The intersection of banking and technology has come to be known as ‘fintech’ in recent years.
A new generation of start-up companies focused on wealth management, payments, peer-to-peer lending and digital currency are hard at work around the world ‘disrupting’ the traditional banking model.
In the last few years a number of prominent fintech hubs have emerged – from Silicon Valley and New York to London, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Australia is a relative latecomer to the scene, but there is a small but extremely active community in Sydney making its presence known. The recent opening by the NSW Government of a not-for-profit fintech hub in Sydney is paving the way for Australian entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into a viable, well-funded business.
But digital innovation isn’t only happening in the start-up scene – it’s also being fostered within the traditional banking industry. The Commonwealth Bank’s Innovation Lab and Westpac’s ‘Hive’ space in Kogarah are a few examples of the banks encouraging the employees to think outside the box.
Whether it’s at the start-up level or the institutional level, fintech is about integrating our new highly digitised world into the traditional banking environment. Mobile technology and ‘big data’ are the key drivers that will change the way we think about finance and interact with banks.