A NSW Government website

Fintech in NSW

It’s no surprise most of the nation’s fintechs are based in Sydney, Australia’s financial capital.

Sydney is Australia’s financial capital, home to its financial services industry and the first major financial market to open each day.

The city’s financial capabilities have been built around the nation’s $2.3 trillion superannuation (pension) fund savings pool. It is home to 80% of the international banks operating in Australia and the headquarters for some of Australia’s largest financial institutions including the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, Macquarie Bank, AMP, Insurance Australia Group and Link Group.

It’s no surprise that 60% of the nation’s fintechs are in Sydney, as more than 60 international banks, regulators and industry bodies contribute to a vibrant and innovative ecosystem which has attracted new players including Fenergo, Klarna, TrueLayer, Trustly and Wise.

Sydney has a digitally active and wealthy population with lifestyle options appealing to its highly skilled workforce. These position the city as an ideal place to develop fintech solutions for Australia and beyond. Its pool of talent and vibrant tech community, centred around innovation centres and accelerators, truly sets the city apart.

Fintechs which began and grew in Sydney, such as Athena Home Loans, Afterpay, ZipCo and Brighte, benefit from a dynamic fintech ecosystem. Our supportive environment includes an enhanced regulatory sandbox, making it easier for businesses to test the market, and opportunities to participate in Asia-Pacific market expansion programs.

Key facts

Australia has the world's 5th largest pension savings pool

Australia has a AU$10 trillion financial services industry

14% of Australia's fintechs have raised over AU$100 million

24% of Australian fintechs have female founders

60% of Australian fintech startups are based in NSW

Sydney is the 11th highest ranking global fintech hub in the world

Supporting your move to NSW

Investment NSW connects businesses with a range of services and incentives available to businesses looking to grow.

Grants, rebates, programs and incentives

Investment NSW offers bespoke services to businesses looking to build a presence within NSW.

The team at Investment NSW provides tailored advice on grants, rebates, programs and other incentives your business may be eligible for.

Site identification and development

Whether you need a high-tech lab, an advanced manufacturing facility connected to a university or a greenfield site in regional NSW, we can assist.

We can work with you to establish a presence in a precinct or collaboration area suited to your needs.

In collaboration with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, we provide services to help you find the right accommodation:

  • determining the type of accommodation to best meet your businesses requirements
  • advice and support regarding opportunities available on Government land (both long and short term)
  • support navigating the planning process.

Market intelligence

We can provide tailored information and data, including market intelligence, on our priority sectors.

Connections and introductions

We can introduce you to stakeholders who can support your growth objectives. This may include connecting you to:

  • corporate partners
  • business chambers
  • industry associations
  • technology precincts
  • research institutes
  • government agencies.

Familiarisation visits

We offer curated introductions and virtual visit programs to help you identify local partners, distributors, industry stakeholders and service providers.

Asia-Pacific growth advice

Once you have established here, a wide range of services and programs are available to use NSW as a springboard into Asia. We can help you identify opportunities to expand in the region.

Visa and Skilled Migration support

Our Business & Skilled Migration Program is highly supportive of NSW’s growing tech industries and precincts. The program attracts new and emerging digital technology capabilities and skills, provides visa and migration advice to businesses, and nominates high potential migration candidates to live and work in NSW.

These initiatives have spurred the growth of digital technology businesses across the state and are available to all organisations considering investment opportunities in NSW.

Landscape in NSW

Read the transcript of the 'Landscape in NSW' video

[Text: Sydney, New South Wales: Where fintech and innovation succeed]

[Music]

[Text: New South Wales has a $614 billion economy, the largest in Australia]

[Rehan Mark D'Almeida, Partnerships and Marketing, Fintech Australia]

New South Wales has a great infrastructure to support fintech startups to grow and thrive.

So starting with the access to financial services companies, the large incumbents, the banks, the insurance companies, and the superannuation companies, the access to talent which is really...

[Text: Sydney is a global talent hotspot with a diverse, highly educated and skilled workforce]

[Rehan Mark D'Almeida, Partnerships and Marketing, Fintech Australia (continued)]

...important for the growth of the industry, and lastly the access to the community to potentially meet with stakeholders in the industry that can support you with anything from capital raising to your R&D tax incentives to any other challenges within the industry.

