White Paper on CBDC Research Project

The Reserve Bank is collaborating with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC) on a research project to explore use cases for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Australia. As noted in a media release on 9 August, the project will also be an opportunity to further understanding of some of the technological, legal and regulatory considerations associated with a CBDC.

The DFCRC and the Bank have today released a White Paper ‘Australian CBDC Pilot for Digital Finance Innovation’, that explains the objectives and approach of the project in more detail, including the design of the pilot CBDC that will be utilised by industry participants to explore use cases for a CBDC. Interested industry participants are invited to make submissions on CBDC use cases that have the potential to deliver benefits to the functioning of the Australian economy and financial system. Participants can also express interest in operating their use case in a pilot project to test and demonstrate the value proposition.

For more information on how to participate in the project, please visit: https://dfcrc.com.au/cbdc.

About the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC)

The (DFCRC) is a 10-year, $180 million research program funded by industry partners, universities and the Australian Government, through the Cooperative Research Centres Program. The DFCRC’s mission is to bring together stakeholders in the finance industry, academia and regulatory sectors to develop and harness the opportunities arising from the next transformation of financial markets – the digitisation of assets that can be traded and exchanged directly and in real-time on digital platforms. The Reserve Bank is an industry partner of the DFCRC, and is using its involvement in the DFCRC to support work on its strategic focus area on supporting the evolution of payments, including through research on CBDC.

Five Fintechs On Friday September 23, 2022

The new edition of the five fintechs on Friday is here! but first…

#Intersekt2022 – Attended but missed sessions? All sessions are now available on the Intersekt website through a login page.
Did not attend? Sessions will be up on our Youtube channel and Podcast in the coming weeks. Here are also the pictures from the two days.

Also check out…
Our corporate Partner ProbeCX has put together insights on How fintechs can maintain quality CX during these tough times.
Keen to understand more about the most anticipated and complex upgrade to Ethereum in the blockchain’s history? – Read more about The Merge from our policy partner King & Wood Mallesons.

Below are five fintechs to know about this fortnight!

CMSPI

CMSPI is the advisory firm that finance, payments and fraud teams turn to when they want to boost performance, make data-driven decisions, and eliminate ambiguity in their payments arrangements. Businesses are caught in the middle of an overly complex payments landscape, with heightened consumer expectations, and rapidly shrinking margins. And in a payments ecosystem that is as complex and everchanging as it is opaque, understanding the nuances behind the infinite number of payments variables at play – let alone putting those variables in context – is a tremendous challenge. The CMSPI vision is to reshape the payments industry, and their mission is to equip businesses with industry expertise, data-driven technology, and unrivaled visibility into industry data to achieve best-in-market results through more legitimate transactions, with less fraud, all at a marketing leading cost for the solutions provided.


Fluenccy

Fluenccy helps international businesses grow smarter and manage risk with a unique AI-powered foreign exchange (FX) platform. Understand how foreign currency impacts your bottom line, easily see where you can mitigate risk, and implement an automated FX management plan to target significant savings on your foreign currency transactions. Designed and built in Australia, Fluenccy’s software finally brings transparent FX risk management to growing Australian businesses.


ExtrasJar

ExtrasJar launched in August 2022 with its inaugural products, health and pet extras. With health extras, customers can save to pay for health care. Savings are invested into the ExtrasJar Fund and customers can use their investments at the point of sale to pay for health care treatments with their ExtrasJar Mastercard®. The ExtrasJar App is available on the Apple Store and Google Play. ExtrasJar is now focusing on launching ExtrasJar pet and health insurance with a unique self-insurance deposit feature. ExtrasJar is currently raising capital via crowd-sourced funding on Birchal to scale and accelerate growth. Link to the capital raise.


Quant Property Solutions

Quant Property Solutions fills a universal service gap that intersects, banking, finance, and property.

Quant builds software for banks that helps them, and their clients sell distressed residential real estate for more.

With +30,000 foreclosures a week, globally, Quant’s built the banks a new data analytics tool, BestAgent™, the world’s first property specific desk top AVM of liquidators, brokers and real estate agents, to lessen loss given default during foreclosure sales.

The software builds out property specific, localized indexes of agents who out-perform their markets and other market participants based on their KPIs, ensuring more for those with less facing foreclosure.


Behave & Save

Behave & Save is Australia’s only subscription based vehicle telematics platform with all of the embedded capabilities that insurers need to seamlessly deliver usage and behavioural based car insurance solutions (UBI/BBI), efficiently and profitably, without the prohibitive complexity, risk and cost, as-a-Service.


Check out our previous issues here!

FinTech Voice September 15, 2022

Intersekt 2022 was a resounding success. Thank you to all who participated. Highlights, videos, recordings, and more information will be shared in a few days. Until then, here are the pictures from the two days.

One of the biggest value drivers this year was the roundtables we held with key regulators. Roundtable participants were some of the first to engage directly with Treasury and regulators on the Government’s recent policy announcements, including:

  • Crypto asset token mapping;
  • A strategic plan for the payments ecosystem;
  • CDR action initiation legislation;
  • The RBA’s central bank digital currency use cases project; and
  • The Board of Tax’s consultation on the tax treatment of crypto assets and transactions.

