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Growing fintech opportunities emerges from banking review

While the results from the review by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and the Reserve bank could have been more positive, New Zealand banks have been looking at options to improve customer experience and embrace the fintech community which is great for all Kiwis, FintechNZ general manager James Brown says.

Banking is changing as new financial technology takes hold and Brown technologies like machine learning and AI will dramatically improve both the customer experience and the back-end process for the banks themselves.

“How can innovation balance sales with customer service? This is a chance for New Zealand banks to take a lead on what customers across the globe now expect from their bank.”

Kiwibank chief executive Steve Jurkovich has said that the level of investment needs to be increased if New Zealand is to stay competitive on the global market.

“These will be some of the big issues that will be discussed at the NZ Fintech Summit to be held in Auckland on November 29,” Brown says.

“A lot of our banks are doing a great job and they are looking into different technologies but acknowledge it might take some time.

“We are seeing a real openness to open banking and a number of the banks have 20 or 30 collaborative FinTech projects on the go.

“Open banking is going to be a good thing as it will force financial service providers to really focus on being customer-centric, which is no easy task with privacy being a critical element to getting the workings of it correct, including who owns the data and who is responsible if something is leaked.”

Brown says the NZ FinTech Summit later this month will showcase some of the innovations Kiwi financial businesses have to offer in a new environment.

Banking issues have also hit the UK which has cost the banks 50 billion pounds from providing customers personal protection insurance when not asked for or required.

Brown says the FMA and Reserve Bank’s findings gives an opportunity for fintech in New Zealand to take the lead; which has been proven in the past with Eftpos that Kiwis can be global leaders.

New fintechs are entering the market daily giving people choice, making for more competition and being more inclusive which is what cabinet minister Kris Faafoi wants, Brown says.

Speakers at the November 29 summit will delve deep into a range of fintech topic areas including artificial intelligence, blockchain applications, user experience design, cyber security, open banking and how they will impact on a broad subset of financial services such as payments, insurance, funds management, capital raising and insurance.

Among the speakers are Delta Insurance director Craig Kirk, FaceMe chief executive Danny Tomsett and Xero small business director Nicole Buisson.

Fintech is the fastest growing segment of the New Zealand tech sector with growth of over 33 percent last year bringing an additional $220 million of exports into the New Zealand economy. As the focal point for the sector the annual fintech summit is expected to sell-out again this year like it has for the past two years

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