Australian government aims to improve procurement with 'fintech'

The Australian government is opening up its AUS$60bn annual procurement spend to financial technology startups with innovative solutions to public service delivery in a push for “proctech”.

In its Backing Australian FinTech report the government stated that startups in the financial sector offered a strong opportunity to revitalise the way public services are operated and promised to support its growth through procurement.

Putting its full support behind greater adoption of “fintech” services within the public sector, the report highlighted speeding up payment processes and improving customer service experiences as opportunities to be taken.

“Just as alignment and modernisation in regulation is referred to as ‘regtech’, the potential impact of fintech on government procurement can be referred to as ‘proctech’,” said the report.

“Proctech can help encourage innovation, entrepeneurship and more efficient investment, providing greater value for taxpayer money and potential savings that can be re-directed into vital services.”

Outlining the importance of improving the payments process across government, it said: “Faster and more transparent payment systems offer tangible benefits to those transacting with government, and ensures the users can be confident that public authorities are using the most secure and efficient systems available.”

In the report the government also committed to putting its full support behind growing the cyber-security sector in Australia. A key element of that will be putting AUS$30m of investment into a Cyber Security Growth Centre that will strengthen the links between researchers and industry. Among the benefits provided by the centre it identified an improvement of “access to global supply chains”.

In a foreword to the report treasurer Scott Morrison said: “Just as the internet has empowered people around the globe through access to information, financial technology is reducing information asymmetry in the marketplace and thereby helping to mitigate risk and promote the efficient allocation of resources.”

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