From mobile payments to cybersecurity, trading analytics to blockchain, Ontario is a global leader in fintech.

Toronto, Ontario is North America’s second-largest financial hub behind New York. The province is also home to one of the largest IT clusters on the continent with a plethora of the world’s best tech talent. Ontario fintech innovators are finding success on the global stage. Whether you are considering relocating your fintech firm here or looking for the best fintech products and services to meet your business goals, look no further than Ontario.

Achieving a unicorn valuation from some of the worldʼs most respected investors is not only an exciting moment for us, but an exciting thing for the Canadian technology scene. As a business, we think it’s a huge validation of what we’ve built, and more importantly, where we’re going.

Mike Katchen, CEO, Wealthsimple
Source: BetaKit, October 14, 2020

Ontario’s Fintech Industry by the Numbers

services firms
fintech firms
Toronto’s ranking
as a global fintech
IT professionals
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A Fintech hotbed

Canada recorded 241 fintech deals in 2019, bringing in $2.7 billion in investments. With 64% of Canada’s fintech firms located in Ontario, it’s no wonder the industry is not only thriving, but it’s also expanding. Canadian fintech adoption has increased from 8% in 2015 to 50% in 2019—a 4% increase over the U.S. adoption rate.

Breakthroughs in blockchain

Toronto-based Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) is an independent, global think tank that brings together the world’s top researchers to undertake ground-breaking research on blockchain technology. Ontario’s major banks are currently testing out this technology for cross-border payments.

Toronto, Ontario: A leader in financial services

Industry growth is creating huge opportunities for financial technology companies, particularly those with offices in Ontario. Why? Because when it comes to Canadian financial services, Toronto, Ontario is where key technology decisions are made. Toronto is one of only 10 cities in the world that are considered both a start-up hub and a financial services leader. It is ranked as the most attractive centre for fintech companies and the fastest growing financial sector in North America.

Grow in a global hotspot for financial technology

The city is Canada’s financial services capital and headquarters for:

  • One of the world’s soundest banking systems
  • Canada’s five largest banks
  • Over 80% of the foreign banks operating in Canada
  • More than half of the world’s top 10 banks by market capitalization
  • Seven of the 10 largest Canadian asset managers
  • The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), the world’s tenth-largest equity exchange in terms of market capitalization

Ontario is turning heads due to its high concentration of IT firms and industry-leading talent

  • 320,000 people work in 26,000 IT firms in Ontario—roughly half of Canada’s IT workers
  • The Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo regions in Ontario are widely considered two of the largest start-up ecosystems in the world
  • 25 of the 2021 Deloitte Canadian Technology Fast 50 are based in Ontario, five of which are fintech companies.

The concentration of global technology leaders, strong financial institutions and top-notch talent provides an excellent opportunity to develop, test and showcase new technologies. Ontario is already attracting world leaders in financial technology.

Who’s here

  • Borrowell
  • Clearco
  • Dream Payments
  • FreshBooks
  • Ingenico
  • Interac
  • KOHO
  • Mastercard
  • Oberthur Technologies
  • PayPal
  • Questrade
  • Scotia iTRADE
  • SecureKey
  • Sensibill
  • Shopify
  • Square
  • Thales
  • VISA
  • Wealthsimple

Mobile payments

In the Mastercard Global Mobile Payments Readiness Index—a report that measures countries’ readiness to shift from plastic to interactive mobile devices—Canada ranks second only to Singapore among countries worldwide.

From ATMs to online banking, Canadians have been early adopters of financial technologies. In 2019, the total payments market in Canada grew to 22 billion consumer and business transactions worth US$7.6 trillion. Within Canada, non-cash payments account for 90% of the total value of consumer payments.

The mobile payments industry in Canada is expected to record a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% to reach US$117,670.7 million by 2025.

The future of the industry is bright, and Canadians are embracing mobile payments now more than ever:

  • 86% of the over 22 million Canadian mobile subscribers have smartphones, and of those, approximately eight million are Near Field Communications (NFC) enabled smartphones
  • 65% of Canadians use their mobile device to conduct banking activities, and
  • 29% have used their mobile device to pay for products or services

The COVID-19 pandemic has also created a shift worldwide to ultimately creating a cashless society: “Cash and cheque payments have declined dramatically, having been replaced with contactless payments and other types of electronic payments [during the COVID-19 pandemic]. While we have seen a continued shift towards digital payments over a number of years in Canada, there’s no doubt that the prevailing pandemic has accelerated this shift—and will likely act as a catalyst in transforming the Canadian payment landscape forever,” says Tracey Black, President and CEO of Payments Canada.

As banks and other Canadian financial institutions reimagine their mobile capabilities, opportunities are being created for companies like yours.

We have what you need to take your mobile payments solutions to the next level

  • Leading firms in IT, finance and mobile application development
  • Strong smartphone penetration and use of NFC technology
  • Widespread adoption of NFC-enabled terminals
  • A highly collaborative environment

Time-to-market for mobile-commerce innovations has gotten shorter, which creates a significant advantage when rolling out products first in Canada and then internationally.

Leaders in mobile payments are discovering Ontario

World leaders in mobile payments have operations here, such as global solutions providers Square, MasterCard, VISA, Gemalto (acquired by Thales Group), Ingenico and Giesecke+Devrient. The list of top companies continues to expand.