Financial Data and Technology Association partners with FinTech Australia on CDR rollout

FinTech Australia and the Australia/New Zealand chapter of Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) have announced a strategic partnership to ensure the efficient and effective rollout of Australia’s Consumer Data Right (CDR) regime.

FinTech Australia is a not-for-profit membership-based industry body driving the introduction of both the CDR and Open Banking in Australia for fintechs and data intermediaries. Fintech Australia represents their members by advocating for successful outcomes that facilitate the FinTech ecosystem’s growth to make Australia a leading FinTech market.

By partnering with FDATA, a global not-for-profit representing key financial, data and technology participants in the Australian Open Data ecosystem, it will enable the fast track rollout and a push for critical changes to CDR to ensure greater access, benefits and data protections for consumer and businesses alike.

FDATA is leading the campaign to deliver Open Finance worldwide in Europe, the United Kingdom, South America, North America, Australasia, India and Africa. They have been instrumental in creating and implementing the Open Banking regime in the UK, with the country now considered the world-leader with Open Banking technology.

“We look forward to working with The Financial Data and Technology Association to drive the best outcomes for the CDR rollout in Australia,” FinTech Australia CEO Rebecca Schot Guppy said.

“It’s crucial we get this right and move as quickly as possible. Bringing in the broader expertise will be key to ensuring we balance all fintechs interests in the CDR roll out and deliver the best outcome for all businesses and consumers across Australia.”

“We see the shared goal of finalising Open Banking in Australia as an absolute priority. Before we explore additional use-cases for the Consumer Data Right, we need to finish Open Banking. In this case, FDATA will partner with FinTech Australia to ensure the rules makers have unlimited access to the pieces they need to finish this framework.” FDATA ANZ Regional Director Jamie Leach said.

“Building on our Global experience of deep policy, technology and data standards development and implementation, FDATA has chosen to partner with Fintech Australia to ensure that the final components of Open Banking are complete, concise and market-ready. We need to see the vision of encouraging innovation and introducing competition readily available to the ecosystem if we are to realise Scott Farrell’s vision.”

Media contacts

Harrison Polites (FinTech Australia)
harrison@themediaaccelerator.com.au 
0409623618

Jamie Leach (FDATA)
jamie.leach@fdata.global
0413 075 671

About FinTech Australia

FinTech Australia is a national association for the Australian FinTech Startup community. Our vision is to make Australia the leading market for FinTech Innovation and Investment by working with both sides of Government, Industry, and the Australian FinTech community to create a supportive environment and partner ecosystem in Australia and abroad.

About FDATA ANZ

The Financial Data and Technology Association is a not-for-profit global association for companies that supply or use open finance in their business models. Our members provide innovative financial applications and technical/data-related services to empower customers to make better decisions and take fuller control of their financial lives across all their payment accounts, credit cards, loans, mortgages, investments, pensions and retail insurance. We work with the government, regulatory authorities and the financial services industry in our mission to enshrine the rights of customers to be able to share their financial data with regulated actors of their choosing.

FDATA has played an active role in ANZ, particularly in relation to the Consumer Data Right, during its introduction of Open Banking. Our liaison with the regulators and Treasury has seen us provide advisory works and recommendations around the customer experience, the global perspective and the role of Third Parties and Intermediaries within Open Banking. FDATA has also worked with the regulators about the next layer of CDR and will continue to lobby for a common-sense approach to remediating the existing framework.

x15ventures Invests $1M in Identitii Subsidiary, Payble

Payble helps fix failed or late bill payments before they happen

Identitii is pleased to announce that the Commonwealth Bank’s venture scaling entity, CBA New Digital Businesses Pty Ltd (x15ventures), is investing $1.0 million in Identitii subsidiary, Payble Pty Ltd (Payble) to acquire a minority ownership stake.

In Australia each year, more than 75 million recurring or scheduled bill payments fail or are paid late. Businesses pay a high price to collect missing funds, using expensive call centres to update billing details, request late payments or activate instalment plans.

Payble helps fix failed or late bill payments before they happen, leveraging Identitii’s participation in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) CDR testing. Payble intends to utilise the new Open Banking regime to help businesses ensure more payments are made on time, and to provide customers with more control over their finances.

Payble represents x15ventures’ first minority equity investment.

Commenting on the announcement, Toby Norton-Smith, Managing Director, x15ventures says:

“We’re thrilled to welcome Payble into the x15ventures family. Working closely with the startup community is key to our strategy to build, invest and acquire digital businesses that are reshaping banking and benefiting Australian businesses and consumers.”

