New Zealand and Singapore seek further collaboration at Singapore Fintech Festival

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Given its status as a prominent international financial centre, Singapore has been focused on developing its fintech industry further in recent years. As the Government works towards creating a more conducive environment to allow for the development of innovative fintech solutions, it is setting up Singapore to become the growth centre for fintech companies – whether established locally or overseas.

The Singapore FinTech Festival 2018, taking place this week, provides that platform for fintech companies and startups to grow their businesses. 12 of New Zealand’s technology companies are participating in the event, looking to develop new partnerships and build on existing connections in Singapore and the region.

Some of these notable companies include Valocity, Eightwire, Datacom and 9 Spokes. In addition to showcasing New Zealand’s deep capabilities in the technology sector, these companies are also seeking to leverage the favourable business environment in Singapore and strike key partnerships with leading players in Singapore’s financial services industry.

New Zealand’s technology sector has seen sustained growth in recent years. In the past year alone, the revenue from 200 of New Zealand’s largest technology exporters grew by NZ$1.1 billion to total NZ$11.1 billion. Overall exports by this group also grew by 12.4 per cent in the past year.

Hayley Horan, New Zealand’s Trade Commissioner to Singapore, celebrated this growth and emphasised the importance of enhanced collaboration to drive innovation in the financial services sector and beyond.

“The rise of the technology sector in New Zealand is a reflection of how our country has stepped up to succeed beyond just our traditional industries. Our technology companies follow in the footsteps of a long tradition of innovation aimed at solving business challenges. For example, Valocity has combined the best of data, analytics and technology to allow banks to digitise and automate the entire mortgage lending process.

“Coming from a small and advanced economy, collaboration with countries such as Singapore has been a key driver of growth for New Zealand’s technology sector. Our businesses understand the need to embrace an international outlook in order to thrive on the world stage,” said Ms Horan.

Highlighting the strengths of both Singapore and New Zealand, she added, “As a regional hub for finance and shipping, Singapore provides unparalleled industry experience and a welcoming business environment that fosters collaboration. Coupled with New Zealand’s ingenuity and problem-solving knowledge in areas including financial technology, there’s great potential to create great solutions together.”

There are already successful partnerships between both countries that seek to solve some of the challenges facing financial institutions. One example is the recent contract announcement between Auckland-based company, 9 Spokes, and OCBC in Singapore to deliver a platform to support the bank’s small business customers. This service allows customers to monitor internal operations and track performance in real-time, helping them to make more informed business decisions.

Xero, one of New Zealand’s largest technology companies, has also chosen Singapore as a strategic hub for its Asian businesses.

As part of the Singapore FinTech Festival, two New Zealand companies – Valocity and Eightwire – have also been named as finalists in the Global FinTech Hackcelerator.

The last stage of the competition sees the finalists working alongside Singapore corporate sponsors to fine-tune solutions to problem statements issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, providing scalable solutions tailored to the need of Southeast Asia’s FinTech industries. The problem statements fall under four categories: Financial Inclusion, InsurTech, RegTech & Suptech, and General.

Both companies will showcase the five-minute pitch for their respective solutions in the General and RegTech & SupTech categories at the Singapore FinTech Festival today.

Valocity has also reached the final stage of the ABS Global FinTech Award. The winners for this and other awards including the Hackcelerator will be announced during the festival.

“It’s very exciting to see two of our New Zealand companies making it to the finals of the competition and working closely with local Singapore banks to come up with solutions that address local, and potentially regional concerns.”

“It also illustrates the need for businesses to be agile, creative and importantly, collaborative to be a player on the world stage.”

“The 12 companies participating at this year’s Singapore FinTech Festival showcase only a snippet of what New Zealand’s technology sector has to offer. From intuitive software systems to pragmatic
Insurtech, we look forward to key partnerships being created between New Zealand and Singapore businesses,” said Ms Horan.