In early 2016 the federal government announced the formation of a new FinTech Advisory Group to advise the Federal Treasurer on significant issues pertaining to Australia’s FinTech industry. Examples of these issues include identifying areas of potential future reform and ensuring the specific priorities of the industry are considered in the implementation of government policies.
WealthBricks sat down with Jonny Wilkinson, a FinTech Advisory Group member and Co-founder and Director at Equitise, an equity crowdfunding company , to discuss his views on Australia’s FinTech industry.
Q: What do you consider to be the top three priorities of the FinTech Industry?
- Creating an appropriate regulatory framework
- Accessing capital and partners
- Collaborating with incumbents and others in traditional models
Q: What do you see are the main economic opportunities for Australia in having a growing FinTech sector?
With Financial Services being our largest contributor to GDP, we can adapt and grow the sector to be world best in many areas.
Q: What competitive advantage does Australia have to allow it to become a world leader in FinTech?
Having the world’s 3rd largest savings pool through Superannuation, we have an immediate pool of capital that we manage and can access to create innovative business models to manage wealth.
Q: What do you see as the main obstacles in FinTech start-ups flourishing in Australia?
Regulation and legislation. The Corporations Act is a particularly old and cumbersome piece of legislation that makes it difficult for the regulators and legislators to easily come up with new policies. New Zealand has recent had a once in a generation change in corporate and securities law (FMC Act 2013) and Australia could do the same.
Q: What interests you personally about FinTech?
Finance traditionally attracts some of the brightest and most determined individuals, while Technology attracts some of the smartest and most innovative minds in business. To combine these two industries to assess and adapt to changes, while disrupting traditionally large businesses is most exciting and drives my passion.
The government expects fintech to have an important role to play in Australia’s innovation future – it will be interesting to monitor the developments.