ACM: 'Give FinTech the opportunity to improve competition in the financial industry'

Financial technology (FinTech) can improve competition in the financial industry. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) would like to help boost FinTech’s chances of having a positive and lasting impact on competition. This is one of the conclusions of ACM’s call for input ‘FinTech and competition.’

In the financial industry, new technologies are increasingly used to offer new and innovative services. All these technologies are collectively known as FinTech. Well-known examples include new methods of payment such as on mobile devices, although a lot of innovation also takes place in other parts of the financial sector.

Improving competition in the financial industry

Chris Fonteijn, Chairman of the Board of ACM, explains: “More competition is needed in the financial industry in order to realize more competitive prices, more innovative products and services, and better quality of service. FinTech can help realize all of those objectives.”

In its effort to support FinTech firms, ACM has joinced forces with other regulators, including the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) and the Dutch central bank (DNB). ACM’s goal is to promote effective competition. That is a key difference with other regulators in the financial industry.

FinTech firms have the opportunity to respond

ACM wishes to give more clarity about what role it has when it comes to stimulating innovation. In its call for input ‘FinTech and competition,’ ACM explains its own role in the financial industry, and it identifies factors that contribute to well-functioning markets.

Major, established players could, for example, frustrate new FinTech initiatives by refusing FinTech firms access to information that is necessary for making a new service work.

FinTech can also influence consumer behavior, for example, if consumers simply become unable to make a well-informed choice because of the multitude of new and complex financial products. By giving these examples, ACM wishes to make it easier for FinTech firms to determine whether or not they see a reason to contact ACM. If so, ACM can be reached by sending an email to fintech [at] acm [punt] nl.