Next week I’ll be in Hong Kong speaking at the Next Money Fintech Finals 2017. Sponsored by Visa and a host of other technology companies, the event slots in with Hong Kong’s StartmeupHK Festival and showcases the exciting developments happening in the Asia Pacific region.
Hong Kong is quickly turning into a vibrant hub for the fintech community down under. FinTech Hong Kong boasts just under 2000 active members while the SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator is now into its second year, helping launch businesses primarily (but not exclusively) who have an Asia bent.
During the conference 24 shortlisted fintech startups will compete via a six minute pitch for the coveted title of Next Money Fintech Finalist of the year. Three of these finalists herald from Australia – Tapview, Bugwolf and Boundlss.
Based in Sydney, Tapview technology allows online media platforms to charge readers on a pay per article basis, circumventing the traditional monthly subscription. Having already landed a partnership with Fairfax Media, one of Australasia’s biggest media empires, the startup is surely a strong contender for the FF17 title.
An insurtech startup based out of Perth in Western Australia, Boundlss is positioning itself as the employers ‘go to’ for staff wellness programs. The app claims its ‘secret sauce’ is its AI powered chatbot come personal coach Loyd, who can recommend handy stretches to alleviate back pain, diet suggestions and workout plans. The platform connects to over 150 wearables and apps already tracking health metrics for a user, which it no doubt leverages to makes its custom suggestions.
Health insurers are making serious inroads into the wellness space, as they look to find ways to reduce future claims. Australian insurer Medibank has partnered with loyalty program flybuys, offering bonus points for fruit and vegetable purchases. In addition bonus points can also be accrued for every 10,000 steps made a day, measured by linking up your Fitbit device.
The insurer has also partnered with local gyms via its GymBetter program, offering a pay as you go model via the app.
Airline Qantas has also made a foray into the health insurance space with Qantas Assure, white labeling an insurance product from NIB. The service allows customer to access bonus Qantas airpoints for switching and additional points for linking health data.
The third Australian finalist is Bugwolf. The platform allows software developers to access a vetted marketplace of testers and managed tests. Alternatively they can use the platform to bring together testing communities made up of employees and customers. It sounds a little like a more specialised version of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk or Upwork.
Banks and fintech companies, like other tech companies have to test their products – which costs money – so one imagines being able to deliver a high quality testing platform for less will be an element of the company’s pitch.