Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison have today launched an expert advisory group tasked with developing Australia into the leading market for fintech in the Asia Pacific region.
To be chaired by Craig Dunn, director of Westpac and chairman of Sydney fintech coworking space Stone & Chalk, the advisory group will look to boost, and explore further opportunities for, innovation in the financial services sector, which contributed over $140 billion to the economy in the last financial year.
Turnbull and Morrison explained in a joint statement that while Australia is a leading financial services market in the region, the sector is becoming increasingly globalised and exposed to technological disruption.
“Many traditional financial products are being disrupted by the FinTech sector, which is well positioned to become a leading player in the Asia-Pacific.”
The advisory group features experts from across the financial services sector, including Tyro Payments executive director and CEO Jost Stollman, managing director of Reinventure Simon Cant, managing director of PayPal Australia Libby Roy, and Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, group executive of Institutional Banking and Markets at Commonwealth Bank.
The launch of the group comes with good timing, with interest and investment in Australian fintech at an all time high. Seven local startups were listed in KPMG and H2 Ventures’ Fintech 100 report in December, recognising their achievements and potential.
This potential is being noticed by a growing number of investors, with short term lending startup MoneyMe yesterday announcing that it has raised $30 million in debt and equity funding to ramp up its operations, while Melbourne’s MoneyPlace launched a strategic partnership worth $60 million with Auswide Bank late last year. First State Super also partnered with H2 Ventures last December, and expects to invest around $250 million in tech innovation.
The launch of the group comes after Turnbull held the inaugural meeting of the Innovation and Science Committee of Cabinet in Canberra yesterday, with the Committee responsible for putting the Government’s $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) into action.
The Committee, the first established by an Australian Government to oversee science and innovation, is being chaired by the Prime Minister, with its members representing the various sectors touched upon in the 24 measures launched by NISA.
Members include deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Treasurer Scott Morrison, Health Minister Sussan Ley, Education Minister Simon Birmingham, Trade Minister Steven Ciobo, Assistant Minister for Science Karen Andrews, and Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy. Chris Pyne, Minister for Innovation and Science, is deputy chair.