Zepto Connect Recap: Payments in a Post-POLi World

In the first of our PayTo-focused Zepto Connect virtual fireside chats, we focused on how PayTo® might fill the void left by the exit of POLi — Australia's groundbreaking A2A payment solution. Here’s what went down.

We love hearing from brilliant minds on a range of topics at our popular Zepto Connect events. During a session with Wpay and Australian Payments Plus (AP+) in June 2023, we fielded many questions about PayTo. That inspired us to produce a dedicated stream of webinars to help businesses navigate their journey towards PayTo. 

The first in that series looked at how PayTo might fill the void left by the exit of POLi — Australia's trailblazing A2A payment solution. The opportunity here is to deliver a modern, seamless and secure account-to-account [A2A] payment experience for businesses and consumers. POLi has been a popular online payment method for more than a decade, offering a convenient way for customers to make instant bank transfers without the need for credit cards. Its exit leaves many merchants and customers searching for an affordable, alternative A2A payment solution at the very moment that PayTo is rolling out to millions of Australian bank accounts. 

In the wake of POLi’s announcement, Zepto has felt the impact of Australian merchants responding to it with a surge of inquiries for such a solution.

If you missed our ‘Payments in a Post-POLi World’ session, we invite you to watch the recording here. Or feel free to scroll through a few of our favourite moments from the session below.

Ian Lennie: Zepto Co-founder

On POLi and PayTo

“I think PayTo is a natural successor to POLi, but it's also so much more. POLi really paved the way and showed us what is possible in account-to-account, although they were limited by the technology of the time. But with PayTo — as well as PayID — there are robust, purpose-built alternatives with more scope in how they can be delivered to merchants and consumers.”

“PayTo offers so much more than POLi because it is built into the infrastructure and fabric of our banking system, and can be utilised to support a range of payment scenarios.”

“I absolutely think that POLi was ahead of its time. They were doing real-time payments before the rails existed, in the sense of a merchant knowing that a payment has been concluded and executed, which is critical. They gave an absolute boom to account-to-account payments, particularly in e-commerce from day one. POLi also delivered a seamless in-app experience for customers, which to be honest, was one of the critical components of its success.”

“There are significant benefits to using an account-to-account mechanism over a credit card charge for high-value purchases because credit card fees can easily start ratcheting up and make a difference when you're competing in a highly competitive sales environment.” 

“Almost every business and consumer has a bank account. It just makes logical sense to move money directly between those common denominators, those two parties. And now with PayTo we can do it in real-time. We can do it digitally. We can extend a bunch of other technical services to both parties. So, not only are we moving money in the simplest and quickest way, but you get all these other benefits like cost reduction, efficiency gains, greater control, transparency, and so on.”

“Forward-thinking merchants are now thinking about how they can utilise the payment mechanics that come with PayTo such as real-time notification and transparency to uplift how they engage with their customers and drive deeper customer satisfaction.”

“So it's really starting to shift the way we think about what is possible with this new emerging payment mechanic. We are just starting to scratch the surface of what’s possible on top of the underlying mechanics of PayTo.”

On Zepto’s Connected institution [CI] status for PayTo

“It took a lot for us to become a Connected institution. It was like climbing Mount Everest without oxygen. It was a monumental effort but we had always looked at it as one of the biggest intergenerational opportunities in payments.”

“It may have been a little bit naive for our size, but we did it and we've done it really, really well. Since then, the uplift in information and understanding of how it works, and being able to adapt quickly has solidified that it was the right decision to tackle three years ago. We believe we're seeing the future clearer than anybody else in the market now because of that connection and the conversations our CI status allows us to be a part of. We also believe we're going to be able to develop and help steer the direction of PayTo going forward with the appropriate parties. And that is all because of our CI status. So, it was a big decision to make and a monumental task, but we think it was one of the best decisions we've ever made as a business.”

Tanya Martin: Zepto’s Head of Partnerships

“As it starts to become a reality, I think the number of use cases we're seeing and the ways people are thinking about using PayTo is infinite. I'm really excited to see what actually becomes real over the next 12 months. As these use cases emerge, it opens up applications that we may not have even considered before for how we can move money around. It’s a really exciting time.”

Suzie Slingsby: Zepto’s Head of Merchant Sales and Relationships

“From the conversations we’ve had the last couple of weeks, I think some would say that not enough time has been given for merchants to plan for replacing POLi. For some larger organisations these things can take time, especially if they've got integrated systems to work with. We’re in a unique position as we are agile and have the ability to adapt quickly and work with our customers as quickly as they can. We're here to assist in streamlining the process as quickly as possible.”

“I think it would be fair to say we're yet to find an industry where we can't find multiple pain points that we're fixing by talking about a PayTo solution. The future is really bright in terms of PayTo applications across multiple industries.”

“Our Connected Institution status is absolutely key when speaking to customers and partners. They love the fact that we can get them as close to the rails as possible, but also that we are nimble and our ability to innovate is strong.”

“What consumers are really going to love about PayTo is the visibility and control that they will see. It still doesn't change any contractual obligations with the end supplier but does provide a better customer experience.”

Be sure to keep an eye out for invitations to all future Zepto Connect sessions. The best way to do that is to subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of our Contact page, and follow us on LinkedIn. If there is anything in particular that you’d like us to build a Zepto Connect session around, please let us know. 

PayTo is a registered trademark of NPP Australia Limited.

Zepto's direct connection to the NPP for PayTo is your connection to a better way to pay

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