APRA commits to fintech

Regulator admits it too will benefit from investing in tech and more efficient data processing systems

APRA commits to fintech


By Madison Utley

Following the establishment of a Senate committee to inquire and report on the fintech and regtech sectors within Australia, APRA has formally “recognise[d] the important contribution” both lend to the financial system and explained the ways in which it will support their development.

The committee accepted submissions from interested parties in 2019, and has scheduled the final report to be released on or before the first sitting day in October this year. 

APRA’s submission acknowledged that actively supporting innovation is crucial to achieve an “efficient, competitive and stable financial system”. According to the regulator, fintech and regtech unlock potential not only for new entrants, but existing financial institutions as well. The subsequent increase in efficiency and competition seem sure to lead to better outcomes for both consumers and the community.


As such, APRA has committed to “both a direct and a supporting role” in furthering the two sectors, including:


  • Striving to understand opportunities and risks they bring to the system
  • Adapting to maintain sustainable, open and technology-neutral policies 
  • Granting fintech and regtech companies licenses for opportunities and innovations they’re seeking, while ensuring risks are managed
  • Collecting and publishing data from the financial sector in a transparent way  
  • Communicating with other regulators, such as ASIC and the ACCC, to coordinate across agencies
  • Acknowledging the potential benefit these efforts bring to APRA’s own operations, such as shifting to “data-enabled decision-making”

The regulator is in the midst of developing a "new data strategy" to transform how the agency collects, uses and shares its data, recognising it is an increasingly "key asset" in delivering on its purpose and mandate. To this end, APRA has set up a standing committee with the RBA, ABS, ASIC and Treasury to co-ordinate data collection across the agencies and reduce the number of duplicated requests for data. Recent examples of collaboration include residential mortgage data. 

APRA's ultimate goal is to entirely replace its current data collection system built in-house in 2001. The regulator is "investing heavily" in a new system to facilitate the more efficient capture of data, scheduled to go live by mid 2021.

The creation of the Senate's committee has been dubbed a “watershed moment” by Rebecca Schot-Guppy, GM of FinTech Australia, and is viewed as the “first step towards a national fintech agenda".


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