The non-for-profit association representing Australian fintechs has appointed Uber’s former government lobbyist, Brad Kitschke, as its new CEO, replacing Danielle Szetho.
Mr Kitschke, who worked at Uber Australia as head of public policy and government relations from 2014 to 2017, said that he hopes to replicate the success of the ride-sharing technology company across the fintech sector through his new role.
“Uber was able to achieve rapid success and market penetration because it delivered better, technology-based solutions, and when the opportunity arose we worked closely and collaboratively with regulators and policymakers. There is no reason why fintech outcomes can’t be the same,” the new FinTech Australia CEO said.
“There is an established and deep dialogue in Australia between fintechs and government. This is a platform I look forward to using to advance the interests of our members and grow Australia as an international fintech force.”
One of his first priorities as CEO will be to drive FinTech Australia’s advocacy to introduce an open banking regime, which will require banks to provide customers and third parties with access to customer data where permitted.
“FinTech Australia has had a major policy win through the government’s open banking announcement on 10 May, but there is still an incredible amount of work to be done,” Mr Kitschke said.
“I will be ensuring that our members’ voice is heard in the creation of a secure and seamless open banking framework over the next 12 months.”
The new CEO also said that he will be promoting the nation’s fintechs, which have grown from 100 companies in 2014 to nearly 700 by the middle of 2017, as “genuine” alternatives to major industry players — especially after damning revelations of inappropriate conduct during the financial services royal commission.
“I’ll be looking at opportunities to promote this industry, both here and abroad, to both customers and investors,” Mr Kitschke said.
“I will also be continuing our ongoing and important role to connect this industry so that we can help business collaboration and the sharing of innovative ideas.”
In March, Sarah Worboys was appointed chief executive in an interim capacity after FinTech Australia’s inaugural CEO, Danielle Szetho, stepped down.
Stuart Stoyan, founder and CEO of Melbourne-based fintech MoneyPlace, was announced as FinTech Australia’s new chair at the start of the year following the departure of Simon Cant.
[Related: FinTech Australia names new chair]
Tas Bindi is the features editor for The Adviser magazine.
Prior to joining Momentum Media, Tas wrote for business and technology titles such as ZDNet, TechRepublic, Startup Daily, and Dynamic Business.
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