In a statement, KPMG described mLabs as an “immersive program” that has been designed to give mutual banks and credit unions access to fintech start-ups.

The program, which is being hosted in Sydney at KPMG’s Barangaroo office and at fintech hub Stone & Chalk, will be initially utilised by Beyond Bank, CUA, Greater Bank, Heritage Bank, IMB Bank, Police Bank and Teachers Mutual Bank.

The start-ups involved are Avoka, Brighte, Chekk, Cloudcase, DSYNC, Easyshare, Edstart, Fitchain, Flamingo, Moneycatcha, Moroku, Pocketbook, Simple KYC and Spriggy.

“As a hybrid of start-up accelerator and corporate innovation program, KPMG mLabs draws upon our experience delivering the Energise energy and natural resources start-up accelerator, and the elevate61 program which connects Australian enterprise tech start-ups to US markets,” Head of KPMG Innovate, James Mabbott, said.

The KPMG Mutuals Review 2015 noted that mutuals are well-placed to implement new technologies and ideas and to collaborate with fintech start-ups. KPMG mLabs is designed to catalyse this process, he added.

It will be a platform for collaboration and a safe space for experimentation, and help bring some exciting new services to life for mutual banks and credit unions and their customers.

KPMG global co-lead for fintech, Ian Pollari, said organisations are increasingly recognising the strategic importance of engaging with and sourcing capability from the fintech start-up community.

The objective of KPMG mLabs is to systematically foster greater levels of collaboration between the participating mutual ADIs and fintech start-ups, Mr Pollari said.

The mutuals are eager to engage the start-up community and for the fintech ventures, the prospect of innovating with the mutuals, who represent a combined customer base of more than two million, is a very attractive proposition.