Australian payments specialist, Zai, a new force in global fintech

Zai is an Australian financial services provider. It offers integrated payment solutions for digital native businesses, including cross-border payments and reconciliation. This helps small business grow faster and eliminate compliance costs.

In this case study Rimal Gokani, Chief Commercial Officer at Zai offers insights into the company’s journey and future plans, including:

  • how Australia fosters fintech innovation
  • the strategic role of Austrade in their global expansion plans.

E-commerce fuels demand for payments services

The global e-commerce market in 2018 was estimated at US$26 trillion. But for digital startups that want to go global and sell into this market, big hurdles remain. These include data privacy and compliance with payments regulations in multiple jurisdictions.

In 2021, a new digital payments fintech was born to help digital companies manage these challenges. Australia-based Zai is a merger between payment workflow specialist, Assembly Payments, and a cross-border payments specialist called CurrencyFair.

Assembly Payments was founded in Australia in 2013. CurrencyFair was founded in 2010 and based in Ireland. Both companies were founded by Australian innovators.

Australia: a rich ecosystem for ambitious fintechs

Gokani says that Australia nurtures fintech talent. He reports that fintech receives strategic backing from traditional Australian financial institutions and this helps many startups embark on global journeys.

For example, Westpac supported Assembly Payments during its formative years. Meanwhile, Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures is now a key investor in Zai.

‘Australia offers a rich ecosystem and a market that is conducive for fintechs to thrive,’ says Gokani. ‘Australian institutions invest in start-ups. Also, government policies encourage innovation and embrace change.’

Australia’s trade agency helps build businesses

Austrade also helps. The agency is Australia’s official trade and investment-promotion organisation. It has a global network of market specialists that offer on-the-ground advice.

As Australian fintech grows, Austrade has developed a team of specialist fintech advisers who work one-on-one with fintech companies. These advisers help companies to connect with key people in target markets. They also help startups gain a better understanding of the local business landscape.

‘We worked with Austrade recently to accelerate our overseas expansion,’ says Gokani. ‘We are now working with Austrade advisers who will help us build a business pipeline in specific markets.’

Trade shows help fintechs expand

Austrade is also active at industry events around the world. This helps fintech startups engage with industry leaders.

Zai was a recent exhibitor at the November 2021 Singapore Fintech Festival, for example.

According to Gokani, participation in global events provides exposure to global platforms and enables Zai to meet potential partners and clients. This helps power global growth.

‘Today, Zai is poised to capitalise on the global payments opportunity by offering integrated financial services to businesses in Australia and beyond,’ he says.

For more information

Please contact FinTech Australia.

To find out more about Zai, please visit: Innovative Financial Services | Zai (hellozai.com)

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