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European SMEs to Invest Heavily in Fintech and AI in 2024, Reveals Qonto Report

TL;DR

TL;DR Breakdown:

  • European SMEs upbeat about tech, eye big fintech & AI investments in 2024.
  • Skepticism lingers for Web3, crypto, VR; finance sector most gung-ho.
  • Hiring varies, Italy leads, gender gap persists in leadership roles.

European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are gearing up for significant investments in cutting-edge technology, with a focus on fintech and AI (artificial intelligence) in 2024, as revealed by a recent report from financial management solution provider Qonto.

In a promising trend, European SMEs have recognized the long-term benefits of emerging technologies and are eager to capitalize on them. The Qonto report demonstrates this enthusiasm, with SMEs in Germany, Italy, and Spain leading the way.

Overwhelming support for Fintech and AI

More than three-quarters of European SMEs surveyed expressed optimism about the transformative potential of fintech and AI for their businesses. However, their enthusiasm goes beyond mere optimism, as approximately 73% of respondents indicated that they were likely to invest in fintech and AI services in the near future.

This willingness to embrace technology marks a significant shift in attitudes among SMEs. Historically, the majority of European SMEs have relied on basic technologies. However, the Qonto report highlights a growing openness to more holistic and advanced technological solutions like Fintech and AI.

Skepticism persists for other emerging technologies

While the optimism for fintech and AI is palpable, it doesn’t extend universally to all emerging technologies. European SME leaders remain skeptical about the prospects of cryptocurrencies, Web3, virtual reality (VR), and the metaverse.

Around 37% of respondents expressed pessimism about Web3 and cryptocurrencies. Similarly, 33% of respondents felt the same way about virtual reality and the metaverse. The report further underscores sector-specific preferences for technology adoption. Notably, the finance and insurance sectors demonstrate the most enthusiasm for integrating new technology into their operations. In contrast, the construction sector appears the least hopeful about the potential benefits of emerging technologies.

Hiring trends vary

Despite their eagerness to invest in technology, SMEs across Europe do not seem as committed to expanding their workforce. Many SMEs plan to halt or slow down their hiring of new talent towards the end of 2023.

However, the Qonto report unveils a positive trend, with 42% of SMEs intending to increase their employee count in Q4 2023 compared to the previous quarter. Italy stands out in this regard, with 48% of SMEs reporting their intent to hire more employees.

The Qonto report also sheds light on the issue of gender representation in leadership roles within SMEs across Europe. The findings reveal a significant gender disparity, with women being underrepresented in executive positions. France and Italy are closer to gender parity, with 38% and 32% of female respondents, respectively. In contrast, Germany lags behind with only 23% of female respondents, followed closely by Spain with 25%.

 A transformative year for European SMEs

As European SMEs gear up for 2024, they are poised to usher in a transformative year driven by investments in fintech and AI. The Qonto report paints a picture of optimism for these technologies, signaling a shift in attitudes towards more advanced technological solutions.

While skepticism remains for other emerging technologies, the finance and insurance sectors stand out as enthusiastic early adopters. However, the construction sector appears more cautious about technological advancements.

As SMEs prepare to invest in technology, their hiring intentions vary, with Italy leading the charge in accelerating recruitment. Nevertheless, the report highlights a persistent gender disparity in leadership roles, underscoring the need for increased diversity and inclusivity in the business world.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Nick James

Nick is a technologist with a special interest in Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. He has actively participated in the industry for several years. His main passion is sharing news within the crypto community.

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