Fintech is a term you are set to hear a great deal more in the coming year.
And with NSW Premier Mike Baird opening Australia’s first genuine Fintech Hub this week in Sydney, Australia’s financial innovation credentials will be out there for the world to see.
So how will Sydney’s ‘Chalk & Stone’ Fintech Hub stack up against the likes of Singapore, Hong Kong and London? And how can Sydney ensure that it becomes the region’s leading source of financial services innovation?
Being lucky enough to attend this week’s Hub opening on Clarence Street, there was a real sense of anticipation in the air as one after the other, some of the biggest names in Australian business took their opportunity to outline their hopes and commitments to this new industry.
Key themes did emerge from the day and three things really stood out as being critical to underpinning future success.
In an industry that has staked its claim as being a disruptive force, collaboration across all key stakeholders including BFSI, Government, Regulation, VC and Fintech entrepreneurs is very much the order of the day. As Lucy Turnbull described it at the launch, “If the last 5 months (since the Committee for Sydney’s Fintech Report was released) proves anything, it shows just how important collaboration is for Fintech and in a short space of time, what can be achieved.”
She continued, “Fintech represents an opportunity for all of industry and every player stands to gain from working together.”
Regulatory framework & government support
If there is something that any new industry requires, it is surely a solid, predictable and open regulatory platform. Fintech entrepreneurs don’t need to be incentivised or given a free ride. They do need, however, the opportunity to be free to innovate and seek opportunities for change. While the NSW Government has shown significant leadership in this space, a reluctance to act at the Federal level has put several organisations under pressure and in some cases led them to seek other jurisdictions to develop their businesses.
Obviously new ideas and industries require capital to grow. There is a great deal of excitement in the VC and equity communities about what the Fintech sector may mean. There are many strong examples already in the market and being that Fintech is truly global, the opportunities are massive.
Collaboration in Fintech
Hot on the opening of Sydney’s new Fintech Hub, the Collaboration in Fintech Conference is bringing together the who’s who of the Fintech world in a one day action packed format. London’s Fintech Level 39 leader, Claire Cockerton, will be leading the way and will offer valuable advice on the next steps for Australia in this exciting chapter.