Afiniation unveils fintech award winners


By Sarah Kendell

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Fintech network Afiniation has announced the award winners from its 2016 Melbourne showcase, with the Australian Corporate Bond Company, online meeting platform SuiteBox and equity investing group Macrovue among those recognised.

New fintech Billsumo, which allows users to automatically save and pay all their annual bills, took out the award for best new entrant to the industry, while the Australian Corporate Bond Company’s innovative exchange traded bonds (XTB) received the award for best disruptor.

Online meeting platform SuiteBox, which allows financial advisers to view, save and share video records from client meetings, was awarded the best new technology at the showcase, while online share portfolio provider Macrovue took out the overall best in show gong.

Afiniation co-founder Jill Upton said surging industry interest in fintech as a result of the government’s vocal support of the industry had resulted in a packed crowd for the event.

“We had about 160 people attend, so many that we had to bring in extra tables and chairs,” said Upton.

“It really is the perfect time to be working in innovation at the moment – since the Turnbull government has come in the support from the Prime Minister and from a funding perspective has really changed things.”

Upton said the breadth of talent in the industry was testament to the fact that Australia was finally beginning to compete on the global stage as a fintech innovator.

“We’ve been lagging globally for some time and everyone has been aware of it, but now we are really seeing Australia coming to the fore – the government’s new fintech advisory board [is] really pushing the agenda and we are seeing more money being invested,” she said.

Given the diversity of fintech start-ups now emerging across different sectors of the industry, Upton said the group would be taking a more targeted approach to its events for the rest of this year with mini showcases for each sector, the first of which will be held in July, focusing on financial advice.

“They will be smaller - we’ll have 10 presenters and about 50 attendees, so it will be more of a workshop style,” she said.

“It will be highly targeted, which will be easier for us to run, and also the audience will get more out of it, rather than coming to see just two or three of the presenters and then having to sit through the other 23.”

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