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New Zealand FinTech’s Boom

New Zealand’s Financial Technology (FinTech) market is growing by leaps and bounds. Industry reports detailed it as the fastest-growing component of New Zealand’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

To date, a growing ecosystem of FinTech companies bodes well for future listings on Australia’s major stock exchange. Indeed, New Zealand’s FinTech boom has been a long time in the making. The nation was among the first countries to introduce Electronic Funds Transfer Point of Sale (EFTPOS) in the 80s. Plus, it was an early adopter of Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs). Four decades later, FinTech is the fastest-growing component of Aotearoa’s ICT technology sector, a New Zealand Financial Innovation and Technology Association (FinTechNZ) report details.

The country’s global standing in the FinTech industry worldwide is also on the up and up. As a FinTech hub, New Zealand ranked 7th in the Asia Pacific and 30th worldwide in 2021. That global fintech ranking rose by as much as 15 places last year, making it one of the world’s fast-growing fintech hubs. Yet again, the Pacific nation has outperformed relative to its size.

FinTechNZ is an industry body built that ensures financial technology in New Zealand enjoys its rightful place in the digital landscape. Its Executive Director is Jason Roberts and his team are helping maintain the momentum and shape the island nation’s FinTech ecosystem. Roberts was appointed to his FinTechNZ role in September 2021, having co-founded a budding FinTech startup.

New Zealand FinTech has so much potential. We are seeing more NZ FinTech companies grow quickly from start-ups to scale-ups. Some have become very successful globally-focused companies.

 – Jason Roberts, Executive Director, FinTechNZ

 Some of these New Zealand’s FinTechs are listed on Australia’s major stock exchange.  That includes a global brand in accounting software star that is solely listed on the Australian exchange. However, some are dual-listed on both the Australian and New Zealand major stock exchange.

Roberts is positive more of the country’s FinTech companies will list on major stock exchanges (as a sole- or dual-listing) in the next five years. He disclosed the role stock exchanges play in the growth of the financial technology sector. Australia’s major stock exchange has become an important part of the funding and growth journey for Aotearoa’s FinTech companies. It is a larger capital market for emerging fintech companies.

The progress has also permeated through his organisation. As its FinTech sector rapidly expands, so does FinTechNZ’s membership. Since its 2017 launch, the not-for-profit industry association has attracted 180 members across the FinTech sector. Roberts expects FinTechNZ’s membership to expand significantly this decade as more of Aotearoa’s FinTechs emerge.

Moreover, New Zealand has been setting itself up as an attractive option for ICT companies the world over. There are a lot of technological advances that show the country is doing well in its quest for digital transformation. Its recent move of funding a worldwide marketing initiative speaks volumes on how committed is the Pacific nation to grow its technology.

Aotearoa has drafted a technology plan that should put into motion its digital transformation as a country and jumpstart its economy. It certainly has a lot of work to do ahead as its technology sector is experiencing some bumps. The growing need for ICT professionals is top of that list. To ensure the availability of a qualified workforce and attract the best tech talent from around the world to the island nation, New Zealand is easing its border restrictions for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) workers.

Cybersafety and security is another concern. The Zealand government has unveiled its plans to invest as much as NZ$ 75.7 million over a span of 3 years to fight cybersecurity risks in the health and disability sector.

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