Commenting on the announcement, Elliott Donazzan, CEO, Payble, says:

“Over 500 million bills are sent to Australian consumers every year and over 75 million of those aren’t paid on time. This is a huge problem for Aussie businesses who spend time and money following up on late payments, fielding calls from customers about their billing details or retrying payments when they fail. Payble set out to fix failed or late payments before they happen and we are thrilled to have x15ventures join us on this journey. I’d like to thank the x15ventures team for their support to date and look forward to working together as we accelerate our go-to-market strategy.”

Commenting on the announcement, John Rayment, CEO, Identitii, says:

“It’s a really exciting time for the Payble team and Identitii is thrilled to be working alongside x15ventures to support their aspirations. We’re very excited x15ventures decided to continue to invest in Payble and congratulate Elliott Donazzan, CEO of Payble, on the progress the company has made in such a short space of time under his leadership.”

x15ventures will be a significant minority shareholder in Payble and has appointed Chris Austin as Director to Payble’s Board, joining Founding Directors John Rayment and Elliott Donazzan. Mr Austin leads CBA’s Business Development Partnerships team, which includes investments by x15ventures. He brings over 15 years of M&A and strategy experience from his time with CBA and UBS. The additional links forged at the Board level will be instrumental in helping bring Payble to market.

Payble was founded by Identitii and Elliott Donazzan. After the x15ventures investment, Identitii will hold 51.3% of the issued capital of Payble Pty Ltd, x15ventures will hold 26.7% and Elliott Donazzan will hold 7.3%. The remaining 14.7% will be issued and allocated as part of employee incentive arrangements. x15ventures retains a right to invest further at the same valuation to move to a majority ownership position.

Airwallex’s latest US$100 million capital raising puts valuation at US$2.6 billion

  1.  Airwallex’s latest capital raising of US$100 million lifts its Series D round to US$300 million
  2.  The extended Series D round was led by new investor US-based Greenoaks and saw participation from Australia’s Grok Ventures, Skip Capital, and ANZi Ventures along with other existing investors
  3.  Airwallex’s valuation has nearly tripled to US$2.6 billion in just two years

Continuing the momentum of its hypergrowth in 2020, Airwallex today announced that the company’s valuation has increased to US$2.6 billion with a capital raising of US$100 million in a further Series D extension. Lifting Airwallex’s Series D funding to US$300 million, this latest round followed its initial Series D round in April 2020 during the pandemic, and the extended round in September 2020. To date, Airwallex has achieved
nearly US$500 million in equity funds raised.

The round has been led by Greenoaks, a US-based global investment firm that has backed industry-leading technology and fintech companies including Deliveroo, Discord, Stripe, Brex, and Checkout.com. Australia-based Grok Ventures, Skip Capital and ANZi Ventures have also participated in the round. In just two years, Airwallex has nearly tripled its valuation, following the company’s unicorn status during its successful Series C fundraising in March 2019. This latest infusion of capital will be used to further accelerate Airwallex’s global expansion, explore new partnerships and continue with product and engineering innovation.

“The world will only become more digital, and with more businesses than ever now operating online, Airwallex has proudly been at the center of this evolution,” said Jack Zhang, Co-founder, and CEO at Airwallex. “The additional investment is a vote of confidence in the global financial infrastructure we have built, as we look to empower businesses to grow without borders.”

“This year, we are focused on our global expansion. We continue to extend our international footprint and are bolstering our capabilities through partnerships and new product launches. Strengthening our investor base with the addition of Greenoaks will also help us accelerate that progress. We look forward to their support as we forge ahead on our journey to become a global financial cloud,” Zhang continued.

In 2020, Airwallex continued to broaden its suite of products and applications, including multi-currency debit cards with Visa (enabling businesses to pay suppliers with ease and offer expense cards to employees), a bank feed integration with Xero, an SMB rewards program, and online payment acceptance capabilities. The company also maintained its strong business momentum, driven by triple-digit revenue growth in the e-commerce, digital & technology, and logistics customer segments.

To support its hypergrowth, Airwallex has focused on building a high-performance culture. The company recently refreshed its company values, accelerated its hiring and talent retention strategies to deliver Airwallex’s vision. Today, Airwallex has over 600 employees across 12 global offices and is still looking to fill over 500 open roles.

Patrick Backhouse at Greenoaks said, “We believe Airwallex is building a powerful global payments business, with a rich product suite that helps companies simplify their financial infrastructure as they scale globally. From its origins in Australia, Airwallex chose to build global products from day one and has developed a deep understanding of emerging payment technologies. We look forward to supporting the company as it extends its global reach.”

