GoCardless, tapping the fintech opportunity in Australia with bank-to-bank payments

GoCardless is a global fintech firm founded in the UK, offering innovative digital bank-to-bank payment solutions. The company entered Australia in 2018 and has clocked impressive growth within a short period, among both small businesses and large enterprises.

In this case study, Joseph Robins, Senior Account Executive for Australia & New Zealand discusses the company’s journey so far, including:

  1. The company’s operating model and global success
  2. The opportunities for global fintech firms in Australia
  3. The role of Austrade as a facilitator

With over 60,000 businesses as customers GoCardless currently processes $20 billion in transactions every year. And despite a challenging 2020, the company continued its Australian growth story with strong growth in revenues, merchant partners and customer wins.

Please contact Austrade to find out more about how we to help global tech companies enter and grow in the Australian market.

Revolutionising global payments with open banking from Australia

GoCardless is on a mission to help businesses with recurring revenue manage their receivables by enabling bank-to-bank debit. The company helps customers improve their cash flow and by automating administrative tasks and payment reconciliation across billing platforms. Besides lowering failure rates to as little as 0.5%, GoCardless helps customers bypass high transaction fees levied on debit and credit card payments.

“Our solutions allow customers to save costs, and merchants to reduce involuntary churn by decreasing payment failures. Combined with enhanced and seamless cash flow, GoCardless is committed to helping large and small businesses in Australia deal with delayed payments,” said Robins.

GoCardless currently has over 60,000 businesses as customers across the UK, US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and processes $20 billion in transactions every year. To scale up its operations further, and to accelerate its open banking strategy, the company raised its largest round of funding at $95 million in late 2020.

Finding roots and scaling-up in Australia

GoCardless has strengthened its presence in the Australian market within a short period of three years. “Despite a challenging 2020, we have reported a massive growth in revenue and an exponential growth in headcount”, said Robins.

“Additionally, as Australian companies realise the benefits of bank-to-bank debit, businesses of all shapes and sizes are seeing the value in a cost-effective, seamless, and reliable payments system. As a result, we are also witnessing an uptick in active merchants on our platform and customer sign-ups which has helped us scale up effectively.”

Helping Australian businesses go global

“According to a recent research report, delayed payments are a major financial pain for Australian small and medium businesses (SMBs). Addressing this delay with solutions like ours could effectively transfer $7 billion in capital to SMBs thus reducing their financing costs and encouraging them to invest,” said Robins.

“Moreover, our bank-to-bank debit solutions and borderless payments enable Australian companies to operate on a global scale and tap opportunities across the world,” he added.

Austrade’s overseas outreach and engagement to invite global fintech firms

Austrade invited GoCardless to participate in the 2018 edition of the UK/AU Fintech Bridge Mission. The company and its products were introduced to several Australian contacts at the flagship event, including industry bodies such as AusPayNet.

“The regulatory and operational environment in the fintech space can be quite complicated to navigate”, said Robins. “The introductions Austrade made at various points helped us get a better understanding of the market, and paved the way for our Australia entry within a year of the first meeting” he added.

Austrade helping with market entry and launch in Australia

Prior to the formal launch, Austrade helped GoCardless with their two-month-long reconnaissance mission and even assisted in securing a temporary co-working space at Stone & Chalk in Sydney for the duration.

“Finally, when we were ready for our Australia launch in 2018, Austrade was a great resource for advice on several aspects. From where to launch to informing us about availability of various government grants, and even facilitating introductions via local events hosted by them”, said Robins.

Working with Austrade

“The success of GoCardless in Australia is a testament to the vast opportunities our country offers to global fintech firms”, says Andy Thompson, Investment Director, Austrade. “We will continue working with GoCardless to help them strengthen their presence in Australia, and to enable local SMBs and enterprises by providing access to the latest global fintech innovations and solutions.”

For more information, please contact Austrade.

About Austrade

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) is the Australian Government’s international trade promotion and investment attraction agency.

We deliver quality trade and investment services to businesses to grow Australia’s prosperity. We do this by generating and providing market information and insights, promoting Australian capability, and facilitating connections through our extensive global network.

To discover how we can help you and your business, visit austrade.gov.au or contact us at info@austrade.gov.au or on 13 28 78 (within Australia).

About FinTech Australia

FinTech Australia is a member-driven organisation that is building an ecosystem of Australian fintechs to advance the global economy and culture. We are here to build a strong community, foster connections while supporting the innovation and regulation that our members require. Above all else, we are here to be the voice of the Australian fintech community.

GoCardless is a member of FinTech Australia. Find out more at https://www.fintechaustralia.org.au/


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