Australia’s fintech landscapeThe surge in fintech activity in the country has been embraced by the country’s consumers. The fintech adoption rate has increased significantly since 2015, with almost 60 percent of the digitally active adults in the country considered fintech adopters as of 2019. The alternative finance market in Australia was valued at over 1.1 billion U.S. dollars, with balance sheet business leading and P2P/marketplace consumer lending leading the charge. Alternative financing has contributed to product innovation and to a lesser degree, business model innovation among businesses across the country.
New South Wales has retained its position as the fintech hub of Australia. Over half of all fintech companies in the country are headquartered in the southeastern state. However, the reach of Australian fintech companies is developing; as of 2019, 51 percent of these companies were planning to expand overseas.
Banking on the futureThe number of new investment deals in start-up companies in Australia was at its highest-ever level. Additionally, Australian fintech companies have attracted significant interest from investors worldwide. In 2020, Judo Bank was the leading Australian start-up with funding valued at 1.5 billion U.S. dollars. Judo Bank’s business focuses on small and medium-sized business lending and it is one of the prominent challenger banks entering the Australian banking market.
The recent passing of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) Bill by the Australian Parliament has propagated the open banking and open data subsectors to the forefront of the Australian fintech landscape. Several local and global fintech companies in these sectors have plans for an Australian launch in the near future, and this will likely advance the digitalization of the country's banking sector. The cryptocurrency sector has also made its mark on Australia, with some experts stating it has the potential to massively disrupt banking across the country. The recent legalization of 'crypto wages' in nearby New Zealand might even catalyze this scenario.