Yapeal awarded Switzerland’s first fintech licence
The first fintech licence in Switzerland has been awarded to retail challenger bank Yapeal.
The digital bank, which claims that it wants to reinvent retail banking in Switzerland, is the first to be issued with a new licence type created by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority in 2019.
Fintech licences were designed to cater to smaller challenger start-ups, and is considered easier to obtain than a full banking licence.
Banks using the fintech licence are restricted in the deposits they can take (no more than $106 million) and 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.
A firm must also be limited by shares, a corporation with unlimited partners or a limited liability company, and must have its registered office and conduct its business activities in Switzerland.
Meanwhile Yapeal, which designs its service around a community of users it labels “Yapstesr”, is set to experiment with the type of accounts it offers its users.
Andy Waar, co-founder of Yapeal, says in a statement that the fintech is working with a “high intensity” to gain market entry.
While the fintech licence is seen as a step towards a full banking licence in Switzerland, it’s not known if Yapeal is gunning for the full deal just yet.