British fintechs set sights on Aussie market

British fintechs set sights on Aussie market

Australia’s big four banks had better watch out: the British fintech cavalry is coming. Ten of Britain’s “sector-leading” fintech companies, from small- and medium-enterprise (SME) banking to superannuation back-office support, are to be given UK government backing to crack the Australian market.

There aren’t big bucks involved: the British government’s Department for International Trade instead will offer a pilot program under the “UK-Australia Fintech Bridge”, taking the companies Down Under and offering them mentoring and network advice.

It is understood none of the businesses is yet in the Australian market, though most are planning an incursion. Some will compete with the big four, while others will offer complementary services and look for partnerships with existing players.

One of the companies, Fractal, uses data aggregation and analytics to help SMEs understand their business and develop better cash management, insurance cover, payments systems and access to credit.

“Australia is the top priority market for our expansion strategy,” Fractal chief executive and co-founder Nicholas Heller said.

“We’re excited to begin our journey in Australia this year, and start shaking up the financial services ecosystem that has deeply under-served small businesses for decades.”

Fractal has worked closely with the British authorities before, having taken part in a so-called “sandbox” – a co-operative, exploratory pilot program overseen by the regulators – that looked at digitising lending and updating creditworthiness scores in real time.

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