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The face of new age fintech in NZ gathering momentum

February 20, 2023

The face of financial technology is totally changing and New Zealand fintechs are on board to support major and positive climate change investments.

Aotearoa is the first country in the world to introduce a law that requires the financial sector to disclose the impacts of climate change on their businesses and explain how they manage climate-related risks and opportunities.

FintechNZ executive director Jason Roberts says New Zealand is leading the charge to make climate-related reporting compulsory for the financial sector.

“Listed financial companies will embrace upcoming changes so banks and other financial organisations report on their annual emissions over the coming years.

“A bank may still perform very well but the focus is how they report the investments they make. Most investments will be for the benefit of climate finance.

FintechNZ is staging a major event in Auckland on February 28 which will examine the changes, trends developments in climate finance investment rules and open banking will be the hot topic at the FinTechNZ hui taumata.

Speakers at the event include Dom Pym, an Australian entrepreneur and technologist who has co-founded several businesses, including Pin Payments, Ferocia, and, Australia’s leading digital bank, also referred to as neo banks.

New Zealand does not have commercially consumer focused neo banks here yet but the opportunity is here to develop similar digital banks. FinTechNZ is keen to support and work with the industry to advance the establishment of new banks.

Chair of the hui is Janelle Riki-Waaka who is a highly experienced leader and consultant specialising in areas such as developing cultural competencies, Te Tiriti o Waitangi education and digital technologies. 

She is co-chair of the Digital Equity Coalition Aotearoa, Programme Manager for GCSN and a previous member of the executive council for Digital Identity NZ.

Roberts says sustainability will be among the issues discussed at the hui as so many investments are impacted by climate mitigation or adaptation.

The International Energy Agency estimates global climate investments of $US75 trillion will be required by 2050 to have a 50 per cent chance of limiting warming to 2Cdeg.

“Reporting compliance may initially place additional pressure on the financial sector, however overall, it will help investors, shareholders and companies to assess climate-related risks and opportunities and make more informed decisions, Roberts says.

“New legislation will make climate-related disclosures mandatory for hundreds of New Zealand organisations, including most listed issuers, large banks, licensed insurers and managers of investment schemes.

“Open finance will enable a consumer to easily identify and track where their investments are being placed. This will create more transparency especially around fees and return.”

Demand for and use of open banking services has been further expedited by the covid pandemic. To make open banking successful and sustainable, however, more banks need to embrace an end-to-end digital architecture.

Technology has facilitated a progressive opening up of the banking industry. It has ushered in an era of collaboration not just competition between incumbent banks and fintech, Roberts says.

“This creates big opportunities to make banking better, in particular, tailored, personalised solutions for every area of money management. including help for those with an unpredictable income in managing their finances and getting a mortgage.

“Consumers are now less likely to use branches or cash and more likely to embrace digital channels. This will become a lasting trend.

“The fintech industry is awaiting government announcement on consumer data rights (CDR) with the likely expectation as seen overseas with banking.  

“People will soon see a new banking as a service approach, where bank services or products appear embedded in processes, bill paying, a bit like going to a gas station where people buy on services, price and add value.”

For further information contact Jason Roberts of 021 2227624 or NZTech’s media specialist, Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 0301898

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