Speaking at a Bloomberg event in Sydney last week, RBA assistant governor – financial system, Michele Bullock, said ‘fintech’ is a slightly unfortunate term because it is so broad.

“Some people, when they talk about fintech mean payments, and some people mean peer-to-peer lending, for example,” Ms Bullock said.

The key issue in Australia is access to data and open API structures, an issue that has captured much attention in Europe and has been the subject of a recent Productivity Commission report.

“There are opportunities for fintech to contribute in this area here, but it’s very early days though,” Ms Bullock said.

From a financial system stability perspective, Ms Bullock said fintech in Australia is still “far too small” to threaten the system.

“I think our focus at the moment in terms of the regulatory space is making sure that regulations don’t stand in the way of fintech developments,” she said.

“And at least in these early days, the issues are not about financial stability. They’re probably more about consumer protection and those sorts of issues.

“It’s quite small, but nevertheless all the agencies and the government all want to make sure that the regulation doesn’t stand in the way of what might be quite innovative developments in fintech.”

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