We had a record number of policy-makers and regulators lead sessions this year, including the ACCC, ASIC, APRA, AUSTRAC, DISR, RBA, Treasury and the Board of Tax. Every session was at capacity and packed with free-flowing discussion and tough questions.

Minister Stephen Jones, Federal Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, also gave a video address to the conference where he emphasised the importance of the ongoing rollout of the Consumer Data Right and the benefits it will bring for consumers and small businesses.

FinTech Australia looks forward to continuing the conversation with policy-makers, regulators and the Minister on these important policy issues for the fintech community. Please reach out if you wish to participate in future conversations with regulators and if you have any specific challenges where we can support.

The EY Census has closed and we aim to present our findings in late October. Thank you to all fintechs who participated. We will share more details with you soon.

Some big announcements this week. Congratulations to MYOB on the recent acquisition of FlareCBA’s Payto rollout is the beginning of an exciting phase for Payto.

In partnership with the other key industry bodies, we are organising the next Tech Industry Collective meetup in Sydney on Tuesday October 25Register here.

As a global fintech that invests growth capital in innovative businesses in Australia, Canada, and the UK, Fundsquire is excited to be a part of Intersekt as a sponsor and panel speaker. Fundsquire aims to continue empowering the Australian startup ecosystem by helping game-changing businesses accelerate through funding and resources.

For any queries and support, please reach out to us.

Regards,

Rehan D’Almeida,
General Manager,
FinTech Australia


Government Progresses Digital & Tech Tax Incentives

The Government has released legislation that will implement the Technology Investment Boost and the Skills and Training Boost tax incentives that were included in the March 2022 Budget.

The Technology Investment Boost will support digital adoption by small businesses (with aggregated annual turnover less than $50 million) by providing a bonus 20 per cent tax deduction for eligible expenditure incurred on expenses and depreciating assets that support digital operations.

The incentives will be backdated to apply from 29 March 2022, with an annual cap applying so that expenditure up to $100,000 will be eligible for the Technology Investment Boost, with the bonus deduction capped at $20,000 per year.

Treasury consults on proposals to improve quality of financial advice

Treasury has released a consultation paper on proposals for reform to improve the quality of financial advice.

Most relevant to FinTech Australia members is the inclusion of proposals to make it easier for digital advice providers to provide advice to consumers.

Notably, the proposals include:

  • Replacing the best interests duty, the appropriate advice duty, the duty to warn the client and the duty of priority in Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act with a new duty to provide ‘good advice’ (i.e. advice that would be reasonably likely to benefit the client);
  • Simplifying disclosure document requirements to make it easier to provide digital advice; and
  • Removing existing obligations applying to the provision of ‘general advice’ and broadening the current definition of ‘personal advice’ so that it is clear it applies whenever a recommendation or opinion is provided to a client about a financial product.

The proposals paper is the latest stage in an iterative review process which started with the setting of Terms of Reference in March by the previous Government. A final report will be provided to Government by the end of this year.

Current Consultations

FinTech Australia is currently developing submissions to consultations on:

We will be working with our members to draft these submissions.


📇King & Wood Mallesons CRYPTO ASSET CONSULTATION ON AUSTRALIA’S HORIZON. Australia’s Treasury Ministers announced consultation on a framework for regulation of the crypto asset sector for industry and regulators. For more, visit here

💭Think & Grow are working on the most in-demand nationwide research project – the fourth iteration of the Australian Startup Salary Guide 2022/2023. Click here to participate in the survey.

💁🏻Lift Women are funding women and girls who are passionate about their business dreams, want to make a difference and be a CHANGEMAKER! The Female Founder Grant Challenge 2022 is NOW OPEN. You can win 1 of 3 business funding grants, valued at over $15,000 EACH. To apply, simply start a project on Lift Women to be part of the challenge. Or book your free consultation call.


🔍 AusIndustry is hosting a a free information session to learn more about the Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI). This hour long session will introduce you to the R&DTI and guide you through key eligibility requirements. Oct-Nov 2022. For more info, click here

🇭🇰 Hong Kong Fintech Week 2022 is here – one of the largest conferences on the calendar, attracting more than 12,000 senior executives and featuring over 250 of the world’s top speakers including FinTech founders, investors, regulators, and academics. 31 Oct – 4 NovBook your pass now

Tech Collective- Registration Link and Collateral The Tech Industry and Collective event has a registration limit of 210. Each association will be able to register 30 attendees including staff members. Here is the link, don’t forget to use the code CollectiveFTA to be added to book. 25 Oct, 5pm.

Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) 2022 Singapore welcomes you in-person to the 7th edition of the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF). Brings together the global FinTech community. 2-4, Nov, Singapore EXPORegister now

Forward Festival 2022 Silicon Coast is incredibly excited to have FinTech Australia and FinTech QLD as a partner. 26-30, Sept. 50% Community discounted tickets here


Don’t miss all the news and insights from our members and corporate partners from our newsroom.

