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James Brown

February Newsletter 2019 – Artificial Intelligence coupled with knowledge, the way forward


Last night FinTechNZ partnered with the AI Forum in Auckland, exploring how AI will transform the customer experience across the financial services industry, generously sponsored by Xero, what a great turnout! It was the second event in the series with the first being held in Wellington last week.

There was great discussion on how AI will remove some of the mundane processes and create a better customer experience. We talked about using AI for risk assessment, how it could be used to detect fraud faster, and how we will see more personalised Robo advice, which will provide products and solutions that customer will benefit from.

The Christchurch event takes place next week, 27 February, Tech Alliance members can attend for free with discount code TAFREE and a 50% discount is available for non members: NONMEMBER50. It will be a good opportunity to get a wider audience involved in South Island FinTech and AI, spread the word.

The Working Groups are all making good progress with the following updates:

  • International has defined their scope for the year and will be focusing on Dubai, Singapore, the UK and Australia.
  • The Open Ecosystem has a diverse group of members focusing on the end consumer, control of data, competition in the market and agility to move, however if your keen to get involved please do get in touch.
  • Start-up are planning to host an event with Xero to look at the opportunities and challenges for start-ups in New Zealand, from funding, to how to approach large incumbents.
  • The RegTech group is looking to become part of FinTechNZ with an official launch in the second quarter of the year.

InsurTechNZ has plenty going on, as mentioned last month, a number of FinTechNZ and InsurtechNZ members including myself will be speaking at the ANZIIF InsurTech Conference 2019 in Sydney. The event showcases the latest developments in the Australian InsureTech space, and we will have the opportunity to share what the InsurTech landscape looks like here at home. I will also be meeting with Stone & Chalk to talk about their model and how we could replicate it here. Blackbird Ventures are also on my list of people to see, they are keen to explore the opportunities to invest in New Zealand FinTech companies.

The InsurTechNZ landscape report being produced with EY will be published in March and we will have the opportunity to compare the Australian and New Zealand markets when InsurTech Australia update their report later in the year.

Put the 20 March in your calendars for the first InsurTechNZ meet-up of the year, being held in Auckland. The focus will be on Sales and Distribution, how to improve the sales performance in the insurance sector using innovative technology, automation, and platforms to engage differently with audiences.

I would like to congratulate Kendall Flutey winner of the 2019 Young New Zealander of the Year, for her work with Banquer. She is one of our truly inspirational members and we’re thrilled that her contribution to young people, finance and technology has been recognised.

You may have seen the launch of the FinTech Bridge program between the UK and Hong Kong this is very exciting if this is a target market for you. I am exploring a similar concept with the Department for International Trade (DIT) for New Zealand.

You will be aware of the up and coming decision on the 29 March about Brexit and the potential impact for New Zealand companies doing business with the UK and the EU. I have been asked for clear examples of barriers to doing business with the UK, if you are having trouble or have some views please do get in touch as this will be put in a paper which will go the PM. This will help shape the national strategy for FinTech.

Happy Chinese New Year and here’s to a prosperous year of the Pig!

Kind Regards

James Brown
General Manager


Attend the final FinTechNZ and AI Forum joint event ‘How AI will transform the customer experience across the financial services industry’ in Christchurch 27 February.Use discount codes for the Christchurch event giving complimentary admission to Tech Alliance members: TAFREE and a 50% discount for non members: NONMEMBER50.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), First NZ Capital (FNZC) and Spark will be showcasing nine of the best and brightest female-led start-ups as they pitch for capital and advisory services at InvestHer on 6 March, Auckland. Register here to attend.

Techweek19 (20-26 May) is now open for event submissions. Regional partnerships will ensure there are events celebrating tech and innovation throughout the country. Head to the Techweek19 event portal to submit your FinTech event and we will be happy to support it.  

There are only two weeks until entries close for the Hi-Tech Awards on 4 March. Check out the categories and submit your entry. There is also an opportunity for multi-nationals to be involved by showcasing their contribution to the New Zealand tech sector.

Attend ANZIIF Insurtech 2019, Australasia’s Largest InsurTech Conference, next week in Sydney,  26 -27 February. InsurTechNZ Chair Jason Roberts along with other members of InsurTechNZ will be speaking. It’s not too late to join the Kiwi Delegation going over.  

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

Register for the New Zealand Digital Skills Hui on 27 March in Wellington. The focus is on driving policy, programmes and investment. Read more here.

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

London Tech Week, Innovate Finance and London FinTech Week. If you have plans to visit the UK in 2019 please contact us and we can coordinate our agendas.

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.

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


In FinTech news, it is expected that New Zealand will face major changes this year as we become an increasingly cashless society.

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.

BlockchainNZ the newest member of the Tech Alliance is up and running and keen to get people educated and involved in the New Zealand blockchain community. Sign up to receive their newsletter and find out more about their plans for 2019.

Meet the UpStarters and learn more about New Zealand’s tech and innovation story. Watch videos and download the showcase booklet.

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 .


Kendall Flutey founder of Banqer is named 2019 Young New Zealander of the year. We are proud to have Banquer as a member, they are an online educational programme that helps young New Zealanders develop financial literacy skills, congratulations Kendall!

Welcome to all our new FinTechNZ members for 2019. We will be profiling some of these companies in upcoming newsletters to build awareness and collaboration across our community. It is always great to hear about what our members are up to so if you have news or events to share please get in touch.   

Looking to network better with accelerators, funders, incubators and other businesses both locally and internationally? In April, Callaghan Innovation launches Scale-Up New Zealand, a free online platform with verified information on New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem. Learn more and register to be part of Scale-Up New Zealand.

James Brown