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Here’s to happy holidays and a prosperous 2021


Well it’s been a year we won’t forget in a hurry, who would have thought that 12 months ago? New governments, new presidents, some countries still in lockdown while we get to go about our daily lives in reasonable normality, something we should not take for granted.
We have seen FinTech play a vital role in keeping the country open for business, supporting companies by increasing the contactless payment limit which helped with COVID distance control. We have seen a number of partnerships being announced with ANZ and Aider, Westpac and CoGo, ASB and TradeWindow to name a few. I believe that looking to 2021 these partnerships will accelerate and we will see some exciting new products and solutions being launched.
Visa Accelerator Scheme
Our tech community has some exciting opportunities like the program VISA announced which is looking for Kiwi tech companies to be part of a new accelerator scheme. It’s the first time the global payment network has gone on the search for companies that solve real-world problems and it is looking for just six stand-out businesses across the Asia-Pacific region. “They should have a proven solution in the market already that they are hoping to scale into other markets and about nine to 12 months runway, and sufficient resources available for product concept testing with Visa.”

2021 Events
Fintech NZ will be hosting the first New Zealand Fintech Hui,  March 19 to 21 in Queenstown. The event is for founders, investors, industry and government partners to discuss the state of Fintech in New Zealand and to explore domestic and international opportunities. We will:

  • Dive deep into the world of platforms with local and international guests from Rails Bank and Xero.
  • Unpack NZ regulartory reforms to understand the challenges for fintechs and the opportunities for reg tech.
  • Discuss Open banking and the Consumer Data Rights.
  • Explore opportunities for insurtech, the sleeping giant.
  • Pack in plenty of opportunity to network and enjoy the best of Queenstown including an finale dinner at Walter Peak.

Places are strictly limited so secure your spot today for just $90, our main partner for the event is Huddle.

We are looking forward to seeing you all at our events scheduled for the last Thursday of every month in 2021 with other events to be confirmed. We held 30+ events this year both locally and internationally sharing insights, educating, uncovering sectoral problems that need addressing, we talked about Cyber, funding, a clear pathway to the tech sector and much much more, so if you want to speak or host an event then please do get in touch.
COVID has presented us with some challenges around membership however I am pleased to say that we will finish the year in a strong position and I must welcome new members like RBNZ, Valocity and Tower insurance who are supporting the transformation of the regulatory environment, helping us shape the FinTech story and redefine the Insurance sector around product enhancement, customer experience and attraction of talent.

The Year Ahead
The main focus of 2021 will be the Open Banking project we will embark on with support from the Digital Council, Dentons Kensington Swan, MBIE, Payments NZ, ANZ and Middleware, with more waiting to be confirmed. This is a very exciting project and one which will transform the financial services landscape here in New Zealand to create more inclusion, transparency, competition, collaboration, attract new players and new investors and take a uniquely New Zealand perspective to the opportunities. If you would like to be involved then please do get in touch as we will be diving into Digital Identity, Data, Privacy as well as using technology to lower costs. One thing we must remember is that technology does not replace, it is an enabler to enhance the user experience. The UK has shown that mass adoption of FinTech has increased the number of jobs, not reduced them.

We are well known around the world for our primary and dairy sectors and once seen as a top tourist destination. While COVID still exists and with the environmental impact and climatic impact some of those sectors create, the most logical focus is FinTech, as every business, regulator and government agency requires access to financial resources.

We heard the Prime Minister speak at the Singapore FinTechFestival about how well our FinTech sector is doing, now is the time to have a clear understanding of our long term goals, similar to what Singapore did a few years ago. We can turn New Zealand into a tech hub and be seen as a gateway to Asia but we have some work to do, are you with me?

A call to arms my fellow FinTechies
When it comes to creating better outcomes for consumers, innovators as well as regulators we share the same agenda. However, innovation by its very nature is a journey of discovery and is typically fluid in its progress. An essential element then is to have a flexible approach to regulation and foster innovation in the process. With the FMA now having an increasing focus on FinTech, we are really keen to hear from you about your FinTech, the lessons learnt along your innovation journey and more importantly how we could help you going forward. Your views will help our thinking about ways we can better support you in your mission to create better experiences for Kiwis when engaging with their finances. Please tell us more if you identify yourself as a FinTech – we’d like to know you better!

InsurTechNZ and WealthTechNZ
I want to thank Jason Roberts for his continued support as the Chair of InsurTechNZ, he will be joined by Blair Harrison from Tower as co-chair with a view to bringing in Dale Smith from JAVLN early 2021. I also want to thank Rachel Strevens for her amazing work around WealthTechNZ as she has now passed the baton to Andrew Logan from IRESS who will be the chair and Bill Cheney from Manuka Capital as co-chair. I look forward to working with you in 2021.

Well that’s it from me for 2020 as the festive season draws nearer, remember those who are suffering or have lost loved ones. We are lucky to be free and able to be with loved ones at this time of year. So cherish one another, have fun over the festive period and I wish you and your whanau all the best for 2021 and beyond.

Nollaig Shona Dhuit!

James Brown
General Manager

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