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New Zealand FinTech: breaking barriers to growth

The FinTech industry has grown up and grown out. No longer made up of only start-ups, FinTech today is a host of seasoned companies that offer a broad array of financial services and operate on a global stage.

FinTechs strives to make financial services more accessible for both consumers and businesses. By connecting customers to a digital world, FinTech enhances their experiences, making them efficient, economical and frictionless. They are no longer just disruptors, FinTech challengers have grown into sophisticated competitors, with an increasingly global reach.

New Zealand is at the forefront of this FinTech boom. They are coming up with ingenious and innovative solutions that not only make a range of financial products and services more accessible to individuals and businesses globally but also solve some of the world’s toughest problems.

Innovation from the edge

One example of this is Eightwire. With data privacy a key concern for many individuals and businesses, the Wellington-based company has developed a technology platform that automates complex steps needed to move data securely from system to system. More importantly, Eightwire has made it simple for users of its platform – minimal technical effort is needed to set up the Eightwire platform and data transfers are automated.

Auckland-based InsurTech company JRNY were recently named one of the top two fintech start-ups at the Money 20/20 event here in Singapore. JRNY has used AI to simplify the process for selecting insurance with the aim of helping more people find better coverage by identifying the right insurance policies for their circumstances.

Their artificial intelligence Insurance Distribution Platform is highly configurable and can be used for a range of uses. The platform lets insurance providers create better digital forms for an easier quote and bind process, as well as a digital insurance needs analysis that helps individuals understand what insurance they actually need and which product is most suitable for them.

Separately, cloud-based property valuation platform Valocity, has made the home buying experience for people around the world seamless and simple. Its One Smart Platform automates and streamlines the entire mortgage and property valuation process by connecting the entire ecosystem of lenders, brokers, valuers and consumers.

This platform enables banks and lenders to validate a property and its value and compare these to the credit ratings of the potential home buyer, creating a faster, more efficient mortgage process, with improved customer experience. 

Enabling the growth of SMEs

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly using FinTech services. These businesses constitute a distinct customer segment, with needs that are different both from those of consumers and those of large corporations.

In many ways, FinTechs are also contributing to the growth of SMEs. SMEs are vital to the economy, particularly in Singapore, where they contribute up to 48 per cent of the nation’s GDP and employ about 65 per cent of the workforce. That said, the economic potential of SMEs still remains untapped, and FinTechs have stepped up to provide solutions that are helping put SMEs ahead of the curve.

FinTechs catering to SMEs market have introduced products and services that are specifically tailored to suit the specific needs of smaller companies. Through advanced financial analytics, for example, FinTechs companies are empowering SMEs to make data-driven business decisions.

9 Spokes is an excellent example. Its business tracking and insights tool is now empowering SMEs to directly track their business performance – insights that used to be reserved to larger companies. From finance and funding to digital marketing and POS, 9 Spokes has given SMEs a comprehensive overview of their businesses in one central location, helping them benchmark themselves against their competitors and sector standards.

Working with OCBC Singapore, 9 Spokes has helped the bank launch the first-of-its-kind white-label business dashboard for SMEs earlier this year which allows the bank’s SME customers to see essential information on all aspects of their businesses in one place. 

Meanwhile, to give SMEs the opportunity to improve their business analysis and forecasting, Spotlight Reporting has developed a cloud-based software that automates the production of business advisory reports. The Spotlight tool integrates data from leading accounting software such as Xero and MYOB and non-financial software like Google Analytics to deliver business data visually. This allows Spotlight Reporting to improve the accuracy and clarity of business information, empowering SMEs to make better decisions for their business.

Strategic partnerships are key

Strategic collaborations between FinTechs and key stakeholders, including government bodies and financial institutions, are essential to achieve financial inclusion and ultimately economic growth.

Through these collaborations, banks can tap into the technical expertise and capabilities of nimble FinTechs, while such players will be able to gain access to a wider consumer base and advanced infrastructure of large financial institutions.

The Enhanced Partnership between Singapore and New Zealand, that was signed in May 2019, will pave the way for further collaboration between FinTechs and stakeholders from both our nations. Together we can do amazing things and I’m excited to see how partnerships in FinTechs will continue to push the barriers to growth.

Sourced via: Sharmin Reehman

New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) is committed to helping ambitious New Zealand businesses grow internationally. Innovative tech companies from New Zealand will be present at the upcoming Singapore FinTech Festival x SWITCH. Meet them to learn how they can help drive growth for your business:

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