News & Analysis

KPMG launches fintech accelerator mLabs for mutual banks

- July 12, 2016 3 MIN READ

KPMG has today announced the launch of mLabs, a new accelerator connecting mutual banks with fintech startups looking to help identify and develop commercial solutions to business challenges.

Signed on for the program are Beyond Bank, CUA, Greater Bank, Heritage, IMB Bank, Police Bank, and Teachers Mutual Bank, who will work closely with the 14 fintech startups taking part at Sydney fintech hub Stone & Chalk and KPMG’s new Barangaroo offices.

James Mabbott, head of KPMG Innovate, said that the 12 week mLabs program is a hybrid of a startup accelerator and corporate innovation program, modelled on the company’s experience delivering its annual elevate61 accelerator and the Energise program, run for the energy and natural resources sector last year.

He said KPMG’s 2015 Mutuals Review found that mutuals are well placed to implement new techologies and ideas, and to collaborate with fintech startups, with mLabs designed to catalyse this process.

The Review found that mutuals – that is, a member-owned credit union or building society as opposed to a retail bank – are beginning to see their investment in new technology pay dividends, while falling tech costs are allowing for greater investment in new and improved business methods and models, including fintech. Due to their smaller nature these institutions are often able to implement new technology at a quicker rate than the bigger banks.

“[mLabs] will be a platform for collaboration and a safe space for experimentation, and help bring some exciting new services to life for mutual banks and credit unions and their customers,” Mabbott said.

Ian Pollari, KPMG’s global co-lead for fintech, added that the mutuals are eager to engage the startup community, while for the startups, the prospect of working with organisations that have a combined customer base of more than two million is an attractive offer.

“Most importantly, KPMG mLabs will drive commercial outcomes for all participants, whether that be designing and launching new digital products and services, enhancing the customer experience or improving internal efficiency,” he said.

The startups taking part are:

Avoka – Accelerates digital customer acquisition and increases business agility for financial services, government, education, and other industries.


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Brighte – Helps customers pay ‘no interest ever’ for home energy and improvements.

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Chekk – A digital identity start-up enabling consumers to own, manage and share their personal data with other individuals and businesses, supporting improved customer experience and interactions for businesses to request access to up-to-date customer information.

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Cloudcase – Omni-Product loan origination software enabling financial institutions to on-board customers and originate any financial product.

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DSYNC – integration platform that joins fragmented systems together. The platform enables companies to integrate both cloud and on premise applications with an advanced data transformation and mapping engine.

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Easyshare – A secure, online platform designed to simplify the payment of shared house, residential and commercial rent, bills and expenses.

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Edstart – Provides a simple, low-cost financing solution for parents looking to pay for their child’s education.

Fitchain – a fitness-based rewards program leveraging wearables and blockchain technology to improve engagement between both employees and customers.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 10.41.18 amFlamingo – A customer experience personalisation platform that provides businesses with a retention, acquisition, co-creation and analytics capability.

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Moneycatcha – A loan origination solution that is built on the Blockchain, delivering significant competitive advantage through improvements to speed, efficiency and security.


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Moroku – Moroku creates engaging mobile experiences by gamifying consumer interactions in banking and payments with the Moroku Game System.

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Pocketbook – a free budget planner that makes managing personal finance ridiculously simple.


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Spriggy – Helps parents teach kids about money using prepaid cards and a purpose-built mobile app.

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Simplekyc – Hassle free, business process management solution for both large and small entities that greatly reduces the man hours involved in onboarding new customers.

Image: James Mabbot. Source: Supplied.