Jeremy Kwong-Law, CEO & CIO at Grok Ventures said, “It is so impressive to see Airwallex’s relentless pursuit of rewiring clunky financial infrastructure and turning that into a simple and delightful product experience for their customers. We are excited about the huge potential this team can deliver in the years ahead.”

About Airwallex

Airwallex is a global fintech payment platform with a mission to empower businesses of all sizes to grow without borders, and by doing so, contribute to the global economy. With technology at its core, Airwallex has built a global financial infrastructure and platform to help businesses to manage payments, treasury and expenses internationally, without the constraints of the traditional financial system.

Airwallex has secured nearly US$500 million since it was established in Melbourne in 2015 and is backed by world-leading investors. Today, the business operates with a team of over 600 employees across 12 global offices. For more information, please visit their website here.

Startupbootcamp has partnered with Global Victoria to create Virtual Trade Mission

Startupbootcamp has partnered with Global Victoria to create a Virtual Trade Mission, seeking to facilitate and prepare Victorian startups and scaleups for the upcoming UK Fintech Week conference.

The program will allow entrepreneurs to gain the most value from attending the UK Fintech Week while attending remotely. Centered around the potential value of the UK for Victorian startups and scaleups, the masterclasses will be on ‘Building up Relationships in a Virtual World’, ‘Corporate Startup Collaboration’, ‘Remote Digital Marketing Tracking’, and ‘Why Do Business in the UK’ amongst others.

In addition, Growth Hacking support will be provided by Startupbootcamp to build up qualified leads that the participating startups and scaleups can utilise during the virtual conference. Utilising the skills learned from the masterclasses, this mission will facilitate participants’ exploration of opportunities and challenges.

This Virtual Trade Mission will provide startups and scaleups with the tools to facilitate participants’ exploration of opportunities and challenges during a pivotal time of change in the UK and EU in the context of Brexit.

Interested Victorian startups and scaleups who wish to apply or find out more can visit Global Victoria.

 

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources goes live with e-invoicing

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources (DISER) has successfully gone live with an e-invoicing solution implemented by Xcellerate IT, a leading provider of business process automation, and Link4, a certified access point provider for e-invoicing in Australia.

DISER can now receive inbound e-invoices from their suppliers through the PEPPOL network. From there, the e-invoices are onboarded into their Kofax accounts payable automation solution where any additional validation will occur before being exported to their TechnologyOne ERP system. This solution provides DISER with a single, multi-channel onboarding ramp for different invoice formats, from e-invoices through to paper-based invoices and email attachments.

E-invoicing is the ability to send and receive invoices instantly, without the need for email and PDFs, which helps automate the procure-to-pay process. As PDF invoices are being intercepted and altered more frequently, e-invoicing is a much safer way for invoices to be sent. Additionally, it is more efficient, better for the environment, and in real-time.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is driving the e-invoicing initiative and mandating that Federal agencies encourage greater adoption amongst supply chains, helping lower the cost of doing business.

DISER has been able to leverage their existing Kofax accounts payable automation solution and extend the functionality to onboard e-invoices, providing a holistic view of all invoice types within the same platform and enabling DISER to receive invoices instantly from anyone sending via the PEPPOL network. E-invoices will be paid within 5 business days, so any business sending outbound e-invoices will improve their cash flow as they can receive payment the week the invoice is created.

“E-invoicing is a great win for all businesses and government agencies,” noted Robin Sands, CEO of Link4. “This is a very positive move by DISER and we hope it helps everyone consider their e-invoicing strategy, so they too can benefit from being part of the e-invoicing network.”

Xcellerate IT’s Managing Director, Howard Boretsky said that “we are proud to be supporting this ATO initiative and are excited to see DISER go live with our e-invoicing solution. Working with one vendor for their Total Invoice Management solution has given DISER the ability to process both their traditional PDF invoices and e-invoices in a single platform”.

About Xcellerate IT

With over 23 years of knowledge and experience in business process automation and driving digital workforce initiatives, Xcellerate IT is a leading Australian provider of document intelligence software powered by the Kofax automation platform. They provide innovative solutions, both on-premise and in the cloud, to transform and automate information-intensive business workflows across both back and front office operations.

Follow news and updates from Xcellerate IT on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

For more information, please visit: www.xcellerateit.com.au

COVID-19 has intensified Australia’s love of contactless payments

Today, payments company Square released a report that shows the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Australia’s intensifying relationship with contactless payments. There has been a cashless growth spurt among Australian businesses since the onset of the pandemic, with 1 in 4 businesses now operating as cashless*, compared to just 1 in 12 this time last year.

