A New Zealand tech leader today announced an initiative to bring together the national financial technology (fintech) community.
Augen Software Group director and NZTech chair Mitchell Pham made the announcement to set up FinTechNZ at the inaugural Finnotec 2016 conference in Auckland today. The event was organised by fintech company SavvyKiwi, whose founder is passionate about providing a place for the NZ fintech community to learn and grow together each year.
“We are inviting interested New Zealanders and Kiwi organisations, from financial service providers to financial technology businesses, to identify themselves and attend the informal get-togethers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch next February.
“We will collectively brainstorm what we want FinTechNZ to be and do for our businesses, the sector and how we will engage with the rest of the economy and the world. We would like to officially launch FinTechNZ in the middle of next year.
“Our company, Augen Software Group, is just one of many businesses keen to be involved. Not only am I leading the initiative, working with two other NZTech board members, collaborating with the Finnotec conference founder and other interested parties around the sector, but Augen is also passionate about the initiative and we are providing plenty of support around it, reaching out to our networks and spreading the message.
“We have also offered to host the Auckland get-together in February at our new offices. Augen has worked in the financial sector for 23 years. Our customers range from banks, insurers, finance companies through to other tech businesses.
“The 2016 TIN 100 report shows that fintech is New Zealand’s fastest-growing technology sector, at 31 per cent per annum. This is almost twice that of the overall ICT sector, three times higher than agritech, and four times higher than the biotech sector.
“Our financial innovation ecosystem is also very diverse, ranging from smart-payments start-ups, crowd-funders, peer-to-peer lending platforms, to what large institutions like banks and insurers are doing.
“We have seen the power of collectives in other sectors and countries, and so are 100 percent behind the bringing together of the NZ fintech community. FinTechNZ will give New Zealand participants a better chance to collaborate, engage and grow, both domestically and internationally.”
Pham says FinTechNZ can leverage on NZTech as a platform to get up and going quickly and efficiently. “We just need to see the rest of our community believing in it and wanting to do it, together. Many other countries have national fintech associations. We haven’t yet got one.”
New Zealand is well-positioned to succeed in the global fintech sector and it will happen faster when more Kiwis work together, Pham says.
Today’s fintech conference was set up by KiwiSaver expert Binu Paul. Fintech is a blend of financial services and technology innovation, and is often used to refer to technologies that are transforming people’s financial lives.