  • Bridgit Non-bank lender Bridgit this week announced that it hit $1 billion in loan applications and is looking to grow its broker offering and network
  • Shift launches equipment line revolving credit facility
  • Blossom partners with Azupay to bring real-time account-to-account payments via PayID to a new generation of investors.
  • Australian Payment Plus major milestone for the Australian industry’s adoption of digital identity
  • Airwallex Australian business growth index continue growing globally
  • Joust new build stall
  • Weel rebrands to become “Weel” to drive bigger clients and international expansion
  • Terrapay Zai and Terrapay partner to accelerate cross-border payments globally
  • Adatree launches Open X use case report
  • Fluency has put together a helpful eBook to assist SMEs in reducing FX impact on their bottom line during these tough times.

 

Industry Backs AP+ ConnectID for Aussie Digital Identity

Major Australian banks, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank (CBA), National Australia Bank Limited (NAB),
and Westpac, announce their support behind Australian Payments Plus’ (AP+) development and
establishment of an open, standards-based national identity infrastructure called ConnectID, to
protect customer privacy and drive productivity in the Digital Economy.

Lynn Kraus, CEO AP+ said “This is a major milestone for the Australian industry’s adoption of
digital identity, aiming to securely and simply deliver a seamless online identity verification
experience to solve real world issues. This includes proving your identity online for age verification,
setting up mobile phone plans, employee onboarding, travel bookings, loan applications and can
even extend through to insurance pay outs.

For customers, this means they will be able to verify their identity online simply and safely using
ConnectID, an Australian digital identity network. ConnectID makes it easy to verify who you are
online, using the organisations you already trust. It also allows you to share only the information
that is required, at the time it is needed, giving customers complete control over how their personal
information is used and peace of mind knowing their data is being kept safe at every step.

A strong digital identity ecosystem as envisaged for ConnectID, not only provides more control and
security for customers, but recent global reports have estimated the economic benefit and value for
countries like Australia, equates to around 3% GDP by 20301
.
The newly formed Australian Payments Plus (AP+), brings together digital identity initiatives of
BPAY and eftpos in a combined best-in-class proposition demonstrating the benefits behind the
recent consolidation of Australia’s three domestic payment organisations, BPAY Group, eftpos and
NPP Australia into the one entity.

Ms. Kraus said: “Customer trials are expected in late 2022 followed by a market launch next year.
ConnectID is already accredited under the Australian Government’s Trusted Digital Identity
Framework (TDIF).”

“We are excited that AP+ can deliver innovation, security, and convenience to the daily lives of
Australian consumers and businesses through the creation of a national digital identity ecosystem
with ConnectID,” Ms Kraus said.

“In Australia there is a real need to facilitate identity verification methods to reduce costs and
enhance compliance outcomes for businesses, help reduce the hassle as well as instances of
fraud and identity theft for Australians, while improving the ‘digital trust’ between customers and
vendors.”

Andrew Black, Managing Director ConnectID AP+ said: “Australians trust the security and reliability
of their banks and payments providers, for that reason developing a robust, standards-based
digital identity ecosystem that can be used by major banks and trusted Australian organisations is
a natural extension for AP+.”

“ConnectID is committed to help Australian banks, businesses and local retailers protect the
sovereignty and security of Australian payments and identity data,” Mr Black added.
Delivering more control and better privacy protection for consumers to share and receive verified
personal identity information online, the participation of some of Australia’s largest banks in
ConnectID would provide the scale and trust needed to drive widespread consumer and business
adoption.

CBA’s General Manager, Open Data, Katherine Sleeth said: “We are pleased to help our
customers have more control of their data and privacy, enabling them to share their personal
information with approved merchants, backed by the security of the CommBank app. The quick
online process will save customers time and help keep them safe online.”
NAB Chief Digital, Data and Analytics Officer, Angela Mentis, said the bank was proud to play an
integral role in bringing digital identity to the Australian market, with customer empowerment top of
mind for the bank throughout the process.

“NAB’s priority in helping bring digital identity to life has been to empower customers with choice –
to verify their identity how and when they want, whilst ensuring privacy and personal data is
protected,” Ms Mentis said.

“We think that digital identity will be the most crucial enabler of safe and secure interactions in our
future economy, and are certain that customers can have trust in this solution.”
The ConnectID team is collaboratively working with governments, businesses, online merchants,
banks and other identity providers with a view to building identity into our national payments
infrastructure, as well as other commercial applications for all Australians and Australian
businesses.

ConnectID is taking an inclusive, economy-wide approach, working with organisations from sectors
such as banking, telecom, online retail, government, insurance, utilities, transportation, real estate,
not-for-profit and the start-up and fintech community.

Australian Payments Plus’ ConnectID facilitates an ‘exchange’ between identity providers,
organisations that securely hold identity data on behalf of their customers, and merchants or
government departments that need to verify who they are dealing with or receive identity
information that they can trust. AP+ is uniquely placed to offer this service, particularly for
interactions requiring a payment.

While ConnectID securely facilitates the identity verification or data exchange, it does not see or
store the identity data. Identity service providers store consumer identities and take responsibility
for providing this secure information only under the consent of the customer.

As interoperability is key to the ConnectID solution, it is designed to complement identity and
credential-related services provided by government and work within the Federal Government’s
Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) financial industry privacy and security frameworks, as
well as emerging international standards in distributed digital identity credentials.


