Changes to the new Traffic light system
As I pen this month’s newsletter I was listening to Minister Hipkins’ most welcome and timely update on both the planned acceleration and opening up of the borders. This includes both the relaxation of MIQ and then expanded international travel options, all on top of the indicated changes also to the Covid-19 traffic light framework. These changes are crucial steps to free up many of our businesses and improve international trade capability and are eagerly awaited. With tweaks to worker visa exemption classes being indicated elsewhere, this will also help our sector address important talent and capability needs.
We are looking forward to getting back to meeting our FinTech friends and colleagues in person. While ‘inform’ styled webinars and zoom meetings have actually increased our reach and member participation, without a doubt we look forward to getting back to hosting events again with our community. Not wanting to tempt fate here, but under the new traffic light system I believe it is quite realistic to see the return to ‘in-person’ events (for up to 100 under ‘Red’ settings), probably as soon as late February/March.
Our events team are progressing nicely on themes and working the calendar for 2022. We invite our members to proactively reach out to us and explore event options. Fingers crossed, I hope we will see a jam-packed calendar for next year!
Government engagement and submission process
FinTechNZ (and NZTech generally) have always focused on deepening government relationships. It has been especially pleasing to receive requests for consultation on some of the points above and be actively involved in submission processes. NZTech has recently contracted a Government relations role to help manage and strengthen representation noting a raft of engagements/submissions in play. Many of these had been deprioritised due to CV-19, but are now back on the table, now being in ‘catch-up’ mode. The FinTechNZ board is actively managing five submissions before year’s end (on digital strategy, emissions reduction, AML/CFT and the future of money) these are available to view on the FinTechNZ website. This week we have just delivered our submission on the consultation for the Climate Disclosure Reporting Bill, especially important against the backdrop of COP26 (about which incidentally Dave Rouses Blog on COP OUT was very insightful). This particular submission notes two focus points namely the impact on the environment and financial activities relative to environmental impact and performance. The submission dovetails in with the webinar held with Minister Shaw last month, our setting up of the Sustainability Working Group, and our anticipated updates/reporting back event with Minister Shaw in February. If you would like to get involved with the submissions process, support sector leadership within our working groups or more, simply reach out and let us know.
Working Groups and aligned partners
As a sector, we have had some spectacular fund raises, noting a couple of our members – Sharesies and AplyID and just this last week the recent IPO from Matu Iramaoe’s deep tech sector investment platform using the Catalist platform – a sign of new FinTech fundraising capability developing in New Zealand. Wealthtech is a really focused team and looking to make waves this coming year.
While RegtechNZ and InsurTechNZ are best described as companion organisations it has been really pleasing to see the overlapping relevance of these two partners and we share much DNA. RegTech are a newly formed group focusing on helping businesses solve regulatory challenges with tech, with Finance of course being high up their list. They have an event shortly and you can follow them here on RegTechNZ. InsurtechNZ, being a past working group of FinTechNZ, has now formed its own association and is likewise very active with member interest and events. You can follow them here.
FinTech sector growth – and trade
FintechNZ has long focused on building bridges to trade partners around the world, especially Australia, North America, Asia, UK/Europe and more recently in the UAE/Middle East. As mentioned last month we have been actively engaging with the UK High Commission, NZTE and UK DIT exploring what the pending UK/New Zealand free trade agreement will look like in practice. It is clear a lot of effort is being put into both governments to leverage this important agreement and has implications for Kiwi companies opening up into the UK – with a lens on Financial Services. From a recent session, it is clear there is significant effort and investment to follow here. I can assure you Delegations are a hot topic and pretty confident FinTechNZ will be working actively here to drive opportunity. For more on the UK Export strategy click here.
While not directly related to the current Dubai expo efforts in the UAE, NZTE have just released an excellent report overview of FinTech activity there – and opportunities for engagement. You can download the report here. This is a vibrant marketplace with a healthy appetite for investment, especially for countries like New Zealand that have a good and trusted regulatory framework and trusted financial services sector.
Where is FinTech as a sector heading?
To get a sense of the scale of FinTech growth and importance, the recently released NZ Tech sector report noted the Tin200 research findings on how the tech sector had exported $B13.9 in 2021 and grown by 11%. This coming year TIN100 are currently working on a dedicated FinTech sector report due for publication in March. If you ever wondered about our place in the market – here are some fast facts …
“Looking at the value of NZ export earnings in 2021, the FinTech sector represents 12.9% of the TIN200 tech export sector revenue, the second largest export sector of New Zealand (second only to Dairy) . FinTech is the 5th largest subsector and has the second-highest growth rate this year of all the market. FinTech grew by 24.5% ($355M) with total revenue this year of $1.8B for the subsector. In effect FinTech is the fastest growing tech sector by a whopping 13.5% in one year!” TIN100 (24/11/21).
In terms of market interest in Tech, how’s this – Trade Window closed their first day on the NZX up 85%, 6.8 times their original round. WOW!
I am sure like many of you we are looking forward to the summer holiday season – been a long year!
That’s all for now.
On the topic of…
Changes to the new Traffic light system