Demand continues to grow for fintech services. Leaders within the industry observed that the fintechs who focus “relentlessly on customer experience while solving a consumer need or want” and “establish network effect through effective partnerships” have been the most successful to date. The two-time Fintech of the Year award winner – Afterpay – is cited by those interviewed as the “Aussie fintech that is relentless in its focus on consumer adoption”.

The growth in fintech reflects the way Australians embrace digital solutions. Australia has one of the highest levels of usage of smartphones in the world (88%)5 and high usage of digital banking solutions.

Overlaid on this, Australia has a continually improving digital infrastructure with the roll-out of the National Broadband Network and the soon to be launched 5G mobile network. A comprehensive and cohesive digital infrastructure is critical as it will see Australians continue to use digital solutions, including those in the world of financial services.

In EY’s most recent Global FinTech Adoption Index6, we saw China dominate the rankings (69% adoption), with Australia ranked 5th (37% adoption). The next round of this study will be released in late 2018. We expect to see the Australian level of adoption climb as a function of the:

  • Market presence and mainstream standing of some of the higher profile fintechs
  • Continued strong embrace of digital solutions by Australians
  • Broadening of the fintech offer into InsurTech, data and analytics, robo-advice and cryptocurrencies
  • Greater uptake of fintech by older generations of Australians
  • Roll-out of Open Banking
  • Gradual maturing of blockchain solutions.

Census data shows the majority of fintechs believe the key reason that consumers or businesses access their products / services revolves around offering customers “more effective solutions” and having a “seamless user experience”.

While fintech usage continues to grow, one of the core challenges for organisations operating in Australia is the “cost of customer acquisition”. This was cited as a key challenge by one in two fintechs involved in the research.

5 Source: 2017 and 2018 Winner of the Fintech of the Year Award, The Finnies – national awards by FinTech Australia
6 Source: EY FinTech Adoption Index 2017

Fintech has achieved initial mass adoption in most markets. Australia’s adoption rate has more than doubled since 2015.

Australia is ranked 5th of 22 markets globally – after China with highest level of FinTech adoption, followed by India, the UK and Brazil.

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Appeal of fintech solutions

Q26B. Which of the following are key reasons for consumers and businesses to access your fintech product/service offerings?
Base: All respondents (n=)

Main competitors

Q38. Which of the following are your biggest competitors?
Base: All respondents excluding 'none' (n=)