The FinTechNZ summer event series began last week in Wellington, (Christchurch and Auckland to follow) focused on innovation in finance and lending, including InsurTech and a cryptocurrency update .
Financial Services Federation’s (FSF) Lyn McMorran explained how the FSF represents New Zealand’s responsible finance and leasing companies. Lyn detailed the FSF’s advocacy work, education and sharing of best practice. An important role of the FSF is setting standards of responsible lending behaviour and driving discussion on key industry issues. Following the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), Lyn says there has been a lack of innovation due to compliance burdens. Meanwhile, members need to remain up to date with regulatory changes and what it means for their businesses. There is a strong need to be nimble and stay ahead of the market. When developing new channels they must continue to meet responsible lending obligations.
The Commission for Financial Capability‘s (CFFC) David Boyle discussed financial capability in the digital age. The Commission’s focus is increasing Kiwis financial capability to reach their life goals and retire in good financial health. Their work is community based and collaborates with other agencies and organisations. The Commission provides free, independent guides to managing personal finances that can be found at www.sorted.org.nz including Sorted in Schools. With the rapid onset of new technologies, David says the need for capability has increased, particularly with online scams and fraud. FinTech, he says is the platform that can help connect and make financial capability fun, starting in schools.
Ensuring payments are simple and secure is Steve Wiggins of Payments NZ‘s key aim. Steve introduced Payments Direction, an industry strategic initiative. Its purpose is to understand the evolving future of payments, working collaboratively with industry to identify what needs to be done to prepare for the future. This year, working groups are considering shared API framework (including a pilot programme), 365 day service availability, proxy identifiers, system speeds, request to pay and ISO 20022 and subsequent recommendations.
FinTechNZ’s Mitchell Pham provided a crypto finance update. Centralised, incumbent led, financial infrastructure as we know it, is dying, right in front of our eyes, he explained. Ambiguity is the opportunity says Mitchell, with a Blockchain ecosphere including government, central banks, banks, regulators, currency, lawyers, tax and investors with technology at its core.
The New Zealand Financial Innovation and Technology Association (FinTechNZ) brings together a diverse range of innovators from across the industry to actively shape and drive the FinTech revolution. FinTechNZ was established to provide a collaborative voice, create connections, increase knowledge, support international growth and influence policy. Learn more and be involved here.