Connection, Challenge, and Advocacy
Business View Oceania interviews Simone Joyce of Fintech Australia for our Technology View.
FinTech Australia is the peak advocacy body for the financial technology industry in Australia. Since their founding in 2016, the association has grown to represent over 400 company members ranging from international fintech companies to founding start-ups at the beginning of their growth journey. As a member-driven organisation, FinTech Australia aims to build and support an ecosystem of Australian fintechs by fostering a strong sense of community, forming extensive networks between members and connecting them with industry stakeholders, driving innovation, research, and development, remaining on top of industry regulations, and providing a common voice for the fintech sector across the country.
Members of FinTech Australia enjoy a variety of benefits across six tiers that are allocated according to member size and recognise opportunities for businesses in all stages of growth: Founding Team, Startup, Scaleup, Friend of FinTech, International, and Enterprise. Benefits of membership include but are not limited to: Voting rights and influence on policy discussion with government via policy working groups; information and resource distribution via member newsletters, whitepapers, partner reports, census access, member announcements and community posts; networking and connection opportunities via exclusive events, workshops, and social meetups; business promotion via speaking opportunities, industry newsletter features, and a place in the annual member map and Finnie awards; member discounts to association and partner conferences, events, and awards, job posting opportunities on the association website, and access to partner resources, information, and services for business growth via FinTech Australia’s Services Directory.
Chair and Managing Director at FinTech Australia, Simon Joyce shares her knowledge and experience surrounding the association and the industry it represents. “FinTech Australia was formed in response to the growth of our fintech sector. As more and more companies became involved in the space, they needed an advocacy body to provide them with the voice and the resources they required to grow. Our mission has not changed since 2016; we continually focus on what it is that our member companies need to thrive, whether it be advocacy in policy, network and opportunity creation, or regulation of the ecosystem, and we deliver solutions. While that may seem simple, our industry has seen a lot of change since its beginnings, so keeping up with the latest trends, issues, and innovations is an ongoing challenge that we rise to.”
FinTech Australia identifies their core responsibilities as: Engage and Connect, Advocate and Promote, and Grow. The association has a strong policy agenda to help develop the fintech sector, create jobs and economic growth, and promote prosperity for Australian businesses and industry stakeholders. The team of five is supported by a board of 11, and works closely with the Australian government to accelerate innovation and build market demand for products and services across the fintech ecosystem. Mrs. Joyce explains, “Alongside our contributions to policy development, we have worked really hard to raise awareness of fintech as a concept. And particularly in the last year, we have seen everyone from end users of fintech products right through to investors become more aware of what fintech is and the strength of its potential for our future economy.”
FinTech Australia also runs a Corporate Partner program, which allows industry partners to feed value back into highly engaged association members as part of growing the fintech community ecosystem. Partnerships range from annual to event-specific, and can be customised to meet the requirements of a specific organisation or group. Mrs. Joyce elaborates, “Fintech is really about creating an ecosystem, because there are a lot of ingredients that go into furthering the industry’s strength. One ingredient is bringing in large corporates and companies to participate in the industry alongside our association and our members. By collaborating with these partners and having them as part of the conversation, we support our smaller or start-up members, and make sure our partners are taking advantage of the opportunities that fintech can bring them.” Participants in FinTech Australia’s Corporate Partner program are awarded the opportunity to position their brand, develop market leadership, take part in business and industry dialogue, establish long-term relationships, amplify international exposure, and collaborate with decision leaders for the industry.
FinTech Australia also regularly collaborates with other organisations and groups that are within or complementary to the Australian fintech sphere. In particular, Mrs. Joyce would like to mention Ernst & Young (EY) Australia, Blockchain Australia and the Tech Council of Australia. “Our sector is growing, so it makes sense that we grow with it alongside other organisations that have the potential to help us do so.” The association uses partnerships like these to develop and provide a number of industry-related resources to members and the general public, including the new EY FinTech Australia Census (2021), which shows a significant increase in the matching or exceeding of capital raising expectations for Australian fintechs. The census highlights an increase from 57% in 2020 to 82% in 2021, indicating that the sector is indeed growing dramatically. Other resources include Industry Reports (members only), Services Directory (members only), Regulatory Map, Investor Map, and the Parental Leave Policy, which offers guidance to fintech on best practices regarding parental leave for staff.
Mrs. Joyce concludes with FinTech Australia’s vision for the future. “We’re really looking forward to 2022 as a new era for the industry and foresee a significant growth period over the next few years. Regulatory and government support will be key as industry drivers continue to innovate and work collaboratively. We are seeing a lot more investment as the sector attracts large financial service companies and institutions, and as the peak body for our industry, we are incredibly excited to be a critical part of that. Our job is to foster a positive and efficient operating environment for our fintech to thrive in, and that is what we will continue to work on as our sector evolves.” Fintech Australia will continue to identify and meet the needs of their members in response to future developments, advocate for the space, maintain an inclusive, collaborative industry environment, and bring in new industry connections moving forward. Watch this space!
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AT A GLANCE
What: Peak advocacy body for Australian Financial Technologies
Where: Fintech Australia is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia