Policy, regulation and broader government support are fundamental dimensions in creating a healthy and sustainable fintech ecosystem. Over the past 12- 18 months, significant policy changes have impacted fintechs positively, including:
Compared with three years ago, a very positive fintech environment has emerged due to supportive government initiatives and effective and consistent industry advocacy. In keeping with previous years, we explored a wide range of potential growth initiatives with interviewees. Those considered most effective in the eyes of Australian fintech start-ups are listed below.
Tax related initiatives are again considered the most effective initiatives to grow and promote the fintech industry in Australia.
Nine in ten (87%) of those who took part in the Census agree that the top effective growth initiative is to “make the research and development tax incentive more accessible to start-ups”, followed closely by “reduced taxes, such as payroll taxes, which apply when hiring employees” (85% effective) and “Capital gains tax relief for tech start-ups first incorporated in Australia” (82% effective).
Not surprisingly, the “Implementation of Open Banking” is next on the list, considered effective by four in five (85%) of those interviewed.
Open Banking will be launched in July 2019 as the first step of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) implementation. This will permit consumers of the four major banks to allow other financial companies and third parties access to their banking information, initially in read-only mode and for limited information. But this will expand over time. Open Banking is a long-anticipated regulatory change that will help to address one of the main challenges identified by fintech leaders – the cost of acquiring customers and the ‘effort’ required to switch and be on-boarded. Open Banking levels the playing field. Most fintechs (74%) believe that providing more transparent access points for fintechs to connect to the New Payments Platform is one of the top effective industry growth initiatives, down from 82% last year. This reveals that fintechs are unconvinced about the ease of access to this infrastructure.