Ep 13: How Australia could lead the world in FinTech – Danielle Szetho

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Danielle Szetho


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About this conversation
London, Singapore, New York – these are the markets people think of when they think FinTech. They are rich in talent, have loads of capital, and are homes to some of the world’s biggest financial institutions.

However, for a tiny nation of 23m, Australia has a strong case to be a world-leading FinTech market. With almost 600 FinTech Startups and growing – more than Hong Kong and possibly even Singapore – Australia’s rapidly maturing FinTech ecosystem is getting noticed, attracting strong investment from international VCs and Banks.

FinTech Australia’s CEO, Danielle Szetho, will talk through the evolution of Australia’s FinTech industry including the Fintech-friendly policy agenda that has helped it thrive. She will also share insights into Australia’s unique FinTech strengths, where the world’s FinTech leaders are focusing for the future, and the stories of Australian startups that are storming the world stage.


Conversation notes

  • The Australian FinTech industry now represents 10,000 people. 16% of the start-up sector.
  • Venture capital increased from $450 million investment in the FinTech sector in 2014 to around $700 million in 2016 and it is still growing. That’s 250% growth at a time when the rest of the world is going backwards by about 50% in terms ofFinTech investment.
  • Australia has a very well-regulatedFinTech environment. Forward thinking and very well regarded internationally. There is also a strong trend towards regulatory unification across the world.
  • Having such a regulated sector inevitably means that the cost for compliance is high. Many of these costs are manual processes that businesses are now using data technology to automate.
  • Australia has many other industries with similar compliance hurdles such as the medical and agricultural sectors. Australia is becoming increasingly well known for looking at how to leverage the intersections betweenFinTech and other industries.
  • Blockchain companies are starting to focus on usingFinTech applications for international remittances and trade finance and settlements.
  • Australian organisations are exploring the core capabilities we have across multiple industry verticals and putting them together to develop specialised niche applications which can also be sold internationally.


Further reading


More about Danielle
Danielle Szetho is the CEO of FinTech Australia, the national FinTech industry association. She is dedicated to building a supportive and collaborative FinTech policy platform that will realise Australia’s ambitions of being a world-leading market for FinTech innovation and investment.

Driven by her organisation’s vision to foster an ecosystem of supportive partners and networks so Fintech companies can thrive and grow, she confesses that meeting and working with bright minds is the best part of her role!

Danielle joined FinTech Australia from Fairfax Media where she was Industry Head, Banking and Finance. Prior to this, Danielle held management roles at leading Media brands such as Fairfax, News Ltd and Fox Sports. Danielle holds an MBA (Executive) and a Bachelor of Digital Media from UNSW.

During her career she has cultivated a diverse set of skills from leadership roles in functions such as Strategy/Transformation, Business Development, Product Management, Data Analytics, Advertising/Marketing and Design/UX and it is this unique skill set that has led to the phenomenal success seen at FinTech Australia since its inception in 2016.

Danielle is a member of the ASIC Digital Finance Advisory Committee and is on the Steering Committee for FinTech Victoria. She is also the FinTech Track curator for SPARK Festival Sydney and is a passionate advocate for Women in FinTech.

Danielle’s Linkedin:
Danielle Szetho

Danielle’s Twitter: @mdm_z

FinTech Australia Website: fintechaustralia.org.au


“There is a fine line between supporting innovation in this sector without hamstringing it or overregulating it so that you’re actually hampering its growth and being able to protect the consumers that we serve.”


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