New Zealand’s biggest and smartest financial businesses are coming together with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) around the launch of FinTechNZ, to take place in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland next week.
FinTechNZ Core Working Group leader and NZTech chair Mitchell Pham says the purpose of the new organisation is to enable businesses who are engaged at the forefront of financial innovation and technology development to connect with other companies and groups and to make a difference for New Zealand in the global fintech community.
“Fintech will transform New Zealand through its impact on the financial services industry which carries the economy. We want to bring Kiwi fintech innovators together to strengthen the whole sector which will in turn accelerate growth of our national economy.
“As a cohesive sector in New Zealand, it will be easier for us to engage with the global fintech community. As we become much more connected with other economies and ecosystems, our businesses will have access to more connections and opportunities to engage and grow internationally.
“What is powerful about fintech is that it is shaping the digital economy of New Zealand, as well as making it easier to connect ours to those that are bigger and faster-growing. This will accelerate our exports, trade and international business, especially with the large economies of Asia.
“So far, we have received expressions of interest from over fifty organisations, including banks, insurers, finance companies, government agencies, fintech start-up’s and international giant Alibaba Group, who all want to actively participate in growing fintech in New Zealand,” Pham says.
FinTechNZ launch events will be held in Christchurch on Tuesday, Wellington on Wednesday, and Auckland on Thursday. MBIE was already one of the first to join as a founding member and is a member of the Core Working Group, with many organisations in the process of joining the association even before the public launch next week.
FinTechNZ will also take part in the nationwide Techweek’17 from May 6 to 14 next year. The event will be the biggest week New Zealand has ever seen or experienced in technology. Techweek will help the effort led by NZTech for New Zealand to become a digital nation and to demonstrate the Kiwi tech pedigree to the world.
NZTech, the national representative group for Kiwi tech companies, has reached an important milestone with substantial expansion in New Zealand’s fastest growing and third largest export earner.
NZTech is supported by over 400 member organisations and represents the diverse tech sector which is made up of nearly 30,000 businesses providing over 100,000 jobs, supporting business growth throughout New Zealand and making up eight percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) while contributing over $6.3 billion in exports.
Pham says while FinTechNZ is initiated by NZTech in association with sponsor Augen software group, MBIE, members of the NZTech board and FinTechNZ Core Working Group, it is being founded in response to the call for action from many more organisations across the sector who want to actively participate in shaping the future of New Zealand.
“We are inviting other interested Kiwi business and organisations, from financial service providers to financial technology businesses, to join us.
“Collectively, we will determine what we want FinTechNZ to be and do for our businesses, the sector and how we will engage with the rest of the economy and the world.
“The 2016 TIN 100 report shows that fintech is New Zealand’s fastest-growing technology sector, at 31 per cent per annum. This is almost twice that of the overall ICT sector, three times higher than agritech, and four times higher than the biotech sector.
“Our financial innovation ecosystem is also very diverse, ranging from smart-payments start-ups, crowd-funders, peer-to-peer lending platforms, through to what many large financial institutions are doing. Fintech impacts broadly across the economy, including payments, banking, insurance, finance, investment, currency, wealth management, capital markets and international trade.”