The Turnbull Government is launching a national fintech taskforce to help cement Australia's credentials as "the leading market" for financial technology innovation in Asia Pacific.
The news comes on the back of the Federal Government announcing its $1.1 billion Innovation and Science agenda in December last year, which the government claims has already witnessed early success in the form of "improving data accessibility and use" as well as making it easier for startups to access early stage capital through tax incentives.
Speaking at the first meeting of the Fintech Advisory Group at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday, Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said the establishment of the "expert advisory group" enforced the government's commitment to productivity growth as well as a "more effective" and competitive economy.
"Financial services [is] an enormous sector in which Australia has many competitive advantages, [including] a large superannuation fund base. We're in the same time zone as the big markets of East Asia and we've already seen great examples of innovation in the sector," Turnbull said.
"Innovation is the key to our future success… and that's why we're here to confer with you and get guidance from you and see how we can help you do your work."
In November last year, a policy submission paper tabled together by 32 fintech startup investors and incubators across the country called on the Federal Government to adopt a series of policy initiatives, with a national fintech association seen as critical for realising Australia's ambitions of becoming a regional hub for innovation.
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison said he would be holding discussions over the next few days with a variety of G20 representatives on the future of fintech innovation in Australia.
"This is a competitive environment in fintech. We need to get on the front foot and be in the lead and we can because we have the best fintech operators in the world."