Australian budget brings fintech joy
Things are looking up Down Under with the 2018-19 Australian budget on course to keep fintech in a happy place.
Industry body Fintech Australia says the nation’s industry will “benefit from a number of important support measures” but will be “forced to wait for the big news about the details of Australia’s open banking framework”.
Some of these funding measures include:
- $44.6 million over four years from 2018-19 to help Australian consumers to access and use their own data, with the banking sector to be the “first Australian industry sector to be subject to this consumer right”.
- $700,000 in 2018-19 for the Digital Transformation Agency to investigate areas where blockchain technology could “offer the most value for government services”.
- $29.9 million over four years to “strengthen Australia’s capability” in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
- $100,000 to help promote Australia’s fintech sector to the world.
In addition, the government announced it would impose a $10,000 limit on cash payments to businesses from 1 July 2019, which Fintech Australia says is designed to clamp down on the “black economy” but also has the potential to drive innovation through the increased use of electronic payments.
It was not all grins and good times as Fintech Australia chair Stuart Stoyan says it was hoped that the budget would unveil the government’s policy platform for open banking, including the data sets which would be released under the reform’s first phase, and when this phase would begin.
“Disappointingly”, no announcement was made in the budget, although Fintech Australia understands further policy details will be revealed in the “very near future”.
If you crave comparisons, the 2017-18 Australian budget brought in some useful initiatives.
Some of the positives included open financial data reforms, reduced barriers for banking licences, an expanded regulatory sandbox and digital currency tax cuts – all welcomed by Fintech Australia.