The first film about FinTech in Switzerland is now online!

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What is FinTech?

FinTech, short for financial technology, is an emerging industry of companies that use technology and software to improve the efficiency of financial services. Many FinTech startups operate entirely online, outside the traditional financial sector, which allows them to provide their services for lower fees. They often compete with existing financial systems, such as banks, credit institutions, or insurance companies.

FinTech has mushroomed into a global billion-dollar industry in the course of just a few years. Switzerland as a major financial center has been relatively late to the party but now boasts a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in the FinTech space.


“FinTech Made in Switzerland”

With her reputation for financial services, Switzerland has all the ingredients to shape the future of FinTech. At the same time, regulatory overhang and the powerful traditional financial sector might slow down innovation. FinTech as a virgin development has also never undergone a financial crisis, which puts its long-term viability for customers into question. Swiss banks, entrepreneurs, investors and regulators have a unique approach to FinTech, but will the country succeed in making a name for itself in FinTech, next to the entrepreneurial epicenters in London or New York?

The Project

In FinTech Made in Switzerland, Manuel Stagars documents the FinTech ecosystem in Switzerland in conversations with startup founders, innovators in the financial sector, banks, regulators, politicians, financial experts, and opinion leaders. The film is a portrait of this emerging sector, its protagonists and their motivations to participate in the evolution of finance. At the same time, it shall create a dialogue between the different actors in the financial sector in Switzerland around the topic of innovation in banking and the future of Switzerland as a financial center. The project is a collaboration between the filmmaker and the interviewees, where all can voice their opinions truthfully and objectively on a single platform.

Manuel has written together with Ioannis Akkizidis the book Marketplace Lending, Financial Analysis, and the Future of Credit (Wiley, 2016). During the two years it took to write, Manuel spoke with a large number of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, market observers, U.S. central bankers, and other authorities in FinTech in the United States, the UK and Singapore. This documentary is a continuation of this research, narrowing the focus on FinTech in Switzerland specifically. Manuel is self-financing the film and will distribute it online and on social media.

A Film by Manuel Stagars

manuel-stagars_0_small-bBorn and raised in Zurich/Switzerland, Manuel Stagars is a Swiss film director, whose current film projects focus on the potential of technology for the economies of nations, societies, and the lives of people around the world. His films make people think about technology and the future and start a conversation.

Digital Transformation: Visions of Nations, Companies, and People (2017/2018) explores the role of artificial intelligence in the lives of humans moving forward. Manuel speaks with scientists, entrepreneurs, corporate decision makers, politicians, artists and others in Switzerland, the UK, the United States, China, and Japan about their views and hopes for the digital future.

The Blockchain And Us (2017) How can the blockchainthe technology underlying Bitcoinbenefit the economies of nations? How will it change society? What does this mean for each of us? Twenty conversations with experts in the nascent global blockchain scene make the discussion about potential impacts of this technology accessible.

FinTech Made in Switzerland (2016) is the first documentary film about Swiss FinTech. In forty-one interviews with heads of digital banking from major banks, politicians, investors and Swiss FinTech startups in roboadvisory, lending, cryptocurrencies, insurtech, the film gives a glimpse into how a traditional bankers’ nation is coming to terms with technological change.

Manuel has lived and worked in Europe, America, and Asia. His films have screened internationally, including in Melbourne at the Transitions Film Festival, in Amsterdam at the Fraude Film Festival, in London at the Everyman Theatre, in Minneapolis at the Analytics and Financial Innovation Conference (AXFI), in Zurich at Tech Tuesday, in Shanghai at the Future of Money Conference, or in Tokyo at the Swiss Chamber of Commerce an Industry in Japan (SCCIJ). They have been translated in Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese.

As a filmmaker, Manuel draws on his experience as a music composer, author, researcher, economist, and startup entrepreneur. He has published books and scientific articles on startups, marketplace lending, impact investing, data quality, and Open Data. Manuel has a degree in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and several financial certifications (CFA, CAIA, ERP).

Personal website:


Interviews from the Documentary

During the course of making the film, over forty interviews with movers and shakers in the Swiss FinTech ecosystem took place. These interviews are available in full length, offering a broad perspective on FinTech in Switzerland.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many people and organizations are helping to make this project happen by contributing their advice, time and access to their networks. Special thanks to all of you (list in alphabetical order).