TECH SECTOR TO REBOUND FROM MARKDOWNS IN 2023

The defining event for the tech sector in 2022 was tech valuation markdowns – a steep learning curve for tech companies as investors and shareholders ran out of patience and demanded a path to profitability.

RSM Australia’s national technology group lead, Mathavan Parameswaran, said tech firms nursing loss-making results would be prioritising efforts to curtail operational costs and aiming to be smarter with the use of R&D and marketing expenditure in 2023.

There’s a lot of significant business review being undertaken right now, with many tech companies checking to see if they need to slow down their growth aspirations. This introspection is seeing a return to getting the nuts and bolts right – the ‘gravy train’ era is over for the moment,” Mr Parameswaran said.

 

While tech companies currently are doing business reviews and pulling their belts in, it’s important to remember that the market still has a need for the products they are offering,” he said.

 

There is value in their offerings, so we are helping clients to ride out this market correction of valuations by putting in place best practice to show the robustness of their business and how they are using money.

 

I still see it as a fairly bullish environment for the next few years.

 

It’s not like the 2000s dotcom crashes where some of the businesses had no real market.

 

2022 was not bad in the sense that the tech industry was not doing things wrong in terms of their products on offer.

Mr Parameswaran said in 2023 many tech businesses will be revisiting their business models and forecasts in light of capital being harder to access.

Investors really are looking for a path to profitability,” he said.

 

Inflation and wage pressures due to labour shortagesis an issue that is compounding the problems of tech companies already dealing with a market correction and looking to rein in costs.

 

Interest rates tend to not be such a sector-wide issue as not all tech companies need to borrow money.

The other issue that is – or should be – on tech companies’ radars for 2023 is cyber security. Cyber security issues have been impacting every sector but it is especially vital to have the best systems in place if your business is providing tech solutions to customers. Mr Parameswaran welcomed government action to speed up and expand skilled migration and called on the government to get more creative in helping smaller tech companies with funding. For 2023, despite the economic turbulence, he predicted many positives for the tech sector. There is a real upside for cleantech businesses, they will keep booming especially given the change of government and the new focus on climate change that will see a lot more funding available.  There is also a real push in agtech to modernise the ag sector – they are playing catch-up.  Fintech has been on the radar for the past few years, and with banks now seeing the fintechs not necessarily as disrupters but as providers of tech solutions that the banks want to incorporate, we should see more fintech M&A activity in 2023. Another key growth area will be medtech, on the back of Covid and the growth of telehealth and diagnostics.

I’m quite bullish about continued growth and opportunities for the tech sector in 2023 – the growth may not be as rapid as the past few years but it is still there and M&A activity will be an attractive option for many players.

 

Already we are seeing clients looking to acquire businesses to provide a bigger end-to-end offering,” he said.


About RSM Australia:

Having grown into one of Australia’s leading professional services firms over the last 100 years, RSM Australia is committed to enabling clients through a greater understanding of what matters most to their business. In addition to local knowledge provided by our advisers in 32 offices across Australia, we draw on our international reach and scale to ensure clients stay at the forefront of the world’s best practices, technology, and innovation within a rapidly changing global economy.

DNX Solutions wins two AWS Partner of the Year awards

The APN Partner awards are presented by AWS each year to recognise excellence within the AWS Partner Network (APN). In November 2022, DNX Solutions was proud to be named Partner of the Year in two categories, receiving the awards at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.

We’ve received top honours from AWS by being named the Global Social Impact Partner of the Year, and APJ (Asia Pacific and Japan) Industry Partner of the Year, the combination of which is a perfect reflection of what we strive for as a company. (more…)

Australia’s technology industry: What to expect in the next few years

Realistic expectations for the technology sector in Australia 

RSM’s 2022 technology report looks at the current challenges facing the industry, while offering hope for “unglamorous” companies likely to weather the current economic storm without too much damage. Featuring recommendations and insights from a broad range of experts, this report paints a picture of the challenges and opportunities at play that is grounded firmly in reality – not science fiction.


