Recollections from the first year of Zepto

Zepto’s first year has been a remarkable one. By every possible measure, we are a different business to the one that emerged from Split Payments after a rebrand in September 2021. Here are some reflections of that year from leaders across the business.

Ian Lennie: Founder and Executive Director Solutions

A highlight for me was the New Payments Platform Australia’s [NPPA] inaugural More Than Just Speed real time payments summit. Not only was our presence felt through our sponsorship, activation, panel participations, and the Northern Rivers floods donation platform we created for the event, we continually received mentions and praise from industry leaders, the NPPA, and government. 

Those accolades were a pinch me moment considering that only a few years earlier we had to work incredibly hard just for people to listen to us. We were now being held up as the absolute industry leaders and pioneers. 

In true Zepto style, too, it continued on into the night at one of our now famous industry gatherings. We get such a kick out of bringing the amazing people in our industry together to acknowledge the work we all do, and to celebrate our collective successes.

Overall, that was a day where I could take a step back and really appreciate how far we had come and reflect on the Zepto journey.  

Matt Cheers: Founder and Executive Director Partnerships

In June, alongside CEO Chris Jewell, I proudly represented Zepto at Money 2020 Europe. To have FinTech leaders from all over the world congratulate us on the innovative way we approach payments, recognising that no-one globally is doing what we are doing with account-to-account payments was remarkable. 

That the market sees and acknowledges that Zepto has moved from an API payments platform provider to a true infrastructure player is unbelievably satisfying. 

Chris Jewell: Chief Executive Officer

Being invited to represent Zepto at the RBA's Payments System Board and Fintech Firms in Payments Industry Roundtable at RBA headquarters in Sydney was hard to beat.

Presenting to the central bank's Governor Philip Lowe, Deputy Governor Michele Bullock, Head of Payments Policy Ellis Connolly and the entire Payments Systems Board, I was incredibly proud to represent team Zepto as the country’s leading account-to-account payment innovation company, and for us to be recognised in this forum with a voice around regulation and reform at the highest level.

Also, seeing our tech and approach to Australian real-time payments [RTP] and open data driving innovation and best practice in other jurisdictions has been immensely satisfying. Watching our launch into New Zealand taking shape has been fascinating, and having joined the US Faster Payments Council [FPC] where the success and lessons learnt from Australia can guide new payment experiences offshore has been really exciting.

Carolyn Breeze: Chief Commercial Officer

The highlight for me was joining Zepto! Having joined in September 2021, I celebrate my first Zeptoversary pretty much at the same time as the business does. This has been, without a doubt, the most rewarding year of my career. I love working for a company at the forefront of payments that’s enabling other organisations and fintechs alike to create world class payment experiences. 

Beyond that, there’s a bit of a laundry list of highlights for me: Zepto becoming the first non-bank FinTech approved to connect directly to the New Payments Platform [NPP] as a ‘Connected Institution’; Winning Best Innovation in Payments at Fintech Australia Awards; and Zepto becoming a member of the Tech Council of Australia and truly engaging with government in ways we haven’t before.

Matt O’Leary: Chief People Officer

For me, more than doubling the size of the company in one year with amazing new diverse talent driving our business forward has been incredibly satisfying. The opportunity to partner and collaborate with some truly incredible minds has been inspiring. As has the development of a clear cultural mandate about doing business our way, The Zepto Way.

As a remote-first business, producing our first company-wide virtual summit was an ambitious task. The job that a small crew of Zepto people did to curate and deliver an engaging event of the highest quality was a peak Zepto moment.

Finally, the company’s renewed strategic focus on its vision of creating ‘a better way to pay’ by way of ‘powering the movement of value through the economy’ has delivered a powerful moment of focus and impetus at Zepto.

Gus Gollings: Chief Technology Officer

I’m really proud of the deliberate effort Zepto is making toward changing the historical gender imbalance in tech and leadership. Carolyn Breeze [CCO], Sarah Davoren [General Counsel, Julia Bearzatto [Head of Product], Amy Robin [Head of Operations], Mariana Paun [Head of Information Security], Geraldine Nankervis [People Operations Lead], Suzie Slingsby [Head of Relationships], Shelby Carter [Transaction Team Lead], Irene Chan [Senior Engineering Manager], Olga Goloshchapova [Engineering Manager] and Shelly Tiwari [Lead Quality Analyst], to name but a few, are each providing the kind of strong female leadership role models that I am incredibly proud to work alongside.

Also, as an early adopter of the Internet I have been fascinated by its impacts on society. In particular, regulatory responses to the new challenges of a global digital economy like General Data Protection Regulation in Europe and the Consumer Data Right in Australia have given me a lot to think about. I was very excited that Zepto could be a key early participant in the Australian movement to protect consumer data through our role as an Accredited Data Recipient.

Trevor Wistaff: Founder and Chief Product Officer

I’ve always been a big fan of this quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower: “Always try to associate yourself with and learn as much as you can from those who know more than you do, who do better than you, who see more clearly than you.”. 

Every day, I observe the initiatives and incredible work being spearheaded by the talented individuals who make up the diverse Zepto team and I’m left feeling proud and humbled. There’s no better pairing of feelings for me as a founder.

Sarah Davoren: General Counsel

The Legal & Compliance function has grown into a very close, engaged, collaborative and supportive team motivated to serve and support the business as a partner, and to adapt our ways of working to better fit the ever changing needs of our business. The team has let go of some of the practices of the past, and has embraced new ideas and ways of working which, despite some initial reservations, have led to a more unified and stronger outfit and happier stakeholders across the business.

The team has completed some incredible work including Zepto’s AFSL application, and automating transaction monitoring and significantly levelling up our compliance with relevant obligations under the AML/CTF legislation –– a key compliance milestone that demonstrates our commitment to industry leading compliance as an organisational priority.

I’m delighted, too, that we helped the Sales Team execute a record number of MSAs/Partnership Agreements in August 2022, and we are just getting started.

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