Media inquiries:

Alana Morton, Australian Payments Plus, 0415534699 amorton@eftposaustralia.com.au
About Australian Payments Plus
Australian Payments Plus is the new organisation that brings together Australia’s three domestic payment organisations, BPAY Group,
eftpos and NPP Australia into one entity. Australian Payments Plus which strives to deliver world-leading innovation, excellence in
delivery, and customer experiences that delight and inspire us to build a better, stronger and more prosperous Australia.

The consolidation of Australia’s domestic payments organisations was authorised by the ACCC on 9 September 2021, subject to
undertakings, with the transaction completed in early 2022. AP+ shareholders include Adyen Australia Pty Limited, ANZ, ASL, Bank of
Queensland Limited, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, CBA, Citigroup Pty Limited, Coles Group Limited, Cuscal Limited, EFTEX Pty
Limited, First Data Network Australia Limited trading as Fiserv, HSBC Bank Australia Limited, ING Bank (Australia) Limited, Indue
Limited, Macquarie Bank Limited, NAB, PayPal, Suncorp Metway Limited, Tyro Payments Limited, WBC, Windcave Pty Limited, Wise
Australia Pty Limited, Woolworths Group Limited and WorldPay.

See http://www.auspayplus.com.au for more information.

Fintech bridging loan specialist hits $1 billion in loan applications as homeowner demand for a ‘buy first, sell later’ model grows

Less than 12 months after its launch, tech-driven bridging loan specialist Bridgit has achieved a milestone $1 billion in loan applications as a growing number of homeowners opt to buy their next home before selling their existing property first.

With property prices rising 11.2 per cent nationally over the past 12 months and even higher among the capital cities,[1] many older Australians capitalised on this growth and cashed in on the boom. Sixty per cent of Bridgit applications were for downsizers and consisted predominantly of Baby Boomers.

Interestingly, the average size of Bridgit loans is $1 million. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane buyers account for the majority of customers, at 40 per cent and equal 60 per cent, respectively.

Bridgit was founded in mid-2021 after the co-founders, mortgage broker Nick Jacobs and capital markets specialist Aaron Bassin, saw a gap in the market to provide fast property finance solutions without a manual and lengthy process. Often, homeowners miss out on their dream home due to traditional slow approval processes or not having the funds for a deposit for their new home. Bridgit has revolutionised bridging loans by providing a simple online application, same-day approvals, three-months interest free, the freedom of a ‘buy first, sell later’ model, and no repayments until the loan reaches maturity and the existing home is sold.

Bridgit has been on a growth trajectory since launching last year, having raised $13.2 million in equity and secured $100 million in venture debt funding.

Aaron Bassin, CEO and co-founder of Bridgit, says: “We’re extremely thrilled to have hit $1 billion in loan applications, a milestone that gives us confidence our product is helping Australians make the most of property opportunities.

“Our mission has always been to challenge the traditional lending model and provide Australians with a new solution that actually helps them progress. Our customers have loved the flexibility of being able to use a fast bridging loan solution – providing them with an option to buy first and offering many benefits, particularly for retirees or downsizers who want to buy on their terms without having to sell first.”

Case study available: Mark and Kay, Sydney

Retiree couple Mark and Kay planned to downsize from their five-bedroom family house in south-west Sydney to an inner city apartment, so they initially put down a deposit for an off-the-plan two-bedroom apartment. After moving in earlier this year, they realised the space wasn’t large enough to accommodate the growing number of grandchildren in the family.

After coming across a four-bedroom apartment in Sydney’s Wolli Creek which better suited their lifestyle and needs, they knew they needed to move fast and make an offer quickly to secure the listing. After their second property inspection one Saturday morning and realising this was their dream purchase, they completed Bridgit’s online application for a bridging loan that afternoon, and received approval within an hour. Having previously worked in the traditional financial services sector, Mark was blown away by the fast finance solution.


Available for interview:

Aaron Bassin, CEO and co-founder at Bridgit

Mark S, Bridgit case study


About Bridgit

Bridgit is a tech-driven, non-bank lender revolutionising property lending – specifically bridging loans – with its simple online loan application, same-day approval and three-month interest-free period. It provides Australian homeowners access to better finance solutions, so they can secure their next home before selling their existing property. In doing so, homeowners can act fast and not miss out on opportunities to purchase their next dream home.

Bridgit was co-founded in 2021 after mortgage broker Nick Jacobs and capital markets specialist Aaron Bassin saw the industry was lagging and customers were paying the price for traditional slow and manual finance processes for property loans. Since their launch, Bridgit has raised nearly $13 million in equity capital and processed more than $1 billion in loan applications within the first 12 months of operation. Bridgit was also named as a finalist in the 2022 Finnies Award for Emerging Fintech Organisation of the Year. For more information, visit Bridgit.com.au

What’s on @ Intersekt 2022!

We’re almost sold out! Tickets will close on Thursday at 12 noon AEST

Just a week to go before the largest number of Australian fintechs converge for the Intersekt FinTech Festival! So what’s on that week and what shouldn’t be missed?

