Passport to Possibilities: ViewTrade in Australia

As the global force that powers fintech, ViewTrade serves clients in every corner of the world. Our team is comprised of globetrotting fintech experts who make it a point to visit clients familiarizing themselves with the nuances of the local markets in their region and helping these firms achieve continued innovation. In this series, ViewTrade team members report from the field on their latest travels and key takeaways.

Describe the purpose of your recent trip.

Australia is a very vibrant wealth management market for a few reasons:

1) A retirement savings system, known as superannuation (or “super”), which currently totals over $2 trillion

2) A technology-oriented and savvy investor base that is looking for seamless user journeys and experiences

3) A financial services industry (including the ASX exchange) on the cusp of a major overhaul of its infrastructure and capabilities

What is ViewTrade’s relationship with this region? (current clients, partners, etc)

Since Day 1, our approach has been to partner with the wider ecosystem in each region and expedite the transformation of the financial services industry.

I believe our total-partnership attitude is a big reason why even though ViewTrade has only just begun to explore the Australian market these past few months, we’ve already secured multiple customers.

In our brief time engaging with this region, we’ve seen interest from banks, brokers and fintechs as well as wider ecosystem players that want to incorporate ViewTrade as part of their embedded offerings. Most firms we’ve introduced ourselves to have been pleasantly surprised about the technology solutions we’re able to bring to market and the myriad challenges we’re able to help solve for them.

The opportunities are vast across the entire market, and we are moving fast to establish partnerships to support the wider ecosystem in Australia.

Are there any challenges unique to this market that ViewTrade can help solve?

In Australia, ViewTrade is solving two major challenges: historical inefficiencies and structures when accessing international markets, and legacy technology infrastructure that limits productivity and innovation.

Both of these challenges are:

1) Costing retail investors millions of dollars in excess fees

2) Limiting their access to innovative offerings that are already mainstream in other regions

3) Failing to provide adequate protection for their assets in case of unforeseen circumstances

Moreover, as I mentioned before, we are in Australia to expedite the delivery of efficient and innovative solutions for global investing with structures that also do more to protect retail clients’ assets.

Can you provide us with some highlights regarding the SIAA conference you attended during your trip?

From the multitude of engaging sessions at the event, I walked away with three main takeaways:

Firstly, a big point of discussion at the conference was regarding ASX’s (Australian Stock Exchange) core system, CHESS, which is universally considered insufficient. The need is so severe that it has become a national issue, one discussed and brought all the way up to Parliament. The CEO of ASX provided clarification on how they are approaching this initiative, the tech solution they are planning to utilize and why they’ve taken a blockchain approach. This level of transparency was, frankly, refreshing.

Second, a lot of players in Australia are kicking the can down the road with regard to digital transformation. They have systems in place that have basic capabilities, but not enough to keep up with the future demands of their customers. One example is fractional investing, which often gets a bad rap as it is viewed unfairly as “the poor man’s access to the market.” However, fractionalization can also enable access to strategies that have not been historically available to the everyday investor, such as direct indexing. Unfortunately, a lot of existing systems simply cannot support such innovative offerings.

Finally, Australia is facing a talent crunch when it comes to relationship managers and wealth managers. Because these career paths require intense training, a lot of young people are not pursuing them, resulting in a large gap between how many advisors are needed and how many are in the pipeline. This has brought the region to an inflection point – how do they drive productivity? How do they manage more customers with less?

Any other interesting anecdotes or takeaways from your trip?

While in Sydney, I took a short walk around the hotel in my leisure time. In only about 600m, I met people from 13 different countries, including Mongolia, Nepal and Bhutan. Thus, there is an undertone of partnership, diversity and friendliness that comes very naturally to people in Australia, to the extent that you might be greeted by strangers on the street with a smile and asked how your day is going or where you’re from. Also, it was -1° C (~30° F) at the time of our visit – people view Australia as a very sunny, warm country, so experiencing the colder weather was quite unique. Luckily, the warmth of the people made us forget all about the cold weather.