printer icon
James Brown

Hitting The Ground Running


Happy New Year everyone I hope you had a great break and are coming into 2019 refreshed and ready to go.

I met with RBS just after the new year and am pleased to tell you that they are very keen to host FinTechNZ when we travel to the UK. Currently we are looking at a number of options, London Tech WeekInnovate Finance and London FinTech Week. If you have plans to visit the UK in 2019 please do get in touch and we can coordinate our agendas.

I believe that 2019 holds a great opportunity for the New Zealand FinTech sector, especially with a Free Trade Agreement post Brexit that will focus on our service offering unlike ever before. With support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the Department for International Trade, the Lord Mayor’s office and companies like RBS, we are well positioned to help support UK based companies keen to explore opportunities in New Zealand.

In a recent article from Forbes, Ron Shelvin commented that ‘banking and fintech partnerships will be a huge disappointment‘ however, we are seeing something quite different here in New Zealand with the Banks being very keen to collaborate on projects with FinTechs. I know of more than 50 projects across digital account opening, payments and lending that are ongoing, and I believe we will see this increase.

2019 will see more collaborative events across the Tech Alliance. In February FinTechNZ will partner with the AI Forum NZ, exploring how AI will transform the customer experience across the financial services industry. Generously sponsored by Xero, the event series will be accompanied by PR and social media designed to increase the awareness of AI as a ‘force for good’ in FinTech. We will hear from a number of industry experts and have a robust panel discussion on the future of AI across financial services.

At our recent NZ FinTech Summit we talked about an open ecosystem and have since launched the Open Ecosystem working group, chaired by Shahid Saiyad from IBM and Kristen Lunman from Hatch. We want to move this to a more “Open Data” discussion which was a recent theme from ANZ’s New Zealand CEO and Group Executive David Hisco. He called for us to ‘be brave and focus more on open data rather than limiting our thoughts to open banking’.

I am honoured to be invited to speak at this years ANZIIF InsurTech Conference 2019 in Sydney, I will be talking about all things that impact the InsurTech landscape and what we can look forward to in coming months. The insurance industry is making moves to change its operating model and the way they interact with its customers. An area where I see significant growth potential in 2019 is around cyber insurance. With only 6% of New Zealand companies adequately protected, this is something that needs to dramatically change. We will also see insurance become more of a bundle offering, which will be great for the customer. The first InsurTechNZ meeting of 2019 will be held in early February, date TBC.

Funding comes up often as a barrier in New Zealand however with the launch of the new Intangible Asset fund from Everedge Global, companies now have another option.

After meeting with the Prime Minister late last year, we sent a letter to her office outlining the potential benefits for creating a closer working relationship. We will be putting a paper together outlining what this could look like, and I urge you to get in touch if you have something you feel we should include. Please provide examples to help shape our position. Great to see the Prime Minister at Davos with our Finance Minister.

2018 was a bumper year and 2019 has started at pace, I mentioned that I had won tickets to all the sporting events at Eden Park this year, in order to get yourself in the draw for the first set of tickets email me a good example of how AI could benefit FinTech. The most innovative idea wins.

In summary, this year I expect we will see more adoption of Blockchain as a new  technology platform, a levelling out of cryptocurrency, insurance accelerate its route to market and AI continuing to build on digital assistants, very exciting stuff indeed.

Kind Regards

James Brown

General Manager


Attend the launch of the Tech Alliance Event Series in Wellington next week, 30 January. There was a great turnout on Tuesday night at the Auckland event, with speakers from across the Alliance setting the agenda for 2019.

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

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

Be part of Techweek19  Plan your own FinTech event to inspire New Zealanders and build connections. If you would like to be involved general event submissions open next week.

Attend ANZIIF Insurtech 2019, Australasia’s Largest InsurTech Conference, in Sydney, 26 -27 February. ContactInsurTechNZ Chair Jason Roberts, who’s also speaking, to join the Kiwi Delegation going over.

Straight after ANZIIF you can attend the InsurTech Summit Australia 2019, in Sydney, 28 February.

Register for AI-Day 2019 a multi-day conference,  taking place in Auckland 27 March to 7 April.

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.


Unauthorised transfers from Christchurch based trading exchange Cryptopia estimated at $23m.

Submit your idea to the 2019 ACORD InsurTech Innovation Challenge the world’s premier event for innovation in insurance technology. Applications must be received on or before 26 April.

A recent international report on AI in Fintech found that ‘As FinTech applies data and technology to financial services in an effort to address industry challenges, artificial intelligence is essential to FinTech’s existence and usage’read more to get up to speed for our upcoming joint event. Download the full report here.

We want to continue to nurture the FinTech ecosystem so reach out  if you think someone should be part of the conversation, or if you have something to say.


Congratulations to FinTechNZ member and one of our favourite 2018 presenters FaceMe securing $US10 million in funding, great to see another Kiwi innovator making big waves.

Congratulations also to JRNY for partnering with IBM. We are delighted to see two of our most engaged members getting together to advance FinTech innovation and collaboration.

Find out What is the future of AI in NZ’s insurance landscape? from InsurTechNZ Chair Jason Roberts.

Review the  FinTechNZ Ecosystem landscape and see who you could collaborate with this year, keep it handy,  it is an excellent resource.

Entries for the 2019 Hi-Tech Awards are now open! Check out the categories and consider a nomination, entries close 4 March.

James Brown