Timing is Everything, and the Time is Now.

In this Zepto chat, Matthew Zaina–our Chief Operating Officer–looks at how timing is everything in the world of real-time payments.

Not to be too ‘Byron Bay’ about it, but the stars are in serious alignment. The path towards a level paying field for merchants is clear. And the opportunity to take advantage of it is now.

The introduction of real-time payment infrastructure, open banking and open data frameworks that different governments are putting in place all around the world, shows there's a clear roadmap towards a new global standard–or at least a level of coherence–around payments and how value moves through the always-on economy. 

The velocity at which technological innovation is being delivered globally is clearly increasing, likely pushed along by COVID-related consumer behaviour changes and heightened payment expectations. People are more open to these changes and improvements, we’re all engaging with the ‘new’–and liking it–which in turn drives everything much faster. 

Think about Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Uber’s near invisible, frictionless payment experience. Consumers now truly understand–and expect–effortless transactions to play an important part in their overall customer experience. It's like if I want this, and you can't give it to me, I'll take my business over there. Layer in open banking and, down the track, open finance more broadly, and a customer’s ability to quickly and seamlessly move business from one provider to another will inevitably drive merchants to anticipate, react and prioritise these increasingly important experiential moments of transaction.

Those who are anticipating and adapting now will enjoy a significant first-mover advantage for quite some time. And not just in terms of offering a superior customer experience–all the benefits of receiving and reconciling payments in real time, data, security, flexibility and other factors will fundamentally enable their business through cost and process transformation.

Australia is punching above its weight in the real-time payments and open banking infrastructure stakes. As a country, we’ve timed our run pretty well, and we have a world class, early stage, open bank, data run framework, which is rolling into multiple industries. 

Our banks are evolving, too–and reassessing their core [and non-core] offerings. I believe that they’ll view payment processing and some types of transactional services as non-core because they're not massive revenue earners. They’ll offload them, and that will create the space and opportunity for Fintechs like Zepto to slip in with innovative solutions. The competitive tension will more likely come from the innovation side of the equation, than the banks defending their territory.

It was only a few years ago that Zepto’s founders set out to fix a payments problem they had experienced as merchants in Byron Bay. Their timing was perfect, as the entire payments ecosystem was ripe for change, merchants were receptive and Australia’s new payments landscape–the NPP–was being conceptualised and built. 

It’s astonishing to think that four entrepreneurs with different but complementary skill sets–one of them was a pilot, for heaven’s sake–have reimagined the way money should move through an economy. Not only that, they’ve built the tools to do it. 

There’s something magical happening at Zepto. A rare coalescing of ideas, capabilities, personalities, spirit and ambition at a particular moment in time when the world demands it.

They say timing is everything. This business has timed its run to perfection. 

It’s time to level the paying field.

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