Find out below…

Don’t miss extra free content that we’ve put together this year with our sponsors

Sept 1Reinventing wealth management with Currencycloud
Sept 2– Blockchain and Crypto with BDO

Leading fintech start-ups across various fintech subsectors pitch to Investors in one of the most exciting meetups with investors.

Register

Changes to our payment ecosystem means new relationships and opportunities
With Jonathan Grant, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer, Paypa Plane

Blockchain, Digital Assets and Web 3.0: the convergence between Tradfi and Defi and the impact on customer experience
With Paul Stonham, General Manager DLT Solutions at the ASX and Alan Burt, Founder of Block8 and Executive Chair of Redbelly Networks and Cathryn Lyall, NED at blockchain start-ups Hutly, Redbelly Networks and Boulevard Global and Partner at Seed Space Venture Capital

Is CDR data the renewable energy that powers open finance into the future?
With Stuart Low, Founder and CEO, Biza

Closed door, intimate conversations on key topics with regulators and industry leaders. Learn from peers, share ideas, clarify doubts and gain insights. Limited to not more than 30 people – Chatham rules apply. Only those who registered in advance can access.

A diverse range of topics will be covered, from regulator roundtables on Crypto, CDR and R&D to KYC, Digital Markets, Going Global and many more!

Read More

The platform for the biggest ideas in fintech with panels covering a wide range of topics and sub-industries. Hear from both local industry thought leaders and international speakers.

Read More

Welcome Reception, Closing Drinks, Women in Fintech Breakfast with EY, VIP Invite only Dinner, International Delegates Dinner, Events by partners, and many more!!

Need any other excuse to attend the conference? Well reach out and we’ll help you with that decision. For all updates, visit our Intersekt website

FinTech Voice August 25, 2022 – EY FinTech Australia Census 2022

Tickets are selling fast this year in what will become the biggest Australian fintech conference yet! Book your tickets to Intersekt 2022 soon. We will soon share a separate email this week with what to expect at the conference. Until then, visit the intersekt website for all the updates on the program, roundtables, International Dinner events and more.

Our policy work is also now ramping up. The CDR Non-Bank Lending draft designation instrument consultation by Treasury and the tax treatment of digital assets and transactions consultation by the Board of Taxation are the two submissions we will be working on. You can also attend these roundtables at Intersekt this year to participate in the conversation directly with the regulators. We will soon be announcing our approach for a more proactive engagement with policy makers, government and regulators on our key policy priorities.

Fundsquire is a global fintech that invests growth capital in innovative businesses in Australia, Canada, and the UK. Through its advance funding and resources, Fundsquire helps clients accelerate and strengthen the value of their business. As an Intersekt sponsor and panel speaker, Fundsquire continues to empower the Australian startup ecosystem.

FinTech Australia EY Census – If you work with a fintech, the EY FinTech Australia Census survey is for you to help us understand the views of the ecosystem and help with our policy priorities. It is a highly valued source of information for both regulators and government. The survey is open till 9th September.

Policy Advocacy  Government released the final report of their sectoral assessment for non-bank lendingWe recently made a submission to the crypto-asset reform consultation paper. ASIC outlined its core strategic projects and priorities for the next four years. The Board of Taxation launched consultation on the tax treatment of digital assets and transactions. For more updates on policy, check out the advocacy section below

Intersekt and following events – We’re excited to bring you this year’s Intersekt Pitch Night 2022. It is in collaboration with Seed Money, Mastercard, Dialpad and Seed Space . Express your interest to pitch your fintech to investors and to win amazing prizes.

In collaboration with Currencycloud, join the webinar on Reinventing wealth management as a part of our Intersekt 2022 pre-conference Digital Series. Hear from speakers from Pearler and Currencycloud as they discuss the landscape of wealth management in Asia-Pacific and Australia and more. Register for the event here

Lastly…

Austrade in collaboration with the RegTech Association of Hong Kong and The RegTech Association Australia are presenting webinar on Latest Developments in RegTech and Business Opportunities in Hong Kong. Register for the event – 25 August 2022

For any queries and support, please reach out to us.

Finally, we welcome our newest member this fortnight – DOX AI (Ezidox – Lakeba Group), CHIPPIT PTY LTD and DELTAPEER

Regards,

Rehan D’Almeida,
General Manager,
FinTech Australia

Treasury consults on CDR Non-Bank Lending draft designation instrument

On Friday the Government released for consultation a draft designation instrument which sets out the scope of datasets and data holders proposed to be designated for the CDR in the non‑bank lending sector.

Treasury also released the final report of their sectoral assessment for non-bank lending, which informed the drafting of the designation instrument. The sectoral assessment was the first of Treasury’s assessments of ‘Open Finance’ sub‑sectors for inclusion within the CDR.

FinTech Australia contributed to the consultation on the sectoral assessment in April and we plan to make a submission on the draft instrument and subsequent related draft rules.

The consultation closes on 16 September 2022.

Government outlines next steps on crypto asset reforms

This week the Government announced work on crypto reform is underway. A ‘token mapping’ project will be the first step under the new Government’s reform agenda, with a consultation paper to be released ‘soon’.

