Openpay: Exporting Australian payments fintech to the UK & US
Openpay is an Australian fintech offering ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) and business-to-business (B2B) payments services. The company began operating in Australia and New Zealand in 2013 and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in 2019. It has now launched in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US).
In this case study, Openpay’s Group Chief Marketing Officer, Georgina Whalley takes us through the company’s export journey and future plans, including:
- the evolution of ‘buy now, pay later’ services in Australia
- how Austrade has helped Openpay’s global expansion
- the role of the UK-Australia FinTech Hub.
Fertile ground for fintech innovation
According to Whalley, the current model for BNPL financing was pioneered in Australia. Melbourne-based investment company, Meydan Group combined technology and digital banking to create a new payments service in 2013. The business spin-off eventually became Openpay.
‘Australians are tech-savvy consumers who are open to modern ways of conducting traditional transactions,’ says Whalley. ‘This makes Australia fertile ground for fintech companies like Openpay.’
Differentiation is key to success in the BNPL market
Demand for BNPL is surging – especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began. To succeed, Openpay focuses on niche industries to deliver growth.
‘Openpay has a strongly differentiated BNPL offering, which we call ‘buy now, pay smarter (BNPS),’ says Whalley. ‘We cater to demand in specific segments such as healthcare, education and home improvement.
‘Our idea is to enable access to major life purchases while minimising the financial risks for our customers’.
Austrade supports high growth-potential businesses
Openpay was selected by Austrade to participate in a program for high growth tech exporters in late 2020.
‘The Austrade program was a key milestone in our journey,’ says Whalley. ‘Access to Austrade’s network gave us a foothold within the larger fintech ecosystem.’
‘Austrade is a great partner for Australian businesses which are innovative and offer a ground-breaking proposition,’ she adds. ‘Program support from the Australian Government is a vote of confidence in high growth-potential startups.’
Austrade opens doors for overseas expansion
Openpay has participated in a number of events organised by Austrade since 2019. These events helped to open doors in overseas markets.
One event was part of the ‘UK-Australia FinTech Bridge’ collaboration. This took place in London earlier in early 2021. It focussed on the role of fintechs in the post-COVID-19 recovery. It helped Openpay understand changing regulation in the UK finance market.
‘Local regulations go a long way in informing our offerings and go-to-market strategies,’ says Whalley.
‘Setting up operations in an overseas market can be an uphill task for start-ups, particularly in mature and greenfield markets,’ she adds ‘We’re glad to have Austrade as a trusted and reliable ally because every new market we enter is a huge leap forward for us.’
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 on 13 28 78 (within Australia).