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Opportunity and optimism

What camp do you find yourself in? The ‘yippee, we’re nearly back to normal’ or the ‘what’s around the corner people?’ I, for one, am in the optimistic camp, thinking the worst has come and gone, and the future is working and living with COVID.

The Technology sector has done well from this global pandemic, which is not always something to shout about. However, it does point out the sector’s ability to weather a storm. No doubt we will see a huge focus on it going forward to create jobs, re-deploy, attract investment and complete further research. The main one being Open Banking. We are in the process of pulling together insights from across the ecosystem as to what qualitative and quantitative pieces of research will highlight and address. Will it make the financial services sector more transparent and more competitive? Will it address our widening gap between the rich and the poor? Will everyone be able to use the new tools that will be created? Many questions will need to be answered and we are keen to get everyone involved. This could be a defining moment in our country’s Financial Services offering to the rest of the world. Get this right and the world is our oyster. We have a number of interested parties already, so please get in touch if you are keen to partner. The proposal is available on request. 

The FinTechNZ Executive Council nominations close next Wednesday, 30 September. All New Zealand FinTechNZ member organisations are entitled to nominate a representative. This is your chance to be involved in shaping the future direction of Aotearoa’s FinTech sector! Submit your nomination using the online form here. The deadline for nominations is 5pm on Wednesday 30 September. Online elections will follow and the new Council will be announced at our Annual Meeting on Wednesday 4 November. Please register if you want to attend the Annual Meeting. Please note this is a member-only event.

On a national scale, we are getting ever closer to the General Election. I read with enthusiasm National’s plans to invest $1bn into Tech infrastructure, with a number of growth funds being made available. One challenge is around access to global markets in a non-international world; technology is going to be key. We need to simplify things like KYC/AML, fees in foreign currency, transactions abroad and making the process of opening a bank account in a foreign country simple.

We are moving into a new age and I, for one, want New Zealand singing loudly about our role in the evolution of things. We have done it before and we can do it again.

Insurtech NZ is seeking a new Co-Chair

It is with much regret that we say goodbye to Kai Dwyer, our co-chair for InsurTechNZ. Kai has been a great support to both Jason and me. He has brought experience, passion and a wealth of knowledge. He will be sorely missed and we wish him all the best as he starts a new chapter of his life  in the South Island. 

Kai’s departure means the rewarding co-chair position becomes vacant with immediate effect. Are you passionate about insurance and the role that technology will play in the future? Would you like to help drive engagement across the local and international community of insurance providers, innovators, industry bodies, regulators and investors? If you are interested in playing a key role in the growth of the New Zealand Insurtech community and supporting the ongoing development of its ecosystem then please register your interest with me or Jason. We will be very happy to explain the position in detail. InsurTechNZ has other  positions available too. It is one of our most active working groups, with so much change and opportunity in this sector. 

This is Mental Health Awareness Week so I would like to take a moment to think about how we are all feeling as the normal day to day demands are compounded by the stress of COVID. Take time for yourself, take time for your family and take time to bathe in the natural beauty that is our home, it is changing all the time. Don’t miss out.

James Brown
General Manager

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