Why are fintechs expanding to Australia?

Did you know…

  • Australia is in its 28th consecutive year of economic growth (a record for uninterrupted growth among developed economies);
  • Finance and insurance services are Australia’s largest sector by gross value added (GVA) and is one of its highest growth sectors; and
  • Australia has the world’s fourth-largest pension market, valued at US$1.9 trillion.

As a wealthy country with a similar culture to Europe but located in the heart of the Asian region, Australia is an ideal destination for companies seeking to expand internationally.

Australia has a thriving fintech ecosystem that is evolving rapidly and becoming increasingly diverse, driven by the growing appetite for digital services.

Australia is taking a “customer-first” approach to regulating open banking with its Consumer Data Right (CDR) law, of which Open Banking is the first part. The CDR allows consumers to control their own data, including who can use it. It supports a single data-sharing framework that will allow consumers to own their own data not just in the finance sector, but in the future also in other sectors, such as energy and telecommunications. This creates opportunities for tech companies offering new products and services.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, championed fintech in his previous role as Treasurer and adopted many pro-fintech policies. He has introduced the Consumer Data Right in order to drive competition and innovation across the economy.

A number of international fintech companies are now looking to Australia to support their international growth. European fintechs such as Revolut, Ebury, Ratesetter and TransferWise are just a few of those who have chosen to establish a presence in Australia.

Revolut chose Australia for its first expansion outside the UK and Europe, while Ebury opened its second Australian office just 12 months after its first, following a period of strong growth.

Given the strong economic ties with Asia, some international fintechs also choose Australia as their Asia Pacific headquarters. Ebury chose Australia as a global operational hub to support its expansion into Asia.

Irish fintech Fineos is also present in Australia and recently listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. According to Macquarie, lead manager for the listing, Fineos makes 53 per cent of its revenue in the Asia Pacific region, more than it makes in Europe (12 per cent) or North America (35 per cent).

The European connections don’t end there. Australia’s biggest bank, the Commonwealth Bank, recently invested US$100 million into Swedish fintech Klarna.

Insurtech Gateway, the London-based insurtech incubator, has chosen Australia for its first international program. Their Australian headquarters will be based in Sydney at Stone and Chalk, one of the biggest fintech hubs in Asia.

Regtech is another fast-growing sector for which there is increasing demand. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), a regulatory body, is proactively promoting regtech adoption among Australian financial services organisations. ASIC recently launched a series of events in which regtech startups and scale-ups demonstrated their solutions to representatives from finance, technology, government and media.

Australia has all the right fundamentals with a strong financial system, a vibrant digital landscape and geographically well-positioned to the growing economic powerhouse of Asia. It is fast emerging as a world intersection for fintech innovation.

Connect to our free, interactive live streaming event on Tuesday 24 September and join an Australian fintech expert who will be presenting from London, to learn more about Australia’s Consumer Data Right & Open Banking Framework and the opportunities this creates for fintechs.

For more information about the event or expanding to Australia, please contact Sheralyn Derrick at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission office in Milan at sheralyn.derrick@austrade.gov.au


Author: Tudor Sava

5 Settembre 2019