New Zealand has been ranked one of Asia Pacific’s fastest emerging fintech hubs and one of the top 10 fintech destinations in the region, FintechNZ general manager James Brown says.
Globally, New Zealand is ranked 45th in the first Global Fintech Index city rankings 2020 by Findexable which identifies emerging hubs, fintech companies and trends of fintech ecosystems in more than 230 cities across 65 countries.
Creating a positive business environment for fintech has helped Auckland reach 21st position in Asia Pacific, Brown says.
“Top of the Global Fintech index city rankings 2020 is the San Francisco Bay area, followed by London, New York and Singapore. The United States takes first position on the list for fintech countries followed by the United Kingdom and Singapore.
“New Zealand ranks as one of Asia Pacific’s fastest emerging fintech hubs and one of the top 10 fintech destinations in the region.
“Creating a positive business environment for fintech has helped Auckland reach 21st position in Asia Pacific.
“Fintech is now a key agenda item for the Kiwi regulator group of the Council of Financial Regulators (CoFR) which has been operating since 2011 as a forum for agencies with responsibility for financial sector regulation.
“CoFR is comprised of the Reserve Bank, Financial Markets Authority, the Treasury, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Commerce Commission. Its three super funds are valued at $220bn.
“They could increase the nine percent they invest in New Zealand and free up capital for the growing tech sector. This would attract more talent and entrepreneurs to come to New Zealand and collaborate, invest or test and learn in our market.
“New Zealand could then become the gateway to Asia, with great connections in both Singapore and Hong Kong.
“Open banking is not working in the United Kingdom as efficiently as it could, and I believe Australia will end up with the same result.
“Banks are moving closer to an industry approach and I am all for that. This will benefit all New Zealanders and provide more competition in a dominated market and more transparency across financial services.
“This is good timing with global economies slowing and very low interest rates or negative rates in some cases, offering more choice of products suitable to customers’ demands.
“This will help target digital literacy which will help to reduce the number of SMEs that fall over, due to cashflow. Better awareness of products can help the small business owner using AI and digital assistants with voice activation will help support many of Kiwi SMEs which make up more than 95 percent of companies in this country,” Brown says.