The emergence of fintech continues to reach all ends of the Earth. Extending beyond the typical financial destinations of the world, the sector is now creating revenue streams for areas that certainly could use the help.
Of all the countries benefitting, Northern Ireland may emerge as the largest recipient of the boom.
A Financial Times article from June profiled the fintech effect on Northern Ireland. The capital, Belfast, has felt the brunt of the boom. Many, including FT profile subject Paddy Cosgrave, believe that the coming years could bring a new tech-centric identity to the country in desperate need of revenue beyond public spending. As the popularity continues to grow for the country, many are starting to warm up to the idea of Belfast becoming a new fintech beacon.
Cosgrave’s MoneyConf summit, a two-day conference profiling emerging tech, serves as an ideal example of Belfast’s emergence in the field. In just four years, MoneyConf ballooned from 400 attendees to over 22,000 from 110 countries last year. Cosgrave is noted for making Dublin’s Web summit a signature event in Europe, a distinction Belfast would love to have as well. With industry heavyweights like Apple, Google and Forbes among its participants, MoneyConf certainly looks poised to earn a similar distinction.
Locally, this pleases both government and residents.
The increasing interest in fintech has attracted Northern Ireland’s inward investment agency, Invest NI, to tab the sector as a key field in the country’s revenue evolution. While all of Northern Ireland hopes the boom brings new businesses stateside, they are also quick to celebrate homegrown businesses that made this possible. That includes Newry’s First Derivatives and Belfast’s Wombat Technologies. Invest NI relayed to FT that Northern Ireland currently employs 3,500 people through the sector. Additionally, they estimate that 75 percent of the jobs are held by graduates receiving competitive salaries.
A large number of factors certainly could shift Northern Ireland’s stance in fintech. However, with multiple cities capitalizing on the country’s alluring features for business, there is hope for sustained profitability. If the country can reap the benefits of fintech, as well as its emerging film and television sector, it could significantly increase its UK economic output from its current two percent.