FinTech Association is a Brussels-based not-for-profit organisation. EFA launched on June 16, 2020, as a united stand representing more than twenty Fintech companies from all over Europe. EFA has brought together the previously formed EFAlliance and FinTechs4Europe and becomes the one voice for the whole of Europe.

The Association aims at uniting diverse Fintech players from different fields on one platform, promoting cooperation and communication between the FinTech companies and the European Union, highlighting the significant developments in the Fintech field, and representing the interests of the member Fintech companies in policymaking and other regulatory functions.

Types of Fintech Services

The members of EFA belong to a variety of Fintech services. They range from payment providers to lenders, banks, robo-advisors, identity verification platforms, and investment providers. The members can be from any section of fintech; however, they need to share the vision and aim to bring forward the matters of the industry on the European level.

Moreover, the membership to EFA is not limited based on the number of years in business. EFA is open to new fintech companies as well, and there is no restriction or bias based on jurisdiction, business model, or location. However, the member fintech companies need to be active in the European market to understand the impact of European policies and share the views of the other members.

Financial Providers Associated with EFA

The over 20 members of EFA form a diversified group of fintech companies. They include several banking companies, lending companies, robo-advice providers, and SaaS providers across the European Union. The companies include Moneyfarm, AcceptEmail, Billie, Elinvar, Funding Circle, Finleap, N26, Kantox, Kontist, Mintos, Viafintech, Solarisbank, Satispay, Tink, Raisin, TranferWise, TrueLayer, Verimi, and Zalando.

Goals, Purpose, and Priorities of EFA

Goals: The goals of EFA include promoting communication, cooperation, and dialogue of the fintech companies with the European Union and speaking as one united voice for the FinTech industry. The Association also aims to function as the representation of the fintech companies to the EU institutions and other regulatory bodies in Europe.

Purpose: The purpose of EFA is to support the tech competence created by the fintech companies. The focus is to promote secure and online financial services for consumers and businesses while fostering fair tech regulations beneficial for the members and the overall financial market in Europe. The purpose also revolves around tearing down the cross-border barriers caused by disintegrated regulations and requirements.

Priorities: The primary priority of EFA is to promote customer-centric regulations so that financial services become more innovative, competitive, transparent, and accessible. Additionally, EFA also aims to provide enhanced safety and security in financial services, including protection of data, risks reduction, and combatting illegal activities. Overall, the priority of EFA is to build a trustworthy and consistent digital single market for the benefit of consumers and fintech companies alike.

Initiatives

European FinTech Association is calling for initiatives to be taken at the EU level to create a secure and efficient structure for the FinTech industry. Some of the initiatives include:

  • Harmonisation of digital identification records across the European Union: EFA calls for a uniform set of criteria for the digital identification of consumers across the EU. It is also looking at mutual recognition of identification procedures across all the EU member states to make the KYC procedures consistent and secure.
  • Mutual Recognition of identification standards among different sectors: The next initiative of EFA asks for Qualified electronic signatures and other means to become uniform methods of identification across diverse regulated sectors, including healthcare, banking, telecommunication, public, and mobility.
  • Application of AML rules to new regulated services: EFA requires higher regulatory guidance on the implementation of Anti-Money Laundering rules to newer sectors through circulars and guidelines.
  • Modification in some AML rules: EFA also calls for some changes and reconsideration in the AML rules concerning to Account Information Service and Payment Initiation Service Providers.
  • Conformity in Suspicious Transaction Reporting: As one of its major initiatives, EFA is also asking for improvement in cooperation between the Financial Intelligence Units and uniformity in suspicious transaction reporting across the EU.

Overall, European FinTech Association is created by the European FinTech community, for the European FinTech community. It will serve as the platform to enable communication, information-sharing, and network-sharing among the fintech companies, and between the fintech companies, policymakers, and the general public.