Inside the report

Adjusting to economic turbulence – unit price economics and realistic capital allocations

How long will the bear market last? How will that affect valuations and capital allocations? What are investors likely to look for? How should startups approach raising capital?

Skill shortages – global competition for tech talent, policy changes and hiring remote workers

How will the changes to permanent migration and visa-processing bottlenecks affect recruitment challenges? What complications can arise from remote workers? What can we expect in terms of local talent? What other factors are at play?

Subsectors promising growth – opportunities for the next decade

Which subindustries have proven strengths and which struggle to perform? What impact will policies like emission reduction targets have?

Digital transformation – data analytics, SaaS, cloud storage, and cyber security

How do you safely navigate a digital transformation? What can we learn from the rapid transformation of healthcare and healthtech innovations? What is the best approach for cyber security and avoiding a data breach? How does remote work factor in?

Responsible financial management

Where to save pennies to stay cashflow positive? What are the common traps to avoid? How to approach expanding into foreign markets.

FULL ARTICLE

Modern Card Issuance: The “new normal” in Banking

What does modern card issuance mean in 2022?

For banks, modern card issuance means delivering an immediate, digital-first payment experience. It also implies the delivery of an intuitive mobile app combined with the swift roll-out of an integrated solution. This involves redefining card issuance to combine traditional payment cards with virtual cards, digital cards (via in-house and OEM wallets) and scalable, resilient payment solutions. Modern card issuance opens the door for more innovative perks and customised credit card programs, including personalised rewards, compelling APRs, more redemption opportunities, adaptable credit lines, and crypto payments.

(more…)

How to maintain quality CX in tough times

Few sectors have experienced a greater boom in recent years than the FinTech industry. From a time when the banking and financial services market was dominated by a handful of traditional brick-and-mortar banks, today’s consumers are increasingly attracted to the convenience of real-time, 24/7 solutions offered by a range of neobanks, payment apps and other FinTech innovators. So rapid has been the rise that it is no surprise PWC has reported that 88% of incumbent financial institutions believe part of their business will be lost to standalone FinTech companies in the next five years.

For all the good news though, the FinTech industry is not immune to two issues creating headaches for the corporate world – budget pressures and access to talent. Amid soaring inflation, supply chain issues and the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are looking to reduce costs in preparation for the likelihood of rocky roads ahead. Simultaneously, a global labour shortage is making it increasingly difficult for firms to attract and retain talent. Given such pressures, FinTech companies need to think outside the square to ensure they maintain the strong foothold they have gained in the market.

One of the areas most at risk of slipping when budgets are cut and staff turnover increases is customer experience, which is bad news as it is also among the most pivotal reasons for attracting the modern consumer. Research has found that 86% of people are willing to pay more for great customer service, just as 69% of customers who plan to leave their financial institution say it is due to poor service rather than poor products.

Amid all the talk of cost-cutting and labour shortages though, all hope is not lost and that is because there are various ways for FinTech companies to approach operations differently without sacrificing customer experience – and, in many cases, even improve it. This includes tapping into the benefits of outsourcing to revolutionise contact centres, enhance back-office efficiencies or handle the often emotive field of credit and collections.

Along with allowing in-house staff to concentrate on what they do best through outsourcing non-core business functions, the innovative workforce strategy can deliver labour cost savings of up to 70% due to the lower cost of living in offshore hubs such as the Philippines. Alternatively, many organisations prefer onshore solutions that provide similar access to many benefits of outsourcing and keep operations closer to home.

Digital transformation is also rewriting the customer experience script, with many FinTech firms using technology to deliver productivity gains while offsetting workforce and budget pressures. From artificial intelligence and robotic process automation to interactive voice response and virtual agents, there are an increasing number of tools and solutions available to create more seamless and enjoyable customer journeys and, in turn, boost profits. In a world where people not only expect but demand 24/7 support and faster interactions, technology is the key to ensuring they receive it.

