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Fintech has been one of the hottest segments in tech for a long time – because of the money.

Monday, November 14th 2016, 4:20PM 1 Comment

by Russell Hutchinson

It is easy to see how Fintech applications could quickly become valuable, because there is usually money already involved.

There are some well-known inefficiencies in many financial products. Michael Aaron IBM Australia and New Zealand Blockchain Business Development Leader, talked about the number of companies and people it takes to manage a superannuation fund “and they all live in Vaucluse…”. His presentation was fantastic, by the way.

The tech-part of the equation gets a leg up from the fact that financial firms already have technology to which a motivated start-up may be able to connect. Ben Lynch from Jude has found an opportunity like that with a cool interface, Jude, to your current online banking system.

Also, Fintech is growing so fast because anything to do with money seems to be fabulously complex. As Ben Heap, CEO of H2 ventures said ‘tech start-ups thrive on managing complexity’. Thinking of that, complexity is also something the insurance industry has in plentiful supply.

Insuretech has been one of the hottest segments within Fintech. Insurance is hot. Read that again until you are ready to accept it. Now think, play your cards right and you could be pitching your new insurance start-up to someone with the power to invest millions and take your idea around the world. Cue up all the usual bits: Kiwis can fly, NZ as great test market, universal internet graph. Go for it. Far-fetched? Not a bit of it.

Binu Paul, of Savvy Kiwi, set up Finnotec2016.The inaugural conference was held yesterday in Auckland. It saw 160 people from 92 companies get together to talk, share ideas, and explore FinTech in New Zealand.

Of course there have been Fintech conferences in New Zealand before. But they were usually gatherings of big, established, companies, trying to show that they were really, properly doing some innovative things. What most of them were doing was the business as usual activity of continually renovating a large, valuable business. They want it to keep laying the golden eggs, but real innovation is rare, because they are usually worried about the big, slow, business they already have.

There are exceptions. Google is the single largest investor in the Fintech sector in the United States, for example. So their model for overcoming their own incumbency bias is to buy the shares of start-ups trying to disrupt it all.

So what about you? Some of the best businesses in the demonstration section of the conference were launched by very small teams. Also at the event were several financial advisers. There were no insurers. Your insuretech window of opportunity is open right now.
 

Tags: Russell Hutchinson

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Comments from our readers

On 15 November 2016 at 8:07 am Barry Read said:
It was a great conference, well done to Binu and the sponsors. Now off to build some Fintech...

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