WIPO Arbitration and Mediation for FinTech

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center provides procedural advice and case administration to help parties resolve disputes arising in the area of financial technology (FinTech) without the need for court litigation.

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FinTech disputes

Technological developments in the area of FinTech are on the rise, bringing innovation and reshaping the way in which financial services are offered and accessed in the market. These technologies imply a constant interaction between multiple stakeholders (e.g., financial institutions, software developers, service providers, users), naturally increasing the possibility of conflict.

The WIPO Center has engaged with FinTech stakeholders to focus on how to provide effective Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures that prioritize time- and cost- efficient dispute resolution, while preserving business relationships in this unique business area.

ADR has a number of characteristics that suit dispute resolution in FinTech sectors. ADR allows parties to choose a mediator, arbitrator or expert with legal and technical expertise in the FinTech sector. It also provides a neutral forum in which disputes – sometimes involving parties from multiple jurisdictions – can be resolved through a single procedure. Moreover, ADR can be set up in a way to allow for efficient enforcement of the outcome.

Selected Areas of Dispute

  • IP/IT licensing
  • software development agreements
  • software maintenance agreements
  • service level agreements
  • outsourcing
  • joint ventures
  • performance (e.g., payment)
  • terms and conditions
  • data / analytics
  • interconnection issues
  • application programming interfaces (APIs)
  • mobile apps
  • artificial intelligence
  • blockchain / DLT
  • smart contracts
  • IP infringements

Potential Stakeholders to Dispute

  • banks, financial institutions
  • marketplaces
  • start-ups
  • software developers and programmers/ Dapp developers
  • ICT companies
  • account servicing payment service providers (ASPSPs)
  • third party service providers (TPPs)
    • payment initiation services providers (PISP)
    • account information service providers (AISP)

WIPO ADR Services for FinTech Disputes

  • Administration of FinTech Disputes

The WIPO Mediation, (Expedited) Arbitration and Expert Determination Rules are flexible and can be adapted to the specific needs and characteristics of parties involved in FinTech business areas.

In its role as administering institution, the WIPO Center maintains strict neutrality and independence.

Example of a WIPO mediation in this area:

WIPO Mediation of a Patent and Software Dispute: A European Licensor and European and US Licensees entered a cross-licensing agreement relating to the manufacture of smart personal identification cards and related software. After years of commercial relations, a dispute arose when the Licensees accused the Licensor of infringing the Agreement. On the basis of the dispute resolution clause nominating WIPO Mediation followed, in the absence of a settlement, by WIPO Arbitration, the parties commenced a mediation procedure. The WIPO Center proposed several candidates with IT and mediation experience to help the parties reach a settlement of the dispute.

Example of a WIPO arbitration in this area:

WIPO Arbitration of a Banking Software Dispute: WIPO Arbitration of a Banking Software Dispute: A US AISP and an Asian bank entered a contract to provide data processing software and services. A dispute arose regarding whether the bank had breached the contract by failing to comply with exclusivity obligations with the AISP. The dispute resolution clause nominated WIPO Expedited Arbitration. Following the North American party’s request for arbitration, the parties selected an arbitrator with an extensive IT background from a list of candidates provided by the WIPO Center. A two-day hearing took place in New York City and an arbitral award was issued within three months.

  • WIPO FinTech Panel of Neutrals

Effective proceedings often depend on the quality of the mediator, arbitrator or expert. The WIPO Center maintains a list of over 2,000 neutrals from around the world with expertise in IP and technology, including FinTech. Neutrals from the WIPO list can be selected by parties in cases under WIPO Rules, while parties remain free to select mediators, arbitrators or experts from outside the WIPO list.

  • Procedural Guidance and Training

The WIPO Center makes available recommended contract clauses and submission agreements that parties can use to submit their disputes to ADR.

Upon request, the WIPO Center provides procedural guidance to interested parties and organizations in the FinTech sector. This includes advice on the drafting and adaptation of ADR clauses in related contracts and submission agreements, as well as helping to bring opposing parties to ADR.

The WIPO Center also organizes events, training and workshops on mediation, arbitration and related topics.

Collaboration with Concerned Stakeholders and Entities

To optimize tailor-made dispute resolution in the FinTech sector, the WIPO Center collaborates with relevant stakeholders and organizations. This includes organization of joint events and training, and establishment of adapted ADR frameworks, and involves for example the following:


WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

Chemin des Colombettes 34
1211 Geneva 20

T +4122 338 8247 or 0800 888 549
F +4122 740 3700 or 0800 888 550

Maxwell Chambers
28 Maxwell Road #02-14
Singapore 069120

T +65 6225 2129
F +65 6225 3568

General queries: arbiter.mail@wipo.int