printer icon

Global thinking local innovation


Dear readers,

Some said, going to Hong Kong for the FinTech Festival wasn’t a great idea with all the trouble, all I can say is it was no trouble. What a great week, big thanks to Billy Law and Peter McDonald for all their support and it was great to see Kiwa Whatarau the Trade Commissioner for Hong Kong and Macau deliver his first public address at the event we spoke at.

Daniel Kieser from Shareclarity and AJ Smith from Trade Window had a number of interviews with Bloomberg which is clearly helping put New Zealand at the forefront of the FinTech global community.

On the back of the visit, we will be signing an MOU with Tokyo FinTech which is a community-driven non-profit organization with close to 3,000 members focused on advancing the financial services in Japan. Created in 2017 as a meetup group, and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2018, by the end of 2019 Tokyo FinTech will have hosted over 60 events with more than 130 speakers for its foreign and Japanese members. 

The following week was Singapore FinTech Festival and 70 New Zealand companies represented the ecosystem across all areas within Financial Services. Hayley Horan and Sharmin Reehman from NZTE really did pull out all the stops and the haka in front of the New Zealand pavilion was a special treat for the 80,000 visitors. Deals were done, investment was secured, the last two weeks have been amazing. Now to build on this for 2020, watch out if overseas is your next destination.

Closer to home, it’s about getting out and meeting with members and new prospects as we continue to grow our membership across all categories which is great to see. If you’re advising or have invested in a company which is not part of the ecosystem please feel free to introduce me, there may be a festive mulled wine in it for you.

Following the Regulation lunch, we had a meeting to discuss the next steps and the team provided a lot of clarity on what we need to focus on. In early 2020 we will launch RegTech which will be led by Tim Larkin from Dacreed and we will see the return of the quarterly Regulation Roundtable which is going to be chaired by Sam Richards from BNZ and co-chaired by Tim Larkin. These have been great sessions over the last two years, a lot of momentum has been built up by Larissa Vaughan and I am keen to continue and expand this.

On the horizon we have three events to finish the year, two joint events with AI Forum and InsurTechNZ and a WealthTech event. We are already planning for 2020 and it looks like we will have 22 events across FinTechNZ, InsurTechNZ, and WealthTechNZ as well as a number of overseas delegations. So, if you would like to host, give a presentation, be on a panel, or have some ideas on a theme for a session, then please do get in touch as they are already filling up. I hope to publish the dates shortly so you can get involved.

So what’s next, well we have our Annual Meeting today and the results of the elections, very exciting, I can’t wait to see who I will be working with in 2020. Then it’s breakfast with the Prime Minister, dinner with the Finance Minister and a Christmas Gala ball with the British High Commissioner. Next, I’ll be interviewing Steve Jurkovich, Kiwibank CEO, on what to expect from them in 2020, his views on FinTech, moving to digital and a whole raft of other things. Finally, we’ll have our last board meeting for the year where a chair and co-chair will be chosen, wrapping up the year with some key messages and aims for 2020.

It’s been a productive year, FinTech continues to outperform any other area in the Tech sector as announced by Greg Shanahan from TIN100 at the report launch a couple of weeks ago – thanks for the shout out.

As we continue to grow, ramp up projects and create more cohesion, please forward on the newsletter and make introductions to companies you think should be part of the ecosystem. We will continue to move towards New Zealand becoming a tech hub of choice, one way to do that is to sign up to Scale Up, the platform from Callaghan Innovation. 

Remember “Twelve Highlanders and a set of bagpipes make a rebellion”

James Brown

General Manager

Update from the Chair, Jason Roberts

Along with FinTechNZ, WealthTechNZ and AI Forum, InsurtechNZ is embracing the more active cross group collaborations gaining more traction. In particular we are looking forward to the launch event of AI in Insurance taking place tonight in Auckland and next week in Wellington, led by AI Forum. AI was identified as a core driver and technology to watch in the EY/InsurtechNZ report released earlier this year. These will be great events, we’ll see you there. 

If you are interested in expanding export opportunity, join us for the InsurtechNZ delegation to Sydney 20 February around the ANZIIF Conference and to Singapore 2-4 June around InsurTech Connect.

Next year we have a whole raft of events, delegations and combined sector initiatives under way and like the collaborations within the NZTech community, anticipate even more work with the likes of the FSC and others, watch this space.

Nga mihi


Taking place today, hear from Steve Jurkovich, Chief Executive Officer, Kiwibank at the Trans Tasman Business Circle’s next event, 21 November, Auckland.

Attend the NZ Hi-Tech Awards alumni and launch event on 27 November in Auckland. Save the date for the gala dinner on 22 May, 2020 in Wellington.

Register for FINNOTEC 2019 taking place next week, book now to secure your place for the 28 November, Auckland.

Attend the Xero Small Business Roadshow touring now until 5 December.

Check out the Axia Labs + BlockchainNZ Event Series taking place in Christchurch 2 December, Wellington 3 December and Auckland 5 December


FinTechNZ is proud to be a media partner for InsurTech Asia Summit 2019, 14-15 November in Singapore and Payment Asia Summit, 21-22 November in Shenzhen.

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

Paris FinTech Forum takes place from 29 January – 1 February 2020, Paris.

Attend the ANZIF InsurTech Conference, 19-20 February, Sydney.

Get the date in the diary for InsurTech Connect, Singapore 2-4 June 2020.

Member News

What drives FinTechNZ’s Chair Mitchell Pham? Earlier this week he shared his story on TV One I Am A Refugee. Mitchell is a refugee from Vietnam. When the Vietnam war finally ended Mitchell and his family were thrown further into chaos. Made with the support of NZ on Air.

Applications from kiwi tech start-ups to join the BNZ-Vodafone xone Partners Series corporate accelerator programme opened on Thursday 31 October. BNZ is co-delivering this initiative with Vodafone to take advantage of their numerous synergies in terms of shared focuses on tech, SME, and growing ‘NZ Inc’. With selection of the start-ups taking place in December, the xone Partners Series is scheduled to commence 20 January 2020. Applications for the xone Partners Series close on Friday 29 November and can be submitted here

There is a growing need to build agtech and fintech capabilities in Australia and New Zealand.

Kiwi FinTech Hnry calls for changes to KiwiSaver for self-employed nearly two thirds of their customers do not contribute to Kiwisaver and are missing out.

Ecosystm, the disruptive technology research and advisory firm, has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN) to promote the benefits of the APIX Platform to New Zealand fintechs and financial institutions.


Fintech investment is expected to surge in 2020.Find out the top five inTech trends predicted for next year.

Read the Future of Fintech.

, how it used to be a back-office support function, now it’s defining an industry.

China has been building a programmable money supply since 2014. When it is released, expected to be in 2020, China will be the first significant economy to upgrade its money supply, a change widely expected to kickstart a new era of FinTech innovation.

New Zealand urgently needs to launch a green fintech industry with government and industry working together to see how fintech can tackle climate change. Empower our next generation of environmental innovators. Applications for #cprize2019 close on 8 December.

See why some finance executives say Banks must behave ‘more like technology companies’ to survive.

FinTechNZ Disruptive technologies are revolutionising traditional financial services, creating opportunities for start up entrepreneurs and corporate innovators. FinTechNZ helps connect, promote and advance the trends shaping the FinTech ecosystem.