With a population of just under 17.5 million people, the Netherlands is punching above its weight when it comes to Fintech – it is the eighth largest hub in the world, according to a new Global Fintech Talent Report for 2022.
It’s not so surprising. The Netherlands is centrally located within Europe, it has a high take-up of English speakers (over 90% of the Dutch population speaks the language) and it has a good quality of living, excellent infrastructure and an educated workforce. Plus the country has a long and storied history of innovation: you might not be aware that, among other stellar inventions, the submarine, wifi and man-made islands were all pioneered in the Netherlands or by Dutch innovators and scientists. The Netherlands now ranks among the top five global leaders in innovation, according to the Global Innovation Index 2020 (GII 2020).
In addition, the Netherlands has accounted for in excess of $1bn in venture capital transactions for local Fintech firms, and there are 114 active Fintechs here. The sector is healthy, booming and very definitely mirroring global trends.
World-wide, Statista reports that total investments in Fintech rose from around $9bn in 2010 to a high of $215.4bn in 2019. By that year, 75% of global consumers had already adopted some form of money transfer or payment service. Cryptocurrency has also seen gigantic take-up rates, according to blockchain data platform Chainalysis, which says that crypto made an increase of 2300% from Q3 2019 to Q2 2021.
For those working in the sector already, or looking to secure a role in the rapidly growing Fintech industry, it’s a good time to get on board. The Global Fintech Talent Report indicates that the bulk of industry and hiring activity will remain focused in Amsterdam, where the largest sectors here are payments, at 33%, consumer banking at 30% and blockchain at 14%.
The country has seen a year-on-year increase in the number of jobs in the Fintech sector of 117% and one in five of those jobs is for software engineers. Salary-wise, Big Data Architects can expect to earn €65-85k per annum (the same as 2021’s figure) and a CTO can earn between €125-240k.
Competition for talent is stiff – the average tenure of an employee is just two years so talent gets snapped up fast. Professionals with strong skill-sets in Java, data, DevOps and cyber security are in particular demand. EU citizens are free to work in the Netherlands for as long as they wish and international graduates are given one year to find work or start a business post-graduation. Additionally, the government runs an entrepreneur visa scheme offering international entrepreneurs a one-year visa to get their companies started.
While it would be easy to say that it all looks rosy in the Netherlands’ Fintech sector, there is a strong gender disparity within the industry. Just 24% of roles are held by women, a trend that is largely similar across the global Fintech ecosystem. The most diverse location for female talent is San Francisco, which boasts a 28% female demographic.
Elsewhere in the tech sector
It’s not just Fintech that is a strong performer in the Netherlands. The tech sector as a whole is booming across the Amsterdam-Startup Delta, a geographical triangle which covers Amsterdam, the Hague and Eindhoven.
Many international tech giants have set up shop in Amsterdam, including Tesla, Meta, IBM, Google, Oracle, AWS and Ebay. Techsharks, Flink, ServiceNow and Booking.com all have openings in the city right now, too.
Professional roles in demand include Product Management (IT), Implementation Management, Software Engineering, Business Analysis and Support and the fastest growing technical skills are in insurance, customer experience and data mining.