Fintech Zeