Driving Fintech Forward – In Conversation with Cameron Dart

Driving Fintech Forward – In Conversation with Cameron Dart

Meet Cameron Dart, a savvy – and seasoned – entrepreneur who didn’t just spot a gap in the market, he saw an entire world waiting to be uncovered. Frustrated by the lack of Fintech coverage in Australia and the UAE, he knew he had to take the leap and shine a spotlight on the plethora of Fintech companies, startups and entrepreneurs who were – and are – rapidly shaping the global Fintech landscape.‍

As the CEO and Founder of prominent media companies focusing on Fintech, Cameron’s journey has taken him across continents, from Australia to the USA and the UK, with significant stints in each. His career spans diverse sectors, including boutique merchant banks, global investment banks, and property development and finance, before he ventured into the world of Fintech.‍

Almost nine years ago, Cameron co-founded Australian FinTech, the pioneering platform that has become the go-to source for Fintech news and information in Australia. With over 1,000 fintech companies listed on the directory, Australian FinTech is a powerhouse of knowledge, connecting Fintech firms to the world, facilitating investments, consumer connections, and collaborations within the industry.‍

But Cameron’s impact doesn’t stop there. Recognizing the growing importance of the UAE in the Fintech landscape, he also founded UAE FinTech, a dedicated platform promoting UAE FinTech companies, news, and information worldwide.‍

This week, TXP Talk sits down with Cameron to delve into his career, the burgeoning Fintech industry, and much more…

Cameron, what inspired you to start UAE FinTech and Australian FinTech? What gap in the market did you see that led you to create these platforms?

Back in 2015, my business partner and I discovered ‘Fintech’ and decided to build a platform to showcase Australian Fintech companies and to educate people about Fintech products and to show Australians that there’s more finance options than what was being provided by the banks.‍

I’ve always been a disruptor, so I immediately loved the idea, products and functionalities of Fintech. As part of the platform we have a news section where Fintechs can have their news shared to Australia and the world – something that most major news outlets don’t care about. We gave a voice to Australian Fintechs. Once we knew this format worked in Australia, we knew it would work in other countries that were embracing Fintech, like the USA, UK, Ireland and of course, the UAE.‍

In the UAE, there was no one doing what we were doing for Fintech in Australia, so we launched UAE FinTech in 2022 to give a voice to the amazing Fintechs emerging out of the UAE.

With your international experience, how do you see the Fintech landscape evolving this year and in the near future?

For most countries I feel like 2024 will be a continuation of 2023 which saw a lot of consolidation and maturing around the world. I see the fintech industry in the UAE flourishing and growing in 2024 and beyond. I expect some more international players endeavouring to enter the UAE market, while local companies expand and establish themselves and more startups emerge from stealth mode.‍

What are some key differences you’ve noticed between the Fintech scenes around the world compared to the UAE?

While the Fintech industry is at the mature stage in countries like the USA, UK and Australia, in the UAE it is emerging and it’s very exciting! There is a real buzz about the UAE Fintech scene and I’ve seen it first hand as I travel to Dubai several times a year for conferences and meetings.‍

The governments in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are very supportive – many countries don’t have that positive reinforcement behind the Fintech industry. It’s truly encouraging and it’s a shame more countries don’t help out startups and scaleups.‍

Can you discuss a successful partnership or collaboration that UAE FinTech or Australian FinTech has facilitated?

Australian FinTech and UAE FinTech have many partnerships as we have members on our sites who we help promote to their specific countries and the world. We have several hundred members across all of our sites who benefit greatly from our support.‍

We also act as Media Partners for many events around the world. Specifically in the UAE, so far this year we are Media Partners for the upcoming Digital Transformation in Banking & Insurance Summit (March 2024), the Dubai FinTech Summit (May 2024) and the AIM Summit (October 2024).‍

Can you share a significant turning point in your career that has shaped your approach to business and leadership?

During my days working for a property development company I worked one-on-one with an experienced business mentor who passed on a vast amount of knowledge and skills that I still use today to drive and grow my own business. Even though it was a completely different business in a completely different industry, the skills and knowledge learned can transfer to any business.‍

What has been the most challenging aspect of building and managing UAE FinTech and Australian FinTech?

I guess the most challenging aspect is Fintechs not recognising the value that our websites can provide them regarding marketing and advertising their company to their country and the world. Seeing Fintechs go bust because they weren’t on our site(s) is frustrating and somewhat sad.‍

Cameron, what opportunities and challenges do you see in the FinTech industry over the next few years?

Marketing Fintech companies can be a complex challenge. Despite our knowledge of the Fintech landscape in Australia and other countries, it’s surprising how some Fintech companies seem to go under without us ever hearing about them. It’s almost as if they’ve been operating in stealth mode. Many Fintechs (and other businesses equally) don’t think that marketing is that important. They are wrong. And we are here to help and prove them wrong by promoting these companies to their country of origin and the world.‍

Can you discuss a project or initiative that you are particularly proud of from your time in the Fintech industry?

The success of Australian FinTech and helping launch and promote hundreds of Fintechs over the past 8 years is a highlight for our company. Personally, several years ago I was announced as one of the Top 25 Fintech Influencers in Australia, so that was a nice accolade, but more importantly reflected the hard work put in to growing the Australian Fintech industry over the previous years.‍

The other aspect of our business that we are proud of is our audience, in particular our social media followers – we are closing in on 50,000 global social media followers on our Australian FinTech business. It’s an astonishing number for a business like ours but we must be doing something right!‍

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in Fintech, based on your own experiences?

I would advise someone starting their career by trying to absorb as much information on the company they’re working for, analysing competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and have a decent knowledge of the whole Fintech industry. I think if someone can understand those three factors, then they can improve the company they’re working for.

TrustXPay’s original interview article of Cameron Dart can be found here.