Thursday, 22 June 2017 11:30

FinTech Australia shines light on growing fintech sector


Industry association FinTech Australia has released its first member ecosystem map in a move which it says will help build domestic and international understanding of the Australia’s fintech strengths and diversity, particularly in wealth generation and lending.

The map lists 119 members of FinTech Australia, along with the key financial services regulators, and FinTech Australia chief executive Danielle Szetho says the broad range, depth and quality of fintechs on the map shows just how far Australia’s fintech environment has come in less than two years.

“The map is arguably the best visual representation yet of our fintech industry, which is the largest startup sub-sector in Australia according to the most recent Startup Muster survey.  

“Given that FinTech Australia represents about a quarter of all fintech companies operating in Australia, it is in fact arguable that Australia has a greater number of fintech companies than Hong Kong and is on par with or close behind Singapore.”

Szetho says the ecosystem map shows that wealth and investment, and consumer and business lending, are Australia’s two largest fintech sub-sectors – an outcome that is consistent with findings from last year’s EY FinTech Australia Census.

According to Szetho, the strong focus on wealth and investment to some extent reflects the fact that, in 2016, Australia had Asia’s largest pool of funds under management, and the sixth largest in the world.

Szetho says fintechs operating in the consumer-facing wealth and investment space have already made major penetrations into the Australian market, including budgeting fintech Pocketbook which already has more than 300,000 users, while micro-savings fintech Acorns has well over 200,000 users.
“Many of our fintechs in the wealth and investment area are run by highly experienced financial services executives, who have left large corporate institutions to begin their own innovative startup companies that are unencumbered by large legacy systems.”

In addition, the map shows that Australia’s fintech lenders are rapidly filling market gaps in both consumer and business lending, Szetho notes.

In regard to business lending, Szetho says a recent survey found that one in five small-to-medium enterprises are now planning to use non-bank financing, compared to just 1 in 10 in 2014.

“Our business lenders are typically using in-house or third party technology to analyse the financial information of small businesses, so they can then offer the best and fastest possible deals,” Szetho said.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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