Romania could be the next place for a fintech revolution, a study has shown.

One of the poorest countries in Europe, Romania has long been a destination one wouldn’t immediately associate technology with.

But as of late, the country of nearly 20 million people is being seen as a hotspot for tech startups. One of its cities has even been labelled ‘the Silicone Valley of Romania’.

An analysis by Saxo Bank has shown that though the fintech scene is at an early stage in Romania, a demand for services in the industry is growing.

Bank commissions have historically been the among the highest in the regions and if banks can offer quick and efficient digital services, this can only be a good thing for the younger generations, the Business Review website reported.

It added that the banks need to accept digitalisation as an opportunity – and fintech companies must not disrupt the entire system of banks. The answer is to collaborate and real opportunities will be available to those who embrace it, Laurentiu Nedelcu, CEE manager at Saxo Bank said.

Dea Wilson, the Romanian founder of Lifograph, a search engine which allows you to scour profiles of the Silicone Valley’s most important people, said it was likely Romania could emerge as a top player in fintech. 

Dea Wilson – the
founder of Lifograph

She said: “Romania is poised for deep fintech disruption due to the fundamental discrepancies between the old banking systems and the advanced fintech technologies being developed and adopted at a rapid pace.”

The European banking system is at a critical disruption point due to the implementation of the PSD2 rules, she said. 

These rules require banks to provide APIs for granting Third Party Providers (TPPs) access to their customers’ online account and payment services.

It is therefore likely that new fintech applications will be created and banks could in turn provide better digital payments and banking services to their customers.

“In addition, the cryptocurrency fever is sweeping up Romania. More and more Romanians are switching to digital wallets to keep their money safe,” she added.

“Given all this fervent activity in the region, it is easy to see how Romania could emerge at the forefront of the fintech revolution in Eastern Europe.”

According the the report, the Business Review reports, AI is likely to take a lead role in the fintech revolution in the future.

It is hard to predict what a switch to digital will do to the country, but it is likely that the younger generation in the country are warming to fintech. It won’t be long before it takes over.