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Senate Select Committee on FinTech and RegTech Public Hearings (Final Day)

Digital and innovative technology is critical to the success of Australian farming, the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology heard in Canberra today.

The National Farmers Federation told the inquiry the development and adoption of new technologies would be central to achieving a $100 billion agriculture sector by 2030.

Committee Chair Senator Andrew Bragg welcomed the opportunity of Agtech to create high skilled job and export market opportunities.

“Innovative technology is the only future for the farming sector,” Senator Bragg said.

“A perfect example is blockchain for farmers which would allow them to connect directly with their consumers and bring additional profit margin back to the farm.”

“Farming needs technology as much as finance.”

Earlier the Committee grilled witnesses from ASIC and the ACCC over alleged anticompetitive practices in the financial sector by the big banks.

Senator Bragg said he was surprised the regulators weren’t more in tune with the grievances of the new Neobanks.

“The ACCC told the Committee they had not received any formal complaint from FinTechs such as Neobanks about the alleged anti-competitive conduct from the major banks, which has persistently been put to the inquiry,” he said.

Senator Bragg also noted that on digital data capture (screen scraping) ASIC told the Committee there was no evidence of consumer losses from the practice.

Other witnesses to the Canberra hearings included the RBA, APRA, the CSIRO, Agridigital and Fintech Australia.

The Committee is tasked with investigating the size and scope of opportunity for Australian consumers and businesses arising from FinTech and RegTech, and barriers to the uptake of new technologies.

There will be no further public hearings. The Committee will deliver an interim report in March.


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