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James Brown

Are we ready to embrace FinTech for Economic Growth?


Dear readers,

This has been a month focused on Government. After reviewing our strategy, one of our priorities is to “help Government understand the FinTech Landscape”. Helping them to recognise FinTech as a sector and create the correct regulatory and policy framework will help to stimulate Government investment into the sector. We will work with Government to create a white paper and market report to identify the opportunities.

Last month I presented to the National Caucus and I must say it was a very interactive session with Hon Jacqui Dean helping to steer the conversation. The themes were around opportunities, barriers to innovation and whether FinTech will help drive economic growth. I mentioned that we need to create more collaboration and industry standards that will help drive competition and result in better customer outcomes.

Yesterday I presented to the Select Committee about FinTech and how it is going to drive GDP and economic growth, and help more Kiwi companies take their products or solutions to the global stage. The key questions were around data literacy, privacy and the potential impact to our financial services sector with the launch of Libra from Facebook, who hold 28,000 data points on the average per person. A key outcome is that we have been asked to create a FinTech 101 or easy guide to highlight “What is FinTech”, live examples, and some opportunities for companies in this sector. I finish the day meeting Minister Dr Shane Reti as he couldn’t  be at the presentation and has a keen interest in this space, more specifically the barriers to innovation.

MBIE is nearing the completion of a Funding review and it comes up in New Zealand as a discussion point, however after the announcement in the Budget about $300 million going to the tech sector, this is a great step forward in plugging the existing $2 – $15 million gap. This will help FinTech retain its position as the fastest growing tech sector in New Zealand.

It was great to see the launch of the Financial Integrity Systems Assessment “FISA” by Transparency International New Zealand. Suzanne Snively, FMA’s Rob Evertt and the RBNZ ‘s Adrian Orr all spoke about its importance and function in helping establish our financial services sector as a stable and vibrant platform to create more innovation. However that has changed a little with the departure of David Hisco this week for “mis characterisation” around his expenses, I think we will need to wait to see what else unfolds in this story, my fear is it might prompt a deeper review.

Techweek was amazing! I personally attended 23 events in four cities and I got to see a lot of cool companies doing some amazing things. One of the themes was around “The Future of Money” and how the younger generations view it, what’s its value, where is it being invested, will I purchase a home or invest in my future? All these questions are valid and I wonder if large organisations are doing any stress testing on their existing model should Kiwis decide on a different path to their parents. Being able to make decisions with a two thumb click is becoming the norm, which means large amounts of wealth could change hands in an instant, this is very exciting.

This is very timely as I have just done an interview on Radio New Zealand around the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Future of Cash release this has huge implications for FinTech in New Zealand and New Zealand a whole.

The Kiwibank accelerator program now moves into go live from the 1st of July and it was great to see record numbers of applications. I look forward to hearing all about the new products and solutions being created. Well done to those involved.

James Brown
General Manager

How technology can improve customer outcomes in a changing regulatory environment 31 July, Auckland

FinTechNZ joins Digital Identity NZ for the next series of Tech Alliance event series, 11 July, Wellington, 18 July, Auckland


FinTechNZ is pleased to join Digital Identity NZ for our next Tech Alliance event series. Save the date: 11 July, Wellington and 18 July, Auckland.

Join EdTechNZ and TechWomen on the 26 June in Christchurch to discuss how to achieve diversity in the tech sector.

The final  2019 Export Essentials workshops are running throughout New Zealand from June to July.

Join InsurTechNZ exploring ‘How technology can improve customer outcomes in a changing regulatory environment’, 31 July, Auckland, sponsored by Minter Ellison Rudd Watts. Registrations will open soon. 

Attend the Women in Insurance Summit 2019 , 30 July in Auckland. You can also nominate your entrant for the Women in Insurance Awards.

You can now register  for the Canterbury Tech Summit on 12 September in Christchurch.

The 2019 NZ Cyber Security Summit will examine the changing cyber landscape and what that means for the modern business ecosystem, taking place on 15 October at Te Papa, in Wellington.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued the problem statements for the Singapore FinTech Festival 2019. They fall under four categories, Banking and Finance, Financial Inclusion, General and Insurance. The more problem statements your company can solve, the better your chances of being in the top 20 or top three of either the Global Hackcelerator Challenge or the FinTech awards. The entry deadline is 26th June, submit your entries here. Please let Sharmin Reehman, NZTE know once you have submitted so he can follow up with KPMG.

Attend the 6th annual London FinTech Week, 5-10 July the UK’s largest FinTech Conference

Register for Xerocon Brisbane 2019 4-5 September ‘the world’s most beautiful and innovative conference for cloud accounting leaders’.

Trade show FinTech Connect, takes place from 3-4 December in London.

Hong Kong FinTech Week is back on 4 – 8 November 2019 you can pre register now and get further information.

Singapore FinTech Festival 2019, 11-15 November, early bird tickets are available until 14 August.


If you would like to contribute to the upcoming submission on the review of insurance contract law have a look at the submission templateand contact Jason Roberts, InsurTechNZ Chair to discuss coordination.

We are pleased to welcome Tamara Zyrianova our new Project co-ordinator for InsurTechNZ.  Tamara will be helping with event management and communications.

Read the overview of Sydney’s Insurance Business Claim Tech Summit from Richard Nicholson, Crawford NZ.

Put the 31 July in your calendar for the next InsurTechNZ event in Auckland. Invitations will be out soon.


WealthTechNZ launched publicly during Techweek last month, with a strong turnout of 50 people attending the networking event and panel discussion. The newly established WealthTechNZ is proudly part of FinTechNZ, with a purpose of promoting innovation and the digitization of wealth and investment services for improved customer outcomes.

We now have a core group of people from across the industry working on initiatives inline with our purpose, and covering a range of topics such as digital advice, regulation, the funding gap, and connecting and promoting the industry. Keep an eye out for future events and networking opportunities, and if you’d like to get involved or find our more contact Rachel Strevens, WealthTech Chair.


The Trans-Tasman Business Circle is delighted to announce a partnership with the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum(ANZLF) to launch the ANZLF Trans-Tasman Innovation & Growth Awards (ANZLF Awards), watch this space.

There are Surging levels of investment forecast for NZ tech exports in 2019 and FinTech is at the helm.


Welcome to our newest members Forwardcaster Ltd, Insight Decisions Limited, InvstaJasper, NSC School and smartAR Limited.

Applications for the Callaghan Innovation R&D Experience Grants close 31 August.

We always want to hear from our Members. If you’ve got something to contribute to the FinTech community get in touch.

Follow FinTechNZ for the latest updates in Financial Technology here and overseas

James Brown