During the G20 Conference on digitizing finance, financial inclusion, and financial literacy in Germany, Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison underlined the government’s support for fintech, and the potential of financial technology to help shape Australia’s economy going forward.

Morrison said government policies and actions must harness and realize the full potential of fintech by removing barriers to innovation and encourage individuals and businesses to embrace new financial products and services. He also stated,

The federal government wants to see the fintech sector grow big, to thrive, and deliver benefits for consumers and the economy.

Further citing fintech to boost banking competition and facilitate access to new forms of finance. He added,

From Australia’s perspective, we see huge benefits — huge opportunities — emerging in this space. On one level, it offers consumers and businesses the chance to benefit from new services and products, and provide greater choice through increased competition and efficiency across all areas of the financial system.

And at another level, it opens new doors for startups and small businesses, the backbone of many of our economies, and gives them a fighting chance against larger competitors. In Australia, we are seeing this in two ways, with some startups successfully targeting specific market segments, while others are working with existing players.

Morrison called this ‘fintegration’, or the integration of fintech in the market.

In particular Morrison highlighted the possibilities that new credit models and access to a wider range of data can entail, from equity crowd-funding to peer-to-peer lending and invoice finance.

He also pointed out the benefits of automation in lowering costs of various services and in turn increasing usage, with robo-advice as a key example. He added,

In Australia, businesses are beginning to integrate robo-advice into the retirement savings system to help people engage and prepare more fully for retirement.

Morrison also spoke about “monetizing digital data,” or creating and capturing the value-add from “the massive amount of data that’s becoming available in a more digital world.”

The focus on data comes at an interesting time, with concerns about an individual’s data and the way it’s being used particularly high as the Centrelink debt recovery issue continues to make headlines.

He further informed leaders of the global economy that Australia is “strongly pursuing” block chain technology, and wants to unlock the “enormous untapped potential of Australia’s data.”

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