Australian fintech Zepto raises A$25m Series A to improve payments infrastructure – TechCrunch

Zepto, an Australian real-time account-to-account (A2A) merchant payments platform, announced on Monday that it has raised a Series A round of A$25 million (approximately US$18.8 million) co-led by AirTree Ventures and Decade Partners.

The instant payment platform enables merchants to make, manage and receive secure payments by connecting directly from a payer’s bank to a merchant’s bank.

The Series A funding comes after its revenue grew 10x year-over-year in the four years since its launch in 2018. The company, which failed to provide a foundation for that growth and its valuation says it facilitates more than $4 billion in payment volume each month and expects to process more than $50 billion in payments this year.

More than 100 Australian organizations, including banks, fintech companies and credit unions, use NPP (New Payments Platform), Australia’s open-access infrastructure for fast payment, according to the NPP website. nuclear power plants To pay for is a new digital tool for merchants and businesses to initiate real-time payments from customers’ bank accounts.

Zepto became the first non-bank institution approved as a nuclear power plant related institution in October. This means that Zepto will be able to connect its customers directly to the nuclear power plant’s PayTo service, which is expected to be rolled out in mid-2022.

“Data-rich, real-time payments directly between bank accounts are the future of how we transact, and Australian policymakers have recognized this with the rollout of NPP’s PayTo, which will replace direct debit. automatic in about 3-5 years,” Chris Jewell, CEO of Zepto, told TechCrunch. “Merchant and consumer payment preferences are moving away from expensive legacy payment methods such as credit cards and slow, indiscriminate traditional direct debits.

There’s a whole generation of consumers to come who will never own a credit card or get approval for a buy-now-pay-later product, but bank accounts are ubiquitous and direct payments between them are a simple, clean and efficient way to pay for things, Jewell continued.

Real-time payments through Australia’s NPP accounted for 31% of all account-to-account payments in October 2021, according to Jewell. He added that the cumulative total value of the NPP payment since its launch in November 2017 was around 2.6 billion.

Jewell said account-to-account (A2A), which refers to bank account-to-bank account transactions, does not require a card or PIN. While debit cards are typically powered by Visa and Mastercard, A2A cuts them out as the middleman.

According to FIS Global Payment Report 2020, A2A payments will account for 20% of all e-commerce payments, surpassing credit and debit cards by 2023.

Zepto serves hundreds of Australian companies including lenders, trading/crypto platforms, third party processors, proptech companies, travel and tourism operators. Binance Australia, Superhero, Novatti Group, Nimble, Powerpay, Till Payments, Bluestone, Rentbetter, Biz Pay and Get Blys are among its clients.

The startup will use the latest funding to advance its features on top of NPP’s PayTo framework and accelerate its international expansion, starting in New Zealand, driven by growing demand for Zepto’s infrastructure in the region, Jewell said. . After New Zealand, Zepto wants to enter the United States

“The global payments landscape is in the midst of its biggest upheaval in decades, as open banking and real-time interbank payments transform how we pay and get paid,” said James Cameron, partner at AirTree Ventures. . “With open banking and NPP, Australia has found itself at the center of this disruption – and Zepto is the leading innovator in this space. With companies like Afterpay, Athena and Airwallex, Australia has shown that we punch above our weight in fintech innovation globally.

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