Fetch's real-time vet payments a game-changer

Australian pet insurance industry trailblazer, Fetch, delivers real-time payouts to vets as a customer experience differentiator in a booming sector.

Fetch is a pet health and insurance business. 

With experience caring for more than a million pets prior to launching Fetch, the people behind it have backgrounds as vets, vet nurses, and with leading global insurers. Fetch's focus is on helping people have healthier pets. At the core of that is affordable, great insurance designed for a new generation.

"There's a younger demographic of customers coming through. Many of them are first-time pet parents — their pets are really like their kids. And so we started thinking about how we could create affordable care for this new generation of customers. We wanted the product to be easy to understand and to use. And beyond that, we genuinely wanted to help them keep their pets happy and healthy. That's better for everybody," says Phil Wilson-Brown, co-founder of Fetch.

Fetch does many things differently.

For starters, the Fetch experience is an in-app one. Fetch says they're pet experts in your pocket, 24/7. It's pet care, but on your phone. 

"With Fetch the entire product is in-app," says Phil. 

Fetch customers can simply tap to manage their pet's plan and treatments. And Fetch's experts are just an in-app chat away.

"There's no hardcopy PDS document that gets sent by mail or fax and gets lost in your bottom drawer. It's all in the app. It's all clickable and you can see exactly what you're covered for. We really like that as part of the proposition."

Phil Wilson-Brown, Fetch

The Fetch claims process is in-app, too. That’s not what makes it special. But from a payments and customer experience perspective, this is where things get interesting.

"We can pay the vet directly. It makes it really simple, and can take the edge off what can be a really stressful situation," says Phil.

"A survey recently said the median savings for a 25 to 34-year-old in Australia is $3,000. A mid-sized vet bill can wipe that out. Fetch gives people certainty when they're at the vet discussing their options. If covered, we can pay the vet directly and have that payment settle in the vet's bank account before you’ve left the clinic. There's no need to be out of pocket, and the vet can get to work delivering the urgent care the pet needs" he adds. 

For Fetch, that payment has to be real-time.

“It's absolutely essential otherwise the whole proposition doesn't work,” says Phil.

Real-time payouts to vets is the critical component for Fetch because it elevates the customer proposition. It also benefits the vets.

“The vet doesn’t have to lodge claim paperwork afterwards. They no longer have to debate or negotiate with the insurance provider for weeks after the procedure. And, as it’s an account-to-account payment, it's lower cost for them because there are no card fees or merchant fees. It’s instant, too.”

Phil Wilson-Brown, Fetch

Partnering with Zepto on the payouts was a critical component of Fetch’s ability to deliver on this proposition.

“There is no proposition without those real-time payouts to vets, and Zepto created that facility for us. It's had a huge impact. We were really stuck at the time. We knew that a part of the proposition needed to be direct real-time payments to vets while the customer is in the clinic. We were struggling to find someone who could do it. And we were also a startup. We were in a hurry,” says Phil.

The Fetch team needed a nimble, creative, payment solutions partner — someone that could give them certainty around compliance and trust.

“It’s financial services, after all,” says Phil.

“We're insurance and pet experts, not payment experts. We wanted someone trustworthy to do it. Trust is everything in financial services. As a pet health and insurance provider, Fetch is solely trading on trust. Our partners need to be trusted as well. So, key to our decision making when building out our infrastructure were questions like Who are we partnering with? Can our customers rely on them? Zepto fitted the bill. It's been fantastic.”

Phil Wilson-Brown, Fetch

Insurance is one of those things that people need but hope they never have to use.

“Actually, that's kind of what we want as well at Fetch. And we don’t want them worrying about payments. We just want people to have healthy, happy pets,” says Phil.

View our Pioneer Perspectives video interview with Phil Wilson-Brown below.

Zepto’s founders started their entrepreneurial journey together operating a large skydiving enterprise in Byron Bay

Despite managing dozens of aircraft, buses, skydive drop-zones and hundreds of staff, the biggest business frustration they experienced was the tangle of legacy payments infrastructure, systems, tech and — worst of all — legacy thinking. The status quo was slow, expensive and unfit for modern businesses. 

Their experience as merchants have given them a unique perspective on the daily payment challenges Australian businesses face. They have unpacked a real-life merchant experience into a payment solutions tech-infrastructure company on a mission to enable businesses like Fetch and Spaceship to freely devise their own innovative, account-to-account payment experiences.

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