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James Brown

The Year That Was – December 2018


We’ve come hurtling into the holiday season at full speed with the first FinTechNZ Executive Council meeting and the first International Relations Working Group meeting taking place in the last week. Thank you to Mitchell Pham for continuing as FinTechNZ Chair for another term, your knowledge and guidance is invaluable. Joining Mitchell as Vice Chair is Neil Roberts, Harmoney, welcome aboard.  2018 has seen our membership grow by 100%, and the focus for 2019 will be on delivering tangible projects.

Members continue to join the Open Ecosystem working group, this and the other working groups will allow our members to actively participate, engage and collaborate on issues critical to FinTechNZ. Contact me if you’d like to participate in any of the groups next year.

The inaugural NZ FinTech Summit has come and gone, however the conversation and collaborations will continue. There was a diverse array of speakers and topics and great involvement from the attendees delivered an engaging event. For me there were a number of key messages but the main one was the need for more collaboration around Open Data, this was highlighted in the opening address by Minister Faafoi, right through to the Open Banking panel discussion in the afternoon.

New Zealand is known for its ability to play on the global stage, with innovations like EFTPOS, and FinTech is the fastest growing sector in the TIN200 report. With companies like Hatch (the winners of the Xero Start Up Competition) and Choice disrupting the sector, we are seeing some great opportunities for Kiwi companies to go global. We need to continue to build an environment where we have more transparency, and make it easier to uncover the opportunities for SMEs and MSMEs to partner with the incumbents.

Thank you to all the speakers and presenters, the thought provoking insights into the world of tomorrow were fascinating, you did a great job of getting our grey matter working. Thank you also to Binu Paul for the highly successful collaboration with Finnotec, you can read Binu’s round up of the summit.

Another highlight of the month was talking FinTech with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, she was keen to further her understanding of the opportunities FinTech presents for New Zealand. We are putting together a paper to highlight challenges and opportunities for both our local and global markets. If you would like to contribute, please email me a succinct, evidence based piece and we can collate your views.

Good news for our FinTechNZ sports fans, I was on the winning team at the G9 ASB Golf Day at Eden Park and now have 12 months access to the members lounge. We’ll be running some competitions in the upcoming newsletters for tickets, so make sure you keep a look out… fore!

Also onto a winner is InsurTechNZ, they had an incredible year. What started as a small working group has gone from strength to strength. InsurTechNZ Chair Jason Roberts gives us the 2018 highlights and what to expect from 2019.

Preparation is well underway for our first 2019 event, a collaboration between FinTechNZ and AI Forum in February. We’re also looking forward to AI-Day 2019 an event for leaders who are keen to learn how AI will impact their organisation, sector and the world. Submissions for Techweek19 are open, I would like our members to take advantage of the momentum and coverage this offers, and hold a number of events up and down the country to showcase FinTech both here and overseas.

Finally I would like to wish everyone who has supported FinTechNZ in 2018 and your families, all the best for the holiday season.

Merry Yule, happy Hogmanay and a prosperous New Year or as they say in Scotland…

Nollaig Chridheil agus bliadhna shona ùr!


James Brown
General Manager


Put the dates in your diary for the FinTechNZ and AI Forum joint events in Wellington February 14Auckland February 21Christchurch February 27.

Get your earlybird tickets before 31 December for the AI-Day 2019 multi-day conference,  taking place in Auckland 27 March to 7 April.

Register for the 2019 Export Essentials workshops running throughout New Zealand from February to July.

Attend ANZIIF Insurtech 2019, Australasia’s Largest InsurTech Conference, in Sydney February 26 -27. Contact InsurTechNZ Chair Jason Roberts, who will be speaking, to coordinate with the other members going over.

Join the international conversations happening in Europe in 2019 at the Paris FinTech Forum, the European Payments Summit and the UK’s largest FinTech Conference and Trade show FinTech Connect.


The 2018 TIN Report reveals ICT companies accounted for almost half of this year’s TIN200 revenue growth, adding $521 million in combined revenue, with FinTech having the highest growth of 33.2% or $220 million.

Be part of Techweek19. Plan an event to inspire New Zealanders and build capability. Submissions for the programme highlights close this week. General event submissions open in January.

Following the Marriott data breach, panellists at UK’s Fintech Connect 2018 believe that while concern about the security of data retention still exists, open APIs have resulted in a paradigm shift around how data is controlled. Read more here.

An estimated 125 billion devices will be connected to the Internet in 2030. Lloyds has commissioned Networked world, analysing IoT’s opportunities, risks and regulatory landscape, aiming to help insurers and risk managers understand potential exposures.

A trusted, secure digital identity is crucial for all New Zealanders,” said Minister Woods at the official launch of Digital Identity NZ.  The Government has since announced$5.15m funding for research into digital identity. Executive director, Andrew Weaver discusses its incredible potential here.

Learn from EverEdge Global Chief Executive Officer, Paul Adams’ experience and advice for Managing Intangible Asset Risk they have also appointed a new CIO, Francis Milner and launched a specialist Intangible Asset investment fund.

Discover Binu Paul’s highlightsfrom the recent NZ Fintech Summitand the issues that will shape the FinTech sector in 2019.

Before you compile your list for Santa check out Westpac’s new app beContento, it may end up a little shorter once you realise how much stuff you already have.

Our Scottish counterpart FinTech Scotland speaks to Sam Daish, General Manager, Data Innovation atXero, about the development of AIin the accounting sector as part of their Global Outlook Series.

Review the final FinTechNZ Ecosystem landscape for 2018 and see who you could collaborate with in 2019.Thanks to FLUX and MBIEfor helping us provide this insightful resource.

InsurTechNZ experienced rapid growth in 2018 with great participation and collaboration from FinTechNZ members and the Insurance industry looking for new opportunities and solutions. See the highlights and plans for 2019 here.

Want to know more?  Sign up for the FinTechNZ update, it’s free and will take less than a minute!

James Brown