It appears the Government is taking a more gradual approach to developing a regulatory framework for crypto assets, in contrast to the previous Government’s consultation before the federal election on options for licensing and custody requirements.

FinTech Australia made a submission to that consultation process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Treasury during the token mapping consultation process.

ASIC identifies crypto assets and cyber resilience as core strategic projects

This week ASIC outlined its core strategic projects and priorities for the next four years.

Notably, ASIC flagged volatility in the crypto-assets market as having a transformational impact on the regulatory environment and that the regulator will take action to protect investors from harms posed by crypto-assets. This action will include a stronger focus on supervising and assessing product disclosure statements and target market determinations.

Cyber and operational resilience was also highlighted as a core strategic project, with ASIC to take a more proactive approach which will include implementing a cross-industry self-assessment to benchmark cyber resilience.

The Board of Taxation launches consultation on the tax treatment of digital assets and transactions

Consultation has commenced on a review into the appropriate policy framework for the taxation of digital assets and transactions in Australia.

The Board of Tax is seeking feedback to assist with identifying emerging tax policy issues associated with crypto assets, considering the current tax treatment of crypto assets, and considering the awareness of the tax treatment by both retail and wholesale investors.

The review was originally announced by the previous Government last December, with Terms of Reference released this March, shortly before the federal election. The current Government’s decision to proceed with the review is a positive sign that we might soon see progress on other matters that formed last year’s broader Government response to the review of Australia’s payments system and the regulation of digital assets.

The Board of Tax is seeking written submissions by 30 September 2022 and will provide a final report with advice to Government by the end of this year.

📇King & Wood Mallesons CRYPTO ASSET CONSULTATION ON AUSTRALIA’S HORIZON. Australia’s Treasury Ministers announced consultation on a framework for regulation of the crypto asset sector for industry and regulators. For more, visit here

💭Think & Grow are working on the most in-demand nationwide research project – the fourth iteration of the Australian Startup Salary Guide 2022/2023. Click here to participate in the survey.

📣The Stone & Chalk Group is extending exclusive offers to valued members of Fintech Australia. If you are a tech startup or a scaleup, visit their website for more information.

🔍 AusIndustry is hosting a a free information session to learn more about the Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI). This hour long session will introduce you to the R&DTI and guide you through key eligibility requirements. Oct-Nov 2022. For more info, click here

🇭🇰 Hong Kong Fintech Week 2022 is here – one of the largest conferences on the calendar, attracting more than 12,000 senior executives and featuring over 250 of the world’s top speakers including FinTech founders, investors, regulators, and academics. 31 Oct – 4 NovBook your pass now

💻 Join the #RegTechEdgeNoBorders program by The RegTech Association which is designed to showcase RegTech solutions that address the global challenges across a complex regulatory landscape – 8 Sept. Register for the event today!

Don’t miss all the news and insights from our members and corporate partners from our newsroom.

  • Ziksu receives International Fintech Award One Year after launching
  • WNS is Becoming a Trusted Partner for FinTech Companies

How WNS is Becoming a Trusted Partner for FinTech Companies

FinTechs come in all shapes and sizes, from neobanks like Monzo and Chime to payments apps like Venmo and Stripe. Despite occupying differing niches in the Banking and Financial Services (BFS) market, they are all focused on one thing: innovation. 

However, as FinTechs scale up operations, they face a host of regulatory and business challenges. These include complexities arising from increasing back-office activities, support teams and networking requirements. Managing such administrative obligations while continuing to focus on innovation can be overwhelming. 

Service providers are now stepping in to solve this dilemma. Take WNS for instance. This well-known provider of business process management solutions is helping FinTechs grow business operations while retaining their focus on market innovation. 

HFS Research caught up with WNS to find out what’s enabling them to become a partner of choice for disruptive clients.

A Differentiated Offering

WNS has proven strengths in areas such as analytics, finance and accounting, and procurement as well as deep industry expertise in key sectors. Over the past few years, it has been investing in its proposition for FinTech firms.  

WNS has developed a solution that supports fast-growing FinTech firms. This modular suite of banking solutions has been designed to enable FinTechs to efficiently manage, streamline and scale up operations. Powered by a combination of analytics, robotic process automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the suite addresses the FinTech business imperatives of operational control and governance, cost optimization, customer experience, regulatory compliance and digital transformation. 

WNS’ nimble approach is already showing results. The partnership with Varo Bank is a case in point. This digital neobank was the first of its kind to be granted a national bank charter in the US. It was poised for massive growth and needed a trusted operations partner. WNS rose to the challenge. The Varo-WNS engagement includes critical back-office tasks such as Anti-money Laundering (AML) sanctions screening, account maintenance, exception handling and communications management. And Varo is currently looking at expanding the engagement. 

If the success of this partnership is anything to go by, WNS is well-positioned to capitalize on this expanding and lucrative area of the industry, delivering real value to growing FinTechs.

To know more, read HFS’ report on WNS and its FinTech strategy

AUSTRALIAN DIGITAL FINANCES PLATFORM RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL FINTECH AWARD ONE YEAR AFTER LAUNCHING

Just one year after its grand launch at Perth’s Optus Stadium, Australia’s fintech digital finances platform Ziksu has been awarded as the Most Innovative Contactless Payment Solution (APAC) 2022 by an international finance magazine.

