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Mutual bank has ‘agility and attitude’ to embrace fintech

by James Mitchell11 minute read

A listed Australian bank is collaborating with some of Australia’s most promising fintech start-ups to harness the power of new digital technologies.

Heritage Bank is one of seven customer-owned mortgage providers that have joined the new KPMG mLabs program, which will see the mutuals collaborate with 14 fintech start-up companies.

The 12-week immersive program provides a structured forum in which they can collaborate on developing commercial solutions to business challenges. The mLabs environment encourages them to ideate new solutions, test assumptions and co-create and prototype products and services.

Mr James Mabbott, head of KPMG Innovate, 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. 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,” he said.

Heritage CEO Peter Lock said the program was a fantastic way for customer-owned organisations such as Heritage to explore new possibilities with some of the most innovative technologists in the country.

“One of the benefits we have at Heritage is the agility and attitude to take on board new ideas and look for ways to use the latest technology advances in ways that haven’t been thought about before,” he said

“Technology is moving so fast and we want to help lead the development of tomorrow’s solutions.

“The mLabs program is a perfect way to spark off a whole range of possibilities for using technology to do things better for our business and our customers."

The seven Australian mutual banks and credit unions taking place in the mLabs program are Heritage Bank, Beyond Bank, CUA, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Police Bank, and Teachers Mutual Bank.

The fintech startups they are working with include are:

  • Avoka — Accelerates digital customer acquisition and increases business agility for financial services, government, education, and other industries.
  • Brighte  The easiest way to pay 'no interest ever' for home energy and improvements.
  • Chekk  A digital identity start-up enabling consumers to own, manage and share their personal data with other individuals and businesses.
  • Cloudcase  Omni-product loan origination software.
  • DSYNC  An integration platform that joins fragmented systems together.
  • Easyshare  A secure, online platform designed to simplify the payment of shared house, residential and commercial rent, bills and expenses.
  • Edstart  Simple, low-cost financing solutions, leveraging the latest technology to deliver a service to customers which is both easier to use and lower cost.
  • Fitchain  A fitness-based rewards program leveraging wearables and blockchain technology to improve engagement between both employees and customers.
  • Flamingo  A customer experience personalisation platform that provides businesses with a retention, acquisition, co-creation and analytics capability.
  • Moneycatcha  A loan origination solution that is built on the blockchain, delivering significant competitive advantage.
  • Moroku  Creates engaging mobile experiences by gamifying consumer interactions in banking and payments with the Moroku Game System.
  • Pocketbook  A free budget planner that makes managing personal finance simple.
  • Simplekyc  Hassle free, business process management solution for both large and small entities that simplifies onboarding.
  • Spriggy  Helps parents teach kids about money.

The KPMG mLabs accelerator is hosted in Sydney at KPMG’s new Barangaroo office and at fintech hub Stone & Chalk. The 12-week program started in mid-July.

[Related: Over 1,200 brokers join new mortgage platform]

James Mitchell

James Mitchell


James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.

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