As disruptors by nature, FinTech companies have used innovation and enterprise to not only break into the banking and finance sector but shake it up. For the same reason, they should view the current economic and labour climate as an opportunity rather than a threat. There are smarter ways to do customer experience and combining the power of outsourcing, strategy and technology is a sure-fire way to navigate a better path through the current landscape.

To learn more, visit www.probegroup.com.au/industries/banking-finance

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

Australia: home to a booming fintech industry

Australia’s booming fintech sector has fast become a global hub for fintech activity. Recent statistics show the industry has witnessed a five-fold increase in the number of fintech companies in just five years, now worth more than US$4 billion (AU$ 5.87 billion) and ranking sixth globally, as well as second in the Asia Pacific region.

But what makes Australia a ripe environment for fintech innovation? Several factors play a part – Australia benefits from a rich ecosystem that is diverse and multinational; the region is home to a range of startups and scaling companies across several different fintech subsectors, and its readiness to take on new businesses has attracted record investment levels.

Demand in the region has also been a key influence. Australia has been an early adopter of financial services innovation and technology, allowing fintech companies to rapidly scale and embrace new digital models and payment solutions to meet growing consumer interest.

Regulation to support innovation

Australia’s payments regulation is being overhauled –allowing for greater transparent access to fast payments infrastructure.

This, in return, will allow fintech startups to innovate, create new offerings, and drive strategic partnerships with international companies for greater transparency in payments and frictionless experiences for consumers.

Sanjeev Kumar, chief product officer at Zai, an Australian-based global fintech company delivering embedded finance orchestration, believes a guiding principle of the sector’s growth is that regulation has enabled innovation.

“Regulators have been proactive and nimble in terms of their decision-making to bring in greater innovation and launch the right products at the right time,” he says.

“Australia has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years. The financial industry is a completely different spectrum altogether – from developments in challenger banks and merchant payments, there is a multitude of successful platforms disrupting within the sector, and fintechs are now given the foundation to launch these platforms for a quick adoption in the market.”

International hub for global talent

 recent EY survey found the talent market in Australia is growing significantly year on year, despite setbacks and an increase in talent shortage amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In the last 12 months alone, 88% of Australian fintechs generating revenue overseas have created new jobs as a result.

“I’d say one of the biggest assets that Australia has is its talent pool,” says Kumar. “The growing fintech sector is continuously attracting multinational talent from across the globe, with Australia conveniently located on the doorstep of Asia, a key market for innovation within fintech and payments, making the region a great location for talent looking to relocate.”

And it is clear to see why – Australia has a significant pool of tech professionals, and people with deep financial services expertise. The region is also integrated with financial ecosystems around the world, with both Australian companies going abroad, and international companies expanding into Australia.

Kumar adds this plays into the hands of companies looking to expand their regional headquarters and explore partnerships with overseas firms.

“Another key driver of drawing in talent is the ease of doing business in Australia. Licensing regulatory hurdles are not as stringent if businesses have their policies and processes, and it is relatively easy to get the necessary licenses to operate within the payments sector.”

Zai’s expansion was aided by the Australia’s Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade). Providing on-the-ground advice, Austrade was able to provide Zai with the connections it needed within its target market while helping the fintech gain a better understanding of the local business landscape.

Capital investment soars

Australia’s overall capital raise for startups and businesses has been recognised on a global scale, with 44% of companies having raised over US$10 ($AU 14.68) million to date and 14% having raised over $100 million.

Also, 88% of Australian fintechs that are three years or older and 81% of fintechs two years or older are also now post-revenue, showing a promising sign of the sector’s continuing maturity and growth.

A further 40% of fintechs within Australia are now generating revenue from overseas, with 18% getting more than half their revenue from international customers. “It is the perfect triumvirate with the government, regulators and businesses all aligned,” says Kumar. “They have created the infrastructure and foundation for innovation.”

Disruption in the payment sector

Australia’s largest segment within the fintech sector was recorded to be within digital payments, with e-wallets and the supply chain part of the most common type of fintech (43%), followed by lending (30%).

