When I wrote to you from lockdown last year, we were facing a rather uncertain future. The success of some of our most prominent members was masking the pain felt by the majority of the sector. We heard a lot of rhetoric regarding digital transformation, but were uncertain whether this would include our industry, or was simply lip service.
Fast forward 12 months, and while the majority of us are still under lockdown, conditions are looking significantly better. We’re in the box seat to drive Australia’s economic recovery as the country begins to vaccinate itself. Our relationship with Canberra is the best it’s ever been. The sector is making waves both at home and abroad.
As a result, FinTech Australia has never been stronger. In the past year, we’ve seen a 33 per cent increase in our total pool of members and also a 44 per cent increase in the number of corporate partners supporting us. These include some of the world’s largest technology companies, who have taken keen interest in our fintech industry.
With these extra resources, we’ve been able to dedicate more of our focus into our content and partnership initiatives. We’ve expanded the remit of our blog and content, partnered with AuzBiz to create Australia’s first dedicated fintech TV segment, held over 10 roundtable discussions with industry and expanded our relationship with AusTrade. In addition, we have become Austrade’s lead partner on the FinTech Global Initiative where we have become the first ever industry association to embed a Global Engagement Manager into our team.
This is alongside our ongoing positive engagement with the Federal Government which has seen changes to JobKeeper last year to better include high-growth companies, positive changes to R&D and the introduction of draft legislation that will allow intermediaries to participate in the CDR rollout. This is on top of the countless submissions we have made to the government on behalf of members. They are not falling on deaf ears either. The latest interim report from the Senate Committee on FinTech and Regtech saw over 75% of our suggestions translated into recommendations from the committee.
All of this has also led to a more meaningful, influential and robust events program. Intersekt — our flagship event — had over 800 attendees this year, smashing all prior records. We have similar hopes for The Finnies, which we unfortunately have had to postpone until September due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak.
It has been an incredibly busy 12 month. So much has happened — too much to mention here. Which is why we have summarised it in a Year In Review infographic, which is attached.
There is much to look forward to in the year ahead. Alongside most of our members, I’m particularly excited for The Finnies in a few months time and the EY FinTech Australia Census to measure our industry’s growth. COVID may continue to plague Australia, and lockdown the country. Given our track record over the past year, I am optimistic that we will overcome any future challenges it poses to our sector and continue to reach the new heights as an industry.