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FinTechNZ – embracing local innovation
It’s been another whirlwind month and the pace continues as our ecosystem further evolves. We’ve been facilitating valuable discussions at events, welcoming record levels of new members and actively collaborating across sectors. Our purposeful community is growing in strength, scope and reach!
Recently, we hosted our first FinTechNZ Banking Roundtable bringing together banks, tech leaders, payment and third-party intermediaries. The aim is to improve customer outcomes, provide more digitally enabled services and products, plus address back-end business (including legacy tech and migration barriers). Improving our partnering approach is especially important as New Zealand accelerates its opening banking agenda. Special thanks to Microsoft New Zealand for hosting our first roundtable which we plan to schedule quarterly.
Congratulations to Kernel on their third birthday! Kernel hosted our recent Connect Event; Attracting great talent to fintech. Our panellists, Tella’s Andrew Chambers, Kernel’s Dean Anderson, Matchstiq’s Greg Denton, Kernel Wealth’s Fi MacKenzie and First AML’s Angela Reddy explored the importance of culture, fostering an engaging environment and the challenges of attracting talent. WealthTech is clearly a burgeoning sector and the potential for new startups is exciting. As an example of growth within this sector – four years on, who would have believed back then that a startup like Sharesies would boast users equivalent to 10 percent of the New Zealand population as customers! Likewise, I’m sure we will see Kernel and other new entrants like FlintWealth grow just as quickly.
Earlier this month we were delighted to partner with The Financial Services Council for the fifth year and host the fintech streams at their annual conference. During this time, it has been encouraging to witness a change in perception. FinTechNZ is no longer being perceived as a challenger and disrupter, but now seen as augmenting and supporting the financial services sector. This is notably so for the retail banking, payments and wealth sectors. Special thanks to Akahu’s Josh Daniel for facilitating a panel discussion on open finance and our Sustainable FinTech working group, including Mitchell Pham, Leeanna Kohn-Harding and James Brown. Congratulations also to the Pitch Perfect 2022 winners Sugar Wallet for their investing platform and cost transparency platform Yarken. FinTechNZ was also well represented in the Tech Alley. You can view selected conference sessions on-demand here.
Meanwhile, we are delighted that six Kiwi companies are working with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE)’s dedicated customer manager Stephen Westwood at the Singapore Fintech Festival.
There has been strong demand for both this week’s RegTechNZ and CBDC’s events, with both bringing up important discussion points for the FinTech community. For the upcoming FinTech Hui Taumata on 28th February, we are anticipating a dedicated stream focusing on Innovative Finance and a separate panel titled ‘Meet the Government’. As a separate stream we anticipate the RegTech team to partner with a well-known sector sponsor to explore trends in international RegTech – and SupTech (SupervisoryTech). Looking ahead to next year, RegTechNZ is exploring ways to facilitate local innovation. If you would like to work with the leadership please email the RegTechNZ team.
It was great to see our Sustainable Finance working group in action at the FSC Conference 2022; Growing Financial Confidence and Wellbeing in Aotearoa. Meanwhile at the APEC Forum, Leeanna Kohn-Hardy has been discussing fintech’s contribution to more sustainable and inclusive recovery. One of the key drivers of this group is being impactful so its great to see our presence in international forums.
Are you interested in learning Te Reo Māori and being able to introduce yourself or your organisation in Te Reo Māori appropriately? You may also want a better understanding of Tikanga Māori, its importance to the work you do and the communities you serve. In partnership with Riki Consultancy Ltd we are supporting our members by offering a friendly and supportive learning environment. If you would like to know more about joining our October cohort for online lessons, please express your interest here.
Our Annual Meeting is coming soon and that means election season is upon us! We’re seeking Executive Council nominations. This year we have vacancies for the following positions: major corporates (two positions), corporate members other than major corporates (two positions), SMEs and startups (two positions). Nominations close next week on 5 October.
PS: Save the date for the FinTech Hui 2023 on 28 February in Auckland and stay tuned for more information next month