The report, entitled Payments, and the Pandemic, looks at the effects of mandated lockdowns, social-distancing limitations, and ongoing trading restrictions on consumer and business behaviour in relation to payments. The data was captured from millions of transactions at thousands of Square businesses across the country over the past 12 months.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across Australia last year, we saw a sharp decline in cash use as businesses and consumers became more reluctant to physically handle money at a time when health, and mitigating the spread of germs, was their top priority,” said Samina Hussain-Letch, Head of Industry & Payments at Square Australia. “And while some regions and industries are starting to see cash pick up in circulation again, we are yet to see it return to pre-pandemic levels.”

Square’s data shows that regionally, Victoria saw the most significant rise in the number of cashless businesses operating throughout 2020. While just 5% of the state’s businesses were operating as cashless in February last year, this grew to a peak of 40% in April and then again in August 2020, coinciding with the state’s two lockdown periods. While the number of cashless businesses in the Northern Territory still doubled over the course of 2020, this region saw the least dramatic shift in businesses turning away from cash.

For consumers, the number of people opting to pay with cash plummeted by more than half throughout the year. In February 2020, 36% of all in-person transactions were made in cash, compared to just 15% by April during the pandemic’s first wave. As of February 2021, cash use had increased a little but only made up 18% of all in-person transactions.

Across the states, Tasmania and the ACT saw the most significant decline in cash use among consumers, while Western Australia and the Northern Territory saw the smallest shift. As of February 2021, Victoria and Western Australia had the lowest rates of cash use in the country (15%), while South Australia and the Northern Territory had the highest (22%).

Brittany Garbutt, owner and managing director of national chain Pretzel, says the change in consumer behaviour is evident across Australia.

“Over the past year, our east coast stores have been more impacted by COVID-19 restrictions than our west coast stores, but the shift away from cash use is definitely felt everywhere,” said Garbutt. “Even in our stores that remained open to in-store customers throughout 2020, like Perth, there was still a huge shift in consumers opting to pay contactless. With health concerns top of mind, people just don’t want to handle cash that others have touched — and honestly neither do we.”

With online ordering, contactless payments, curbside pickup, and no-contact deliveries becoming the norm for consumers across the country throughout 2020, Square’s data also shows that the share of Australian businesses accepting online payments on the platform has increased more than 1.5 times over the past year.

“Consumers have become accustomed to the ease and convenience of eCommerce over the course of the pandemic. This is likely a key factor contributing to the continued low levels of people paying with cash, despite restrictions being eased across the country,” said payments expert Professor Steve Worthington from Swinburne University Business School.

“A preference to minimise contact with physical currency is likely to be top of mind for consumers for quite some time. What’s more, with bank branch closures and fewer ATMs available, it has become more difficult to access cash and then to find places to spend it,” said Professor Worthington. “Combining that with the fact that many businesses favour digital payments for ease of use, speed, and security, there’s less incentive for any of us to carry cash now.”

The full report can be viewed here.

*Cashless is defined here as accepting 95 per cent or more of transactions through credit or debit cards.

Basiq and Personetics partner for one-on-one banking personalisation

Basiq, a financial API platform backed by Plaid, Westpac, Salesforce, and NAB has partnered with Personetics, the leading global provider of data-driven personalisation and customer engagement solutions for financial institutions. The partnership will offer a first-in-market solution to leverage open banking for personalisation based on an individual’s behaviours, preferences, and needs.

As consumers live out their lives and interact with their finances digitally, financial data has become increasingly powerful in tailoring financial services to an individual’s banking habits. In Australia, the government has mandated the opening up of this financial data under the Consumer Data Right (CDR). To date, only a handful of institutions have been accredited to receive data and the government is still in the process of developing a consumer awareness program.

Globally, Personetics has already delivered personalised digital banking experiences and is working with over 55 banks globally to boost customer engagement by up to 35% whilst also delivering a 20% increase in account growth and balances. To help accelerate innovation and realise consumer benefit, Basiq and Personetics have partnered for a first-in-market, turnkey solution that allows organisations to
leverage open banking data to deliver on the promise of personalisation.

With the Basiq and Personetics solution, organisations can immediately access real-time data from over 100 financial institutions across Australia and New Zealand. The joint solution will translate this data into personalised guidance on day-to-day money management, whether it’s encouraging healthy saving habits, guiding customers to pay off debt quickly, or proactively helping customers to move their money from low value to high-value accounts.

The Basiq platform is currently being used by over 200 banks and fintechs to aggregate and enrich data for use cases across financial advice, lending, payments and digital banking. Personetics has helped launch one of the first hyper-personalised bank offerings globally, working with Royal Bank of Canada on their digital assistant NOMI to provide customers with alerts, reminders, tailored insights, and automated savings based on their banking habits.

