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James Brown

March Newsletter 2019 – Supporting stronger communities

Dear Readers,

Words can’t express how I feel about the tragic events that unfolded in Christchurch, a city that has endured and risen from previous tragedy, I am sure they will do this once again.  My sincerest condolences go out to those who have lost family and friends. Now is the time to support and strengthen the diverse communities that make up this progressive country.

Over the last few weeks I have attended some great sessions, starting with an event hosted by HGM, hearing all about data from Rt Hon Bill English as he shared some excellent insights into the differences between the private and public sector.

Next up was the last event in our first collaboration series with AI Forum New Zealand, held in Christchurch, looking at the impact of AI on the customer experience in the financial services industry. You can read a wrap up here, thank you to all our excellent presenters and hosts.

Insurance continues to be very topical as I saw first hand at the 2019 ANZIIF conference. It was great to see so many Kiwis in the speaker line up, seven InsurTechNZ members I believe, along with more than twenty New Zealand companies attending, and FaceMe winning the pitch competition, well done! The trans Tasman collaboration and banter with our Australian counterparts was excellent. Check out how many faces you recognise in the highlights video.

Last night InsurTechNZ were hosted by Bell Gully at their first event of the year from the Sales and Distribution working group. The theme ‘Is Tech Driving Sales or is Tech Driving Out Sales People?’ There were some big predictions for the future of the insurance sales landscape, along with a very successful case study from Moneyworks spanning fifteen years of ‘always wanting to be automated’. You can read more about this in our upcoming blog. The most interesting stat for me was that AI will be doing 95% of the sales role in the next twenty years.

Earlier this month it was International Women’s Day and I have to say how impressed I am by the number of successful women making a huge impact in the FinTech space in New Zealand and globally. I was also pleased to see a great piece on AIA’s female dominated insurance executive team. We are actively looking to increase the number of women involved in our working groups and events, right across the board.

You may have seen the news around Brexit and the possible outcomes, we have been having conversations about the great opportunities for New Zealand, we will look to have an event to uncover the role New Zealand could play to support both the EU and the UK.

We have launched the Open Ecosystem and the first meetings were very robust which is what we need, Open Banking doesn’t go far enough according to many New Zealand bank’s CEOs.

Finally, congratulations to JRNY who were selected as one of the top fifteen startups in the Asia Pacific region and were invited to be part of the Money 20/20 Startup Academy in Singapore this week.

We love being involved in all the success, innovation, partnerships and ventures going on across the FinTech community. It all starts with connections, conversations and collaboration.

Keep connecting and look after each other.

Kind Regards

James Brown
General Manager


Attend the final event in the BlockChain NZ / Digital Identity NZ event series taking place in Auckland tonight, hosted by IBM.

Register for the New Zealand Digital Skills Hui on 27 March in Wellington. Focusing on driving policy, programmes and investment, you can read more here.

Take part in the Red Hat Open Banking Roadshow with workshops taking place in Sydney 26 March, Melbourne 28 March, Auckland 4 April, and Wellington 5 April.

Limited spaces are available at the Changing face of Government Procurement event taking place in Auckland 8 April, and Wellington 9 April, register today.

Don’t forget to submit your events for Techweek19 20–26 May, submissions close 8 April. Head to the Techweek19 event portal to submit your FinTech event and we will be happy to support it.

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

We are always keen to promote and support member activity, so if you have any upcoming events to share please get in touch we are happy to  promote through our channels.

Register for AI-Day 2019 with events taking place in Auckland 27 March to 7 April.

Attend the 2019 Hi-Tech Awards finalists announcement in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on 27 March. Also secure your tickets to the Gala Dinner on 24 May in Auckland, during Techweek19.

Join Paul Adams CEO of EverEdge Global who will be speaking at Intangible Assets Driving Success and Failure: the Risks and Rewards of a Critical Asset Class on 10 April in Auckland.

Attend the Women in Insurance Summit 2019, 30 July in Auckland. This event will also showcase the Women in Insurance Awards, you can nominate now.

Upcoming international events include Innovate Finance 29–30 April in London, London Tech Week 10–13 June, London FinTech Week, 5–10 July and the UK’s largest FinTech Conference and Trade show FinTech Connect, 3–4 December in London.

If you have plans to visit the UK in 2019 please contact us as it’s more than likely other members will be going too.

Join the international conversations happening in Europe in 2019 at the European Payments Summit 25–26 April in the Netherlands.


Australian fintech innovation hub Stone & Chalk, has partnered with Ireland’s national trade and innovation agency, Enterprise Ireland, to develop a landing pad in both Sydney and Melbourne for Irish fintech companies.

Australian Fintech Earnd secures $2.5 million for tech putting a stop to payday lending woes.

New data from Statistics NZ highlights the continued growth of R&D by tech firms, with computer services and scientific and tech services making up 35 percent of all R&D investment.

See why 2019 is predicted to be a historic year in fintech for New Zealand.

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.

Lightning Lab GovTech is accepting applications for its July 2019 cohort. If you are in the public sector, don’t miss your chance to be part of this project accelerator. Applications for Lightning Lab Tourism close 1 April.

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

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.

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


New Zealand AI software vendor Ambit has built a channel to push “digital employees” after revenue raise of $1.75 million.

See why James Brown believes New Zealand FinTech ‘has never been better placed to capitalise on a burgeoning global market’.

InsurTechNZ news includes The Global InsurTech Alliance (GITA) expanding with new country members Switzerland, Hartford (USA) and Israel. The upcoming release of the InsurTechNZ/ EYInsurTech New Zealand report will be released soon at an invitation only event.

DigiSure was proud to be one of the shortlisted finalists to pitch at the Lloyds Lab – Cohort 2 in London this week. “The Lloyd’s Lab is a fast-track, fast-fail environment where new concepts, ideas and products can be tested with the support and active involvement of the world’s specialist insurance marketplace.”

Steve Wiggins, CEO of Payments NZ is making payments innovation easier with the release of their first API standards for Payment Initiation and Account Information. These standards will be used as a building block for new innovation which can benefit all Kiwis.

Watch highlights from Centrality’s recent Accelerator Demo Day starting successful collaborations between accelerators and investors.

Welcome to our newest members IRESS and Rubis Digital we look forward to working with you and finding out more about your involvement in the FinTech space.

Find out from Xero’s Nicole Buisson what it takes to be a High Growth Business in New Zealand.

James Brown