Technology
Local fintech investment soars

Australia's fintech industry is catching the interest of international investors and raked in US$600 million of funding last year, according to KPMG analysis.

KPMG's 2018 Pulse of Fintech report showed Australian-based Avoka and its sale to Temenos ranked sixth among the top 10 fintech deals in Asia.

Manly-based Avoka, which helps financial institutions digitally transform customer acquisition and on-boarding, was acquired by Temenos last December for US$245 million.

Ant Financial, formerly known as Alipay, topped the list after a venture capital raise of US$14 billion.

KPMG Australia head of banking and global co-lead for fintech Ian Pollari said investment in Australian fintech reached record levels in 2018 in terms of venture capital, private equity and M&A activity.

"We have rapidly built a thriving fintech eco-system and investment plays a critical role. Open banking is another catalyst for further fintech investment, in particular investment in overseas fintech companies which we are already starting to see," Pollari said.

Australia's focus on customer data as a right in the banking industry suggests it will eventually apply to other sectors such as energy and telecommunications, he said.

Australia's Open Banking regime will commence on 1 July 2019.

The big banks will be required to make information such as credit and debit card, and transaction accounts available. From 1 February 2020, the big banks will need to make mortgage data available. From 1 July 2020, other banks will follow suit.

Overall, global fintech investment doubled to US$111.8 billion, driven by mega deals like Blackstone's US$17 billion investment in Refinitiv; and PayPal's acquisition of iZettle for US$2.2 billion.

Sydney-based data sharing firm Data Republic raised US$22 million in 2018.

Read more: FintechAvokaOpen BankingTemenosAlipayAnt FinancialBlackstoneData RepublicIan PollariiZettleKPMG AustraliaPayPalRefinitiv
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