According to Basiq founder and CEO, Damir Cuca, data access, governance and analytics are a utility when it comes to leveraging open banking for personalisation.

“To personalise financial experiences at the individual level, organisations need an ongoing feed to real-time, aggregated data. This is no easy feat, especially as we’re seeing financial data becoming increasingly scattered. Basiq’s role is to take care of all the heavy lifting so that it’s possible to translate data into meaningful customer experiences.”

For Personetics Country Lead Australia & New Zealand, Mandeep Sandhu, the power of personalisation lies in the ability to nurture customers into financial wellness and is key to enabling real-time digital experiences.

“During Covid, our clients were able to proactively detect when their customers were at risk and help prevent financial hardship. By working together with Basiq, our vision is to localise these capabilities across the financial services ecosystem and to continue to push Australia as a global power-house for fintech and financial services.”

About Basiq:
Basiq is an open banking platform that helps people make smart financial decisions. Backed by NAB Ventures, Westpac Reinventure, Salesforce Ventures, and Plaid, we lead innovation in powering the next generation of financial services with access to secure and automated financial data.
With Basiq, fintechs can gain ongoing access to real-time data from +100 institutions. To date, we’ve helped a dozen banks and 200 fintechs across categories such as lending, payments, and digital banking.
Visit the website here.

About Personetics:
Focused on enabling proactive engagement for banks, Personetics’ AI analyzes financial data in real-time to understand customer financial behavior, anticipate customer needs and deliver a hyper-personalized experience.

With solutions designed for the mass market, wealth management, and small business customers, our technology enables banks to offer day-to-day insights, financial advice, and automated wellness programs to customers. Flagship clients include U.S. Bank (US), RBC (Canada), Santander (Spain, UK, Brazil), Metro Bank (UK), UOB (Japan, Singapore, Thailand), DBS (Singapore), MUFG (Japan).
Visit the website here.

Fintech Agreement Boosts Fast-Growing Sector

Australia’s burgeoning fintech sector will receive additional support to expand overseas and attract productive foreign investment under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed today by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and FinTech Australia.

Tim Beresford, the acting CEO of Austrade, said the MoU would assist one of the fastest-growing fintech sectors in the world, with more than 730 fintech businesses in Australia.

“The fintech sector is built on Australia’s A$10 trillion financial services sector, one of the largest in the Asia-Pacific, which contributes 9.4 per cent to Australia’s GVA and employs more than 450,000 people,” Mr. Beresford said.

“This MoU will build on the work Austrade is already doing to provide fintech businesses with market insights, partnership opportunities, and connections in the United Kingdom, Singapore, and the United States.

“Australia’s proximity to Asia, the Fintech Bridge Agreement with the United Kingdom, and our international regulatory agreements make us an attractive destination for foreign investment, which in turn supports Australia’s fintech sector to grow.”

“Our agreement to co-deliver export services with Fintech Australia will be highly beneficial for Australian fintechs,” Mr. Beresford added.

Rebecca Schot-Guppy, CEO of FinTech Australia, welcomed the agreement with Austrade.

“As Australia’s leading fintech industry body, we are looking forward to providing enhanced and ongoing support to the sector together,” Ms Schot-Guppy said.

“Our priorities are well aligned and we will work together to co-deliver trade services to eligible exporters, increase international business outcomes for Australian fintech companies and attract investment into Australia.

“Australia’s fintech sector is built on a dynamic tech ecosystem, a tech-savvy population, and a large, well-regulated financial system.

“With more than 40 per cent of Australian fintechs already established overseas, the sector welcomes international investors, partners, and collaborators.”

Austrade and Treasury are the Government’s lead agencies for implementing the Fintech Trade and Investment Program.

The initiative is part of the Australian Government’s 2020 Digital Business Plan to Drive Australia’s Economic Recovery, which includes $9.6 million over four years to support Australian fintech businesses access international markets and attract international investment.

To learn more about fintech opportunities, visit austrade.gov.au or fintechaustralia.org.au

Media Enquiries:

Austrade: 02 9392 2873 | FinTech Australia: 0409 623 618

Upcoming Events
  1. MoneyFest

    April 19 - April 23
  2. Intersekt 2021

    May 19 @ 9:00 am - May 20 @ 6:00 pm
  3. Finnies 2021

    June 9
Videos

Peoples Choice Organisation of 2020

Finnies 2020: Outstanding Fintech Leader of the Year

Scaling Product Globally

Podcasts

Lee Hatton – Afterpay: FinTech Australia Podcast

Anthony Jones – Visa AUS/NZ

Tim Cameron – TransferWise