[Text: Sydney is home to 60% of Australia's fintech]

[Katrina Konstas, Executive Vice President, Country Manager & Head of Sales Asia-Pacific, Afterpay]

I think Sydney has become such a fantastic fintech hub. You've got an enormous amount of entrepreneurs that have really started their businesses here.

It's fantastic that we've got a brand like Afterpay that is spearheaded here in Sydney, New South Wales.

This provides a great opportunity for people to be here in Sydney, to lean on the fantastic tech innovation, that is really led here.

And let's face it, it's one of the most beautiful places to live and work and raise families.

So, you know, I think it's a fantastic opportunity to try to attract talent to a hub like Sydney and really drive that fintech sector.

[Text: Sydney has the fintech edge: 1st in the world for contactless payments; 2nd globally in smartphone penetration; Australia's ground-breaking Consumer Data Right prioritises consumer interests. Source: VISA Australia's Fintech Future report 2019]

[Supun King-Jayawardana, Chief Product Officer, x15ventures]

For me, it is, you know, it's actually a really interesting place to set up because consumer appetite for digital in Australia is quite large compared to the rest of the world.

And you've seen, you know, in the buy now pay later environment companies that are set up here that have scaled to the rest of the world.

You've got a lot of digitally active customers. So when you're trying something new, and you're trying something that's innovative, you want to have customers that actually are happy to adopt that, right.

I think that's a really nice, level playing field for new ideas to come in and test their service or solutions.

[Text: A business-friendly environment for start-ups and incumbents]

[Steve Weston, Founder & CEO, Volt Bank]

In Sydney, New South Wales, in Australia, there's this thriving fintech community and a lot of introductions have been made by various NSW Government departments.

There is a bridge between Australia and the UK. We're doing a lot more with Singapore, Hong Kong.

But even in the Middle East, the NSW Government representative made introductions to potential investors. Those sorts of things are like goldust.

If Iowa had a fintech in another part of the world, the NSW Government [would be] very supportive about bringing more competition in the form of fintechs into the country and into the state.

So I certainly would look very closely at Australia affluent community. It's looking for change, supportive of fintech, want to shake up the the incumbents.

[Text: Sydney's fintech ecosystem is supported by state and federal government initiatives]

[Text: Investment NSW connects local companies to international counterparts]

[Harry Godber, Head of Strategy, Flare]

Sydney's government's environment really helps fintechs grow and collaborate.

If you look at what Investment NSW is able to provide in terms of connecting Australian companies with international counterparts, but also what the federal government is able to provide by way of things like tax concessions and venture capital incentives to ensure that we get the most investment and the most talents drawn to Australia and drawn to Sydney as a financial hub.

These sorts of things make Australia a really attractive country in which to do business from a regulatory perspective, and make Sydney a really attractive place to base yourself as a centre of that system.

[Text: New South Wales is Australia's financial powerhouse and a leading hub in the Asia-Pacific]

[Sophie Gerber, Co-CEO, TRAction]

We've found there's lots of great ways of interacting with other startups and investors and some of the big corporations.

The industry associations have been really good at fostering that. But we also have just found we've been approached by lots of different parties.

So we've been approached by by other startups who want to talk about what they're doing, how we can work together. Even competitors want to talk about what we can do together, which is a really great attitude.

And I think it's a very Australian idea that you're not fighting against each other, it's all of us going together.

[Text: Sydney is a growing hub for insurtech companies]

[Simone Dossetor, CEO, Insurtech Australia]

Sydney is really the heart of insurtech for Australia. I think for the overseas entities Australia is a great market because it's of a small enough scale that they can really try new things, we have all the players, we have underwriters, reinsurers, brokers and these great start-up communities.

We have a number of international members that have decided that Sydney is a great place to be and we really support them with that local knowledge.

So what are the regulations, what are the local networks and how does insurance work here.

And really establishing those connections and that market presence.

[Text: Australia is the third-largest regtech hub in the world]

[Deborah Young, CEO, The RegTech Association]

So Australia is actually the third largest regtech hub in the world.

So it shows that we are punching well and truly above our weight. And given that we have 68% of those regtech's domiciled here in New South Wales shows that there's real strength in the market.

So this makes a great place for two things. Outbound regtex will come with a very mature outlook.

And if you are coming here and looking at New South Wales as your landing spot, you will have a very great peer group, already established relationships with regulators and institutions that you can tap straight into.

Explore the fintech businesses in NSW

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Last updated: 1 June 2022