Fast five with Fintechs  - an introduction

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CEO Elayne Grace outlines a new Actuaries Digital series where we spend five minutes with Australian fintech and insurtech companies, asking about their products and start-up journeys so far.

Technology is starting to play a greater part in financial services delivery and transform the very definition of financial services products, and the customer’s experience with them.

Interestingly, the regulatory scrutiny on how financial services players have not met community expectations could accelerate the above trend.

We at the Actuaries Institute have been monitoring this trend and talking to those closest to it. We want to understand the technologies making headway in this space and where the potential partnerships with industry lie.

Fintech (the merging of finance and technology) and (especially) Insurtech (the merging of insurance and technology) have seen a spate of new products and companies hit markets across the world in the past few years, and Australia is carving out its own place in this revolution.

EY’s Global Fintech Adoption Index was presented at a session (pictured below) on Fintech at the Actuaries Institute’s recent Financial Services Forum (FSF) . It stated: 

  • Fintech adoption has nearly tripled in Australia over the last two years
  • Fintech Categories ranked by adoption are:
    1. Money transfer and payments;
    2. Insurance; 
    3. Savings and Investments; 
    4. Financial planning; and
    5. Borrowing.
  • As expected Fintech adoption is greatest amongst the 18 – 44 age brackets at 37 – 48% compared to 15-22% adoption at ages 55 – 74

However, Professor Rodney Maddock of the Australian Centre for Financial Studies warned us that although Fintech will produce significant productivity gains, the benefits will be captured privately, and so policy should focus on how to pass the benefits through to the public.

Actuaries have deep technical and analytical skills, and broad experience in financial products in life and general insurance, super, wealth management and risk that make them ideal contributors. They are already spearheading some of the market’s most innovative fintech and insurtechs.

As Chief Editor Angat Sandhu writes in this article, (Insurtech: what, where, why?) in terms of sectors, the majority of insurtech deals (>60%) have been in the general insurance sector, with ~30% focusing on multi-line business and ~10% focusing primarily on the life insurance sector.

What is ‘Fast five with Fintechs’?

In this series, we showcase some of the fintech and insurtech companies that are changing the way Australians comprehend, invest and manage their money.

A fortnightly profile of an innovative fintech or insurtech company, it will also feature individuals and companies that are consulting to fintechs or insurtechs.

Each profile will include a short introduction to the product or service and why its unique, then a representative from the company answers these questions.

The questions:

  1. What skills do you need to succeed in Fintech/Insurtech today and how might an actuarial degree help in this way?

  2. Describe the highs and lows of an entrepreneurial path in Fintech? 

  3. Where do you see the company in 12 months? What about five years?

  4. What’s your top tip for actuaries wanting to move into this space?

  5. What has had the greatest influence on your professional mindset?

We look forward to profiling the fantastic work of actuaries and others in this space and creating a dialogue between those working in, and wanting to enter, this dynamic space that will only grow.

Get in touch with me at Elayne.Grace@actuaries.asn.au if you’re working in fintech or insurtech as an actuary and would like to share your experiences.

CPD Actuaries Institute Members can claim two CPD points for every hour of reading articles on Actuaries Digital.

About the author

Elayne Grace

Elayne Grace is CEO of the Actuaries Institute. She was previously Deputy CEO and Head of Public Policy from 2013 – 2017, responsible for the development and implementation of the Institute’s public policy strategy. Elayne has 25 years’ international experience with leading consulting firms and major insurers. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia and of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (UK) and has a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance.

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