Digital banking start-up Swiss4 has received a fintech licence from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).
The licence, which Swiss4 received on 18 November, provides authorisation for the company to act as a deposit-taking financial institution.
Founded in 2020 and based in Geneva, Swiss4 says it is building an “exclusive community which is tapping into exceptional experiences through a state-of-the-art banking services application”.
The start-up claims it is the first fintech in Geneva and French-speaking Switzerland, and fourth in Switzerland overall, to hold this authorisation since the licence was introduced back in 2018.
The first ever fintech licence from FINMA was awarded to Swiss retail challenger bank Yapeal in 2020.
FINMA created its fintech licence to cater to small challenger start-ups, and it is considered easier to obtain than a full banking licence. It restricts deposits that institutions can accept to CHF 100 million and firms are not allowed to invest customer assets or charge interest.
To be eligible, prospective firms only need to raise capital of CHF 2 million ($2.1 million), compared to the CHF 10 million ($10.5 million) required for a full banking licence. – FintechFutures