The sector’s total transaction value is forecasted to be US$92 billion (AU$135 billion) in 2022, with the number of users in this sector also expected to grow significantly to hit 21 million users by 2026.

Other sectors are also growing fast, including ‘buy now, pay later’, open banking, insurtech and decentralised finance.

“The buy now pay later sector came into Australia around five years ago. Now we have a myriad of Australian startups disrupting within the sector, both locally as well as globally to ultimately disrupt within a much bigger ecosystem,” says Kumar.

There have been several fintech partnerships too – Pollinate teamed up with National Australia Bank to provide a tech platform for smoother banking for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Proactive jurisdiction

The Australian government has taken a more proactive stance to encourage competition and innovation in financial services too,

The recent Consumer Data Right (CDR) Bill by the Australian Parliament has cultivated the open banking and payments sector, which will likely advance the digitalisation of the country’s banking sector.


The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) accelerates the growth of exporters, attracts foreign investors, and stimulates the visitor economy.
To discover how Australia’s fintech brilliance can help your business, visit austrade.gov.au/fintech

DNX Whitepaper: Data Modernisation, your ticket to the future

DNX has launched the Data Modernisation Solution, a customised and comprehensive solution for businesses that want to make the most of their data.

Data is essential for setting and managing business goals. After running Data Solutions we’ve had many clients express how impressed they are with the insights and metrics being generated in real-time. But with DNX, insights are only the tip of the data modernisation iceberg.

Find out how you can benefit from data modernisation by watching our video.

Watch here

Data Modernisation is vital to all industries in today’s world, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Preparing your business for data modernisation is a multi-step process. If you want to learn more about Data Modernisation in FinTech, our White Paper is a must-read. Download it for free here

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The Risks and Benefits of Data Modernisation, more than just insights.

Cost of Data Breaches

While we were all distracted by the pandemic, hackers were taking advantage. The average cost of a single data breach jumped from US$3.86 million in 2020 to a shocking US$4.24 million in 2021. Estimates suggest that 30% of Australian companies will fall victim to a breach, the consequences of which can be felt for years. Find out how to recognise threats and protect your business in 2022 and beyond, read our Data Breach article here

Data Dependency

Despite receiving huge amounts of incoming data on a daily basis, many businesses fail to consider the potential consequences of mass-storage on a single database. Legacy infrastructures become more out of date every day and can cost your business valuable time and resources. Find out how DNX can improve the way you store and access data by reading our data dependency article here


Data Modernisation in Practice

No matter the sector, data is important. DNX helps businesses from all sectors to overcome challenges and get a handle on their greatest asset, giving them space to grow and focus on what is most important. Check out our diverse case studies to see our step-by-step processes in industries such as Healthcare, FinTech and Telecommunications.


What’s Next

DNX has the modernisation journey you’ve been waiting for.

Don’t wait for the future to pass you by, contact us today!

Get in touch

 

CEO Sleepout

On 23 June 2022, leaders in business, community and government will once again sleep without shelter on one of the longest nights of the year to help change the lives of Australians experiencing homelessness. 

 

Homelessness is one of the key issues of our time and it doesn’t discriminate. Approximately 116,000 Australians of all ages and backgrounds will experience homelessness on any given night.  Attending the Vinnies CEO Sleepout will give you the opportunity to understand a little more about what Vinnies does to address this issue whilst raising money to help fund vital services for homelessness around NSW.

On the night, you will come together and meet with other like-minded business and community leaders who are looking to lead by example. You will also gain new insight through listening to the personal stories of people who have previously or are still experiencing homelessness and disadvantage. 

