By Kelsey Miller - DelayPay
Not long before Covid hit I went in to catch-up with my financial advisor for my yearly check in. As usual, it was not a very exciting meeting as nothing much had changed. There isn't much spare cash, my super is doing what super does, my insurances are in place (and costing me a fortune) and necessary given I now have plenty of grey hair.
As I left that meeting what struck me the most was how little this process has changed in the 20-odd years I have been seeing a financial planner. I was reminded of it again last week when I read an article about a new fintech called PictureWealth who is attempting to bring financial planning into the digital age.
Disrupting a financial service that is connected with expertise is slightly more complicated but no less attractive to new fintechs looking for a niche. Judo is an example of this in the business banking space, Picture Wealth being another for personal wealth.
I think most Ag businesses would say that getting access to the financial services and expertise they require is getting harder not easier. Stories of livestock finance companies rejecting deals, asset finance deals taking weeks and weeks, and overdraft extensions (or rejections) taking months are commonplace.
The major shock of the arrival of Covid has created new focus on Australian Ag. In the space of a few months, for many in the financial services industry, Ag has gone from being risky and hard to understand to being a potential safe-haven.
Whilst the likes of Judo and PictureWealth are yet to make a big splash in grass-roots Ag, I feel that it is only a matter of time before we see more fintech options for Australian Ag businesses.
My business partner Dwain often writes about how it takes time to build trust in the Australian Ag sector, and this has also been my experience over the past two years with DelayPay. I think the fintech businesses who are patient and combine Ag expertise with great technology (versus just a great tech product) have a real opportunity to build great businesses that are sorely needed.
It will be interesting to reflect in 12 months time to see what this unique event in history does to the Agri sector in Australia, will it be the jolt for innovation in Ag finance? I guess only time will tell.