The latest survey was produced in partnership with Mambu, the cloud banking and financial services platform.
These latest rankings reflect a vibrant fintech culture in Australia. Australian businesses, governments and citizens are early adopters. They are also avid users of technology. With more than 800 fintech firms, Australia has one of the world’s most sophisticated financial technology industries.
The recent rise of Australian fintech
Fintech Australia estimates that the industry has grown from a A$250 million industry in 2015 to a $4 billion industry in 2021 (Source: Australian Fintech: Leading the World, accessed July 2021).
Today, Australian fintech is helping to power change in the financial services industry. Specialist areas include payments, business lending and instalment finance – or ‘buy now pay later services’.
Leading Australian players AfterPay and Zip are expanding their businesses internationally (Source: Pulse of Fintech H2’20, February 2021, KPMG, accessed July 2021) (PDF 2.22 MB). Global investment is powering growth fintech exports and global expansion, just as it does in our resources sector.
The recent purchase of Afterpay by US-based Square Inc. for US$29 billion (A$39 billion) showcases the success of Australian fintech – including in overseas markets.
Australia’s competitive edge in fintech
Australia is well suited to fintech product development and launches. This is because we have a sophisticated and fast-growing consumer market.
We have several built-in advantages:
- Australia’s business and cultural ties with Asia make us an ideal base for regional operations. Geographic proximity also helps.
- Australian fintech corporations are keen to explore opportunities to expand into international markets. This includes forming partnerships with foreign fintechs.
- Australia has a highly qualified talent pool. Fintech skills are more readily available as compared to our competitor markets.
- Where skills aren’t available, Australia has a well-regarded and efficient foreign visa program. This brings in talent.
As ever, lifestyle attractions are a powerful magnet. Fintech is a youthful industry. Developers want to sample the Australian lifestyle.
2020 was a year of rapid global fintech growth
This year’s Global Fintech Rankings report shows that 2020 was a year of global expansion. There was a surge in demand for technology that increases access to digital finance.
Diversity among fintech companies has accelerated. 50 new cities are featured in the index, and 20 new economies have been added.
London, New York and San Francisco are still global centres of development, but the fintech industry is now becoming more geographically diverse (see table below). Switzerland and Israel are performing strongly, for example.
Sydney now ranks No.11 as a global fintech hub
Australian cities are gaining ground. Sydney comes in at 11th place in the city rankings. Melbourne is placed 25th. Brisbane broke into the Top 100 for the first time at 98th place.
Kristofer Rogers, General Manager Australia and New Zealand at Mambu, noted: ‘We’re seeing bigger deal sizes and successful exits that are comparable to more celebrated hubs like San Francisco and – closer to home – Singapore.’
Rogers says that the COVID-19 pandemic has speeded up the adoption of digital banking across all age groups.
‘Australia’s thriving fintech industry has seen some incredible innovations over the past 12 months,’ he says.
Global fintech ranking by economy
Source: 2021 Global Fintech Rankings, Findexable, accessed July 2021