The annual fintech award is part of ten wealth and finance award categories hosted by UK-based, Wealth and Finance International magazine and is judged by a panel of researchers on several criteria. These include, demonstrated expertise in a given area, dedication to client fulfilment and noteworthy performance or commitment to innovation.

Ziksu Founder, CTIO, Karthik Srinivasan said he was proud to be recognised in the global arena.

“It’s fantastic to be recognised for financial services innovation within the APAC region…we are excited to offer Ziksu’s ‘Scan n Pay’ as the first truly contactless payment method instore in Australia, Mr Srinivasan said.

“It enables customers to manage transactions through their mobile device, including entering a pin number to verify their identity, which has been highlighted as critical during the pandemic.

“Ziksu provides an instore digital solution to the ongoing transaction problems faced by Australian businesses.”

As the first Australian fintech to be recognised as a financial institution, Ziksu incorporates a QR code and true contactless mobile payment services with a digital transaction account and real-time funds settlement. Mr Srinivasan said the Ziksu app would also provide equality in financial services for Australian consumers.

“Australia’s payment system has remained unchanged for more than three decades and millions of small businesses have been burdened with including ongoing terminal costs, high account keeping fees, waiting up to three days for funds to appear in their account and loss of business due to general hardware failures,” he said.

Small businesses have laboured under the restrictions of cash or EFTPOS payment landscape in Australia and a ‘Tap n Pay’ option leading many to pass on the high service fees or implement price hikes to consumers. The heavy reliance on a payment terminal has also made it a single point of failure for any business when natural disasters or terminal disruptions occur.

Ziksu’s ‘Scan n Pay’ QR code product is a genuine third payment option for Australia’s small business and consumers, instore. It combines transactional banking with a digital transaction account and truly contactless payments for both business and personal customers within the scope of Anti Money Laundering/Counter Terrorism Funding (AML/CTF) regulations and compliance.

‘Scan n Pay’ is 100 percent mobile and user-friendly, operating on any Android or iOS mobile device via the Ziksu app and is the first of its kind to utilise the New Payments Platform (NPP) whose original shareholder is the Reserve Bank of Australia. It enables the user to send and receive money through the app and has been developed as per the NPP QR Code Standard to support a consistent payment experience.

Ziksu has further developed static and dynamic QR Codes across several use cases mainly for instore e-commerce, invoices, and P2P scenarios. It’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and allows transactions to settle in real time across more than 100 banks, and financial institutions connected to the platform.

QR codes have already become widely accepted throughout Australia due to compulsory COVID-19 contact tracing and have been popular in APAC countries for many years. Australian consumers will also enjoy QR codes with no delays or wait times, additional budgeting tools and instant digital transactions with ‘Scan n Pay’.

Accounts open in less than two minutes and five minutes respectively including Know Your Customer checks and identity verification. Ziksu is a regulated entity and conducts in-app identity verification of individuals and businesses to safeguard the integrity of the platform.

Consumers can access the product by downloading the Ziksu app and once the identity has been verified, the user is provided with a digital transaction account, which includes a BSB, account number, PayID and unique QR code. With the initial commencement of PayTo services from NPPA, Ziksu is currently developing features in its Scan n Pay product to further revolutionise account-to-account payments and aims to transform the instore payment experience for a customer.

PayTo is a new digital way for merchants and businesses to initiate real-time payments from their customers’ bank accounts. The platform will also incorporate Open Banking, which will further enhance its product-offering.

Open Banking will enable businesses and consumers to pull financial information, based on consent, and will enable Ziksu customers to link all debit/credit accounts, providing a 360-degree view of all their finances on one digital platform

These digital enhancements contribute to Ziksu’s overall mission of bolstering Australia’s small businesses through improved cashflow. Ziksu has a global outlook and is on track to realising its strategic plan, and developing a third product, which is expected to be taken to the international market in early 2023.


For further information please contact

Rhonda Malkin,

Digital Content/Copywriter

1300 194 578 / media@ziksu.com

FinTech Voice August 11, 2022

The EY FinTech Australia Census is an important initiative we conduct every year to gain a better understanding of the key issues that are affecting the fintech community. If you’re a fintech and haven’t yet participated in this year’s census, please do.

This study will help us demonstrate that our priorities truly reflect the views of the ecosystem. It is a highly valued source of information for both regulators and government.

Meetups – We are hosting a Going Global event in collaboration with Austrade to showcase how Australian fintechs are successfully scaling their businesses globally. We will be joined by speakers from Google Cloud & AssuranceLab to discuss how you can scale your fintech business with strong partners, and Fundsquire and Karta as leading examples of Australian fintechs succeeding overseas. August 24 – Register soon!

Policy Advocacy  RBA is working with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre to study use cases for a CBDC in Australia. APRA is working on a draft standard on new operational risk management. The Government is working on introducing legislation in the upcoming parliamentary sitting period to make unfair contract terms illegal. For more updates on policy, check out the advocacy section below

Please reach out to Nick Kavass to arrange a time to discuss your policy priorities and involvement in our Policy Working Groups.

