How the F10 FinTech Sandbox Helps Startups Innovate

June 12, 2020

Having access to real-life data and open APIs facilitates the development and testing of new solutions massively. F10 had launched the first FinTech Sandbox in Switzerland in fall 2019, and about 100 Startups in our programs in Zurich and Singapore have the opportunity to test and adjust their prototypes in the sandbox. During an online session for the entrepreneurs in the F10 ecosystem, the potential of sandboxing and open banking for Startups was discussed.

Financial services customers generate an astronomical amount of data every day through hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of individual transactions and interactions. Smartphones, tablets, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have made it easier than ever before for banking and insurance customers to communicate with service providers, research products, purchase items, and perform services tasks. The high volume of data available at the fingertips of financial services companies requires advanced processing techniques to be translated into valuable and actionable information. Innovative Startups all over the world have been developing tools to efficiently filter through all types of data and provide financial institutions with innovative solutions to improve user journeys, personalization, and customer relationship management. That helps banks and insurance companies to fulfil the needs of the next generation of customers and stay competitive in the long run as young and digitally savvy customers are generally speaking less loyal to companies or brands. They tend to perceive financial products and services as interchangeable.FinTech offers financial institutions opportunities to improve user experience and customer relationship management.

To effectively develop solutions that help incumbents innovate and increase customer loyalty, FinTech Startups rely on real-life data from banks, insurance providers and financial organizations. But data feeds and APIs of industry leaders are often almost impossible to access. During the proof of concept, prototypes that had been developed based on estimations are tested under real-life conditions for the first time. Sandboxes allow accelerating the development and testing process for new solutions while data privacy for the companies providing the data and APIs is guaranteed. Sandboxing also protects data collections from changes that could be damaging to a mission-critical system and are often difficult to revert.

Open banking pioneer and F10 alumni ndgit powers Switzerland’s first FinTech Sandbox

F10 had launched the F10 FinTech Sandbox in fall 2019 to support the Startups in the F10 ecosystem developing solutions that promote innovation in the financial world. The first and only FinTech Sandbox in Switzerland is powered by open banking pioneer and F10 alumni ndgit. Open banking means that third-party developers get access to open APIs and use them to build applications and services around the financial institution sharing the data. This has the potential to change the rules of banking and enables new business models, services as well as products that can add significant value to the end customer by linking data sets and delivering data to new endpoints. The F10 FinTech Sandbox is the first use case to provide PSD2 APIs based on the Berlin Group Standard, thus bringing PSD2 technology to Switzerland. End-users of the F10 FinTech Sandbox are the more than 100 Startups in the F10 ecosystem.

In February 2020, the F10 FinTech Sandbox was enhanced by two Swiss Open API projects. The OpenPK Project creates open APIs to pension funds. It thus enables new applications that provide the Swiss population with more transparency about their pension provision, simplify financial planning or accelerate administrative work in the HR department. The OpenBankingProject.ch is the first API standard for Switzerland to provide the Swiss next-gen API for account information and payment orders following the specifications valid in Switzerland. The API is based on the open industry standard NextGenPSD2 from the Berlin Group.

Hackathon teams used open banking to solve a challenge that the finance industry is facing

During an online session for the Startups in the F10 ecosystem, Ranadeep Singh shared his experience of how real-life data and APIs enabled his team eCredit to develop an innovative prototype to help SME raise capital from banks at this year’s Online F10 FinTech Hackathon Zurich. eCredit used open banking to develop financial management tools that empower SME to focus on their core business without being crushed by administrative work. The eCredit team won the SIX challenge “Banks Run the Risk of Becoming Irrelevant for SME” at the Online F10 Hackathon Zurich 2020. More than 60 entrepreneurs interested in open banking participated in the online session to discuss the chances that the F10 FinTech Sandbox constitutes for Startups looking to reshape finance and banking.

Even in times of social distancing, F10 as THE HOME OF FINTECH brings the financial technology community together to boost innovation in finance. F10 supports and guides innovative Startups on their journey to successful companies while stimulating worldwide collaboration. The Startups in our ecosystem benefit from regular online mentoring and coaching on topics such as user-centred design, sales, investment, or communications. Due to the increasing interest in the F10 FinTech Sandbox, F10 Startup Coach Deborrah Schaer held an online session about open banking and sandboxing.

Sign up for our newsletter
Receive the latest news about F10 innovation ecosystem and its programs