Australian Consulate-General Istanbul organized a special alumni event on the “Future of Fintech” with a keynote address from Soner Canko, General Manager Bankalararası Kart Merkezi (BKM). Future of FinTech is the main topic of the alumni event by Australian Consulate-General Istanbul.

Future of FinTech is the main topic of the alumni event by Australian Consulate-General Istanbul.

Ms. Jeffie Kaine, Consul-General of Australia gave an opening speech and underlined the importance of the FinTech ecosystem.

According to the speech by Ms. Kaine, The Australian Fintech sector is underpinned by a strong financial services sector contributing to nearly 10% of GDP and employing over 450,000. The Australian government through Treasury and its regulators support the growth of innovation in the financial services sector, including Fintechs through proactive regulation and policies such as open banking, the regulatory sandbox, the innovation hub, bilateral agreements such as the UK-Australia FinTech Bridge and via multilateral arrangements being a founding member of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN).

Ms. Kaine said that “Australia has continued growth in active fintech businesses over the last year. There are 629 fintechs active in Australia, an 8 percent rise (from a large base) since September 2018 – with the big increases in the subsectors of insurance, middle and back office, regulation and supervisory, and wealth management.

Investment in the Australian fintech sector has followed the subdued trend globally, with a $101M investment activity recorded in the first half of 2019, according to the most recent KPMG Pulse of Fintech report. Australian fintech reflected a healthy US$600M across 28 deals in 2018. The two local fintech sectors with the largest growth, by a number of companies, have been Insurtech and Middle & Back office. Payments & Digital remains the largest sector, with 141 fintech claiming that space. Aiwallex, a payments fintech is also now a unicorn with its latest investment round. Several other fintech’s such as Verrency are on their way. Notably, five Neobanks/Challenger have now also made an appearance on the Australian fintech landscape.”

Mr. Soner Canko, General Manager General Manager Bankalararası Kart Merkezi (BKM) underlines that Turkey has a strong fintech ecosystem with the support of the banking and finance sector in Turkey.

Mr. Canko shared that, in 2019 94 startups received 102M USD investment in Turkey. Fintechs received 8.4 million USD. However, in terms of the number of investments, Fintech came out ahead. 8.4M USD invested in 17 fintech startups in Turkey.

Canko mentioned that they see FinTech as an enabler for better financial services. “Especially Technological advancements have changed how we do nearly everything in our day-to-day lives. Technologies such as IoT, AI, and blockchain are the major drivers of FinTech companies.

These new technologies driving change in how consumers interact with financial services how they manage their money” said Canko and continues his speech, “FinTech has changed the way people think about money and payment.

FinTech is literally changing our lives and habits by making it easy to trade, bank, and exchange money without the need for physical human interaction.”

Another important point Canko underlined is the recent global Coronavirus incident. He said that “We better understand the importance of digitalization in the recent months.

Currently, a lot of countries working online. We are managing our current accounts remotely, we are sending money via mobile applications. We are doing e-commerce transactions. Once more we realized that digitalization is the future.

Yesterday Ministry of Health reported that paper money can carry the virus for 3 days as a carrier of the virus. World Health Organization also urges people to use contactless cards. So we see that there is health in contactless, mobile payments, facial recognition, etc.

I believe that the outbreak is an opportunity to reshape and implement digital strategies.  It will create new opportunities.”

Canko concluded his speech by saying “Looking in the future, might we look back at this period as a significant catalyst for further fintech evolutions and new business models.”