The Turnbull government announced in February of this year their intent to establish Australia as an Asia-Pacific hub for Fintech. The Hon. Scott Morrison MP said at that time;
“FinTech will have an important role to play in Australia’s innovation future, that’s why the Turnbull Government is backing it in with real support in the world’s fastest growing economic region. Consumers in Asia have been amongst the fastest to adopt innovative financial services and with investment quadrupling to nearly US $4 billion in 2015, FinTech is booming in the Asia-Pacific region. FinTech is a pivot point of our alignment with the transitioning economies and our regional trading partners, especially China.”
Now three Chinese companies are incubating in Australia as part of the program designed to remove regulatory barriers while sending a message to the world that Australia is determined to be a player in the booming Fintech sector. The three companies will receive support and mentoring from the Australians. They will also be introduced to the fast growing ecosystem of Australian Fintech firms
Alex Scandurra of Stone & Chalk, tasked by the Australian government to set up the Fintech Asia program, was quoted in ChinaDaily on the initiative;
“FinTech Asia is all about helping bring the best that Australian FinTech has to offer in key markets across Asia, and likewise entice some of the key startups from those markets to Australia to support them in terms of their market entry… and leverage the Australian market as a fantastic opportunity and test market in terms of going into the Western hemisphere. This isn’t a country versus country play. We are helping governments, regulators and key organizations across Asia to adopt best practice and to collaborate with one another by creating a FinTech superhighway across Asia.”
The same article stated that Fintech development has shifted away from both the UK and the US having migrated to China and Australia. While that assessment may be premature the recent Brexit decision and the convoluted regulatory environment in the US may bring about a global shift in Fintech dominance. Fintech is growing rapidly in China – the single largest market in the world for disruptive finance. While the incubation program between the Aussies and China is small it is a first step in what could become a significant exchange program.