Intersekt – Lots of excitement and interest for the conference this year and not enough space. Book your tickets soon. Visit intersekt website for all the info and updates on the program, networking events.

We have joined forces with Seed Money, Mastercard, Dialpad and Seed Space to deliver this year’s Intersekt Pitch Night 2022Express your interest to pitch your fintech to investors and to win amazing prizes.

We recently released our year in review outlining our milestones and showcasing our journey and achievements from last year. Thank you to all members for your support.

Lastly…

ASIC (Australian Securities & Investments Commission) hosted the Financial Innovation Regulator Meet-up, representatives from national bodies discussed issues and their latest experience with financial innovation and technology, details here.

For any queries and support, please reach out to us.

Finally, we welcome our newest member this fortnight – ARYZAFMH HOLDING PTE LTDGLOBAL PAYMENTS INCBEHAVE AND SAVE and IDMETA PTY LTD

Regards,

Rehan D’Almeida,
General Manager,
FinTech Australia

RBA to explore use cases for CBDC

The RBA announced it is working with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre on a research project to explore use cases for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Australia.

Yesterday we met with the RBA to discuss this work and opportunities for FinTech Australia members to be involved. The RBA is keen to hear from fintechs with ideas for pilot use cases before a white paper is launched in the coming months.

This year’s Intersekt will feature a panel discussion and roundtable with the RBA, including Head of Payments Policy, Ellis Connolly. The roundtable, in particular, will provide an opportunity to engage directly with the RBA on CBDC use cases. We will also organise broader engagement opportunities with the RBA on this project after Intersekt.

If you have a strong interest in this work, please reach out to us.

APRA consults on new operational risk management standard

APRA is consulting on a new cross-industry Prudential Standard CPS 230 on Operational Risk Management.

Notably, the draft standard includes broadened requirements for APRA-regulated entities to effectively manage the risks associated with the use of third-party service providers with a comprehensive management policy, formal agreements and robust monitoring.

Banking as a Service arrangements and crypto-assets are specifically mentioned in APRA’s associated discussion paper as examples of situations where ADIs would need to meet the updated requirements.

APRA is seeking feedback on the draft standard by 21 October 2022.

Government to legislate ban on unfair contract terms

The Government announced it will introduce legislation in the upcoming parliamentary sitting period to make unfair contract terms illegal.

The amendments will introduce civil penalty provisions outlawing the use of, and reliance on, unfair terms in standard form contracts. This will significantly strengthen the current provisions, which can only result in a term being void if found ‘unfair’ by a court or tribunal.

The reforms will also expand the scope of small businesses protected by the unfair contract terms provisions. The small business eligibility threshold will increase from less than 20 employees to less than 100 employees, and an annual turnover threshold of less than $10 million will be introduced as an alternative threshold for determining eligibility.

Intersekt Regulator Roundtables

Intersekt this year will feature a range of regulator roundtables led by federal government departments and agencies, including Treasury, ASIC, AUSTRAC, the RBA and the ACCC.

We will soon announce registration details for participating in these roundtables.

📇Open Banking Excellence (OBE) has joined forces with Accenture, the UK Government’s Department of International Trade (DIT), Innovate Finance, NatWest and the University of Oxford to develop a first-of-a-kind global Open Finance Index. The index helps to understand about Australia’s domestic readiness to develop Open Banking and Open Finance ecosystems. Take part in their quick survey here.

💭Think & Grow are working on the most in-demand nationwide research project – the fourth iteration of the Australian Startup Salary Guide 2022/2023. Click here to participate in the survey.

🔍 AusIndustry is hosting a a free information session to learn more about the Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI). This hour long session will introduce you to the R&DTI and guide you through key eligibility requirements. For more info, click here

🇭🇰 Hong Kong Fintech Week 2022 is here – one of the largest conferences on the calendar, attracting more than 12,000 senior executives and featuring over 250 of the world’s top speakers including FinTech founders, investors, regulators, and academics. 31 Oct – 4 NovBook your pass now

🇬🇧 Austrade presents First in a series of informative sessions with leading experts from across the UK to discuss how Australia’s most innovative Tech Businesses can access UK Markets, raise investment, and hire global talent. Aug 23. Click here to register

Don’t miss all the news and insights from our members and corporate partners from our newsroom.

  • Frollo has announced that it’s phasing out screen scraping in its free money management app, where Open Banking is available
  • RBA and Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre to Explore Use Cases for CBDC
  • PEXA and Send Payments team up to streamline multi-currency property transactions
  • Change Financial announces $5.7 million capital raise
  • Sandstone Technology Positioned as the Leader in the 2022 SPARK Matrix™ for Digital Banking Platforms by Quadrant Knowledge Solutions
  • B4Real and Tribe Digital Ventures Partnership Announced
  • Jumio has introduced a guide on KYC and Digital Payment Compliance in Asia Pacific
Videos

Ep 2: Fintechs Acceleration of Growth Since COVID

Ep 1: The Evolution of Payments

Scaling Product Globally

Podcasts

Lee Hatton – Afterpay: FinTech Australia Podcast

Anthony Jones – Visa AUS/NZ

Tim Cameron – TransferWise