If you would like to nominate a peer or colleague, you can do so here:

https://www.ceosleepout.org.au/home?lightbox=/nominate-lightbox

 

If you would like to register, you can do so here https://www.ceosleepout.org.au/home?lightbox=/register-lightbox2022

and if you have any questions at all please reach out to the event manager, Katrina Ortolan – katrina.ortolan@vinnies.org.au

 

Envestnet | Yodlee onboards WeMoney as first Open Banking Solution Customer in Australia

Envestnet® | Yodlee® – a leading data aggregation and analytics platform powering dynamic, cloud-based innovation for digital financial services – has today begun onboarding Australian personal finance financial wellness and budgeting app, WeMoney, as its first existing customer to move from traditional data aggregation to Envestnet | Yodlee’s fully accredited and “Active” Open Banking solution Fastlink 4. The partnership with WeMoney becomes one of the first Outsourced Service Provider (OSP) and Accredited Data Recipient (ADR) relationships under Australia’s Consumer Data Right (CDR) regulation, which is a significant step in Australia’s open banking journey.

FastLink 4 User Interface, which soft launched in Australia in October 2021, has made Envestnet | Yodlee the first provider with two distinct advantages in-market: access to the most comprehensive CDR and non-CDR data sets, and access to multi-country, global open banking connections in regions including the UK and the U.S.

Envestnet | Yodlee’s FastLink 4 is the latest version of the user interface that enables consumers to securely and easily connect all their financial accounts in seconds, allowing financial service providers (FSPs) to optimise consumer experience. FastLink 4 supports Open Banking, complimenting the company’s existing data aggregation capabilities. This enables FSPs to access both CDR and non-CDR data, and offer personalised digital banking, lending, verification, and financial wellness experiences that rely on aggregated data. The result of this hybrid approach to data provisioning, is that Envestnet | Yodlee can provide the broadest coverage of financial data in the local market, including data streams such as superannuation, which are not yet covered under Australia’s CDR.

“FastLink 4’s presence in the Aussie market and onboarding WeMoney as Envestnet | Yodlee’s first local Open Banking customer marks an important milestone in our Open Banking journey,” said Tonia Berglund, Director of Product at Envestnet |Yodlee. “We are now able to provide a truly hybrid solution – meaning that Australian financial organisations like WeMoney can tap into both CDR and non-CDR data sets under one roof: the perfect solution during these early stages of CDR.”

Berglund continues, “Because of our size as an organisation as well the 20 years’ experience in aggregating data, we are able to offer the advantages and experience of a large company alongside some of the broadest data coverage and support available in the market.”

Speaking about becoming the first customer of FastLink 4 in Australia and following WeMoney’s recent CDR accreditation, Founder & CEO at WeMoney, Dan Jovevski, said: “The WeMoney Community and our team are incredibly excited about the direction of the Consumer Data Right and how tools like FastLink 4 will empower consumers to take advantage of more streamlined ways to improving financial wellness. We are very optimistic about the future developments in this space and the expansion of our partnership with Envestnet | Yodlee.”

Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy, and Women’s Economic Security, Jane Hume said, “This is an exciting development and demonstrates the importance of the changes to rules introduced last year to increase participation in the CDR and the direct flow-on benefits to consumers. New CDR-powered apps that support financial wellness will help grow Australia’s financial literacy.”

Envestnet | Yodlee has been a collaborative partner in shaping Open Banking and open finance technologies and policies across the AU, UK and U.S. and holds a unique position in being able to support companies of all sizes – from large banks to the smallest FinTechs – to innovate and best serve their customers both domestically and overseas.

This announcement follows a number of new regulatory developments unveiled by the Australian government that will allow for increased participation in the country’s Open Banking regime. The six new accreditation models will reduce barriers to participation by enabling organisations to securely access CDR data via accredited providers, such as Envestnet | Yodlee, without needing to become accredited data recipients themselves.

Upcoming Events
  1. Architect your Fintech ‘Bank-Grade’- with Oracle Cloud

    February 15 @ 9:30 am - 1:30 pm
  2. THE NEXT ERA IN LENDING: LENDERS WILL TAKE THE PATH OF PRAGMATIC INNOVATION

    February 16 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
  3. #ACCELERATERegTech2023

    April 26 @ 8:00 am - April 27 @ 5:00 pm
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