FinTechNZ’s Chair Mitchell Pham shares his perspective on the association’s recent engagements with the International FinTech Sector, as well a summary of engagements since February 2017.
As I have been in the US this week, I missed out on being with our amazing FinTechNZ members in Singapore at the FinTech Festival – to connect with and impact on regional as well as global markets.
Our member Centrality group were a gold sponsor of the festival and turned out in full force with their businesses – alongside other notable members such as ANZ bank, Cove Insurance, Delta Insurance, Valocity, Xero and many other FinTech innovators from New Zealand; from start-ups to major institutions.
New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) were right there to support our members, led by trade commissioner Hayley Horan. Even our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke at an event to bring attention to NZ Inc. in the region.
Last year was our first engagement at this immense international gathering. I was both humbled and proud to lead the FinTechNZ team/delegation and also to join New Zealand into the ASEAN FinTech Network and be at its launch event.
(In addition, I was personally delighted to see a good friend of mine at the signing ceremony who is the Chair of FinTech Vietnam. We are both involved in the tech sector in Vietnam and the ASEAN region, which is seeing huge growth in FinTech innovation and the recent rise of Blockchain & Cryptocurrency.)
Right now, back in New Zealand, our newly elected FinTechNZ Executive Council is putting in place the broadened structure of working groups our members to participate and engage, or even lead, on various fronts. We are very excited and looking forward to seeing all of the groups in action, in particular the International Relations Working Group (IRWG).
While we continue to build the FinTech ecosystem in and of New Zealand, it is critical that we also advance as an integral part of the global ecosystem, as most if not all of our FinTech innovations are developed for the global market – much like those across the rest of the New Zealand innovation sector.
For instance, Singapore, London, Hong Kong and the UAE (both Abu Dhabi and Dubai) are international hubs as well as centres of excellence for FinTech. It will be great to build on the connections that we already have with these hubs into strategic working relationships for active and ongoing collaboration – from regulatory developments that impact FinTech all the way to business activities that our members conduct on the ground.
The IRWG deliberately includes NZTE as a member. We will collaborate with government agencies and involve our members as well as actively plug into the global network of Kiwis in overseas markets – to connect and accelerate engagement in deliberate, strategic, structured and cohesive ways as one NZ Inc.
Previous international engagements since we launched FinTechNZ in February 2017 include:
- Hosting a UK FinTech delegation in Auckland;
- MoU with FinTech Australia;
- MoU with Singapore FinTech Association;
- Accepting international members (including Kiwi diaspora in foreign markets);
- Participating in the Singapore FinTech Festival;
- Joining ASEAN FinTech Network;
- Hosting a Singapore FinTech delegation during New Zealand TechWeek;
- MoU with InsurTech Asia, InsurTech UK, InsurTech Australia and other counterparts;
- Leading the launch of the Global InsurTech Alliance (GITA);
- Hosting the Lord Mayor of London in Auckland;
- MoU with Stone & Chalk (Australia);
- MoU with FinTech Galaxy (UAE);
- Participating in London FinTech Week and hosted at the Old Bailey by the Lord Mayor of London;
- Intern from ANZ posted in Sydney, supporting FinTech SME’s across the Tasman;
- Establishing relationship with and connecting Kiwi FinTech businesses to Emirates NBD banking group;
- Developing relationship with the Royal Bank of Scotland;
- InsurTechNZ Working Group representative to speak at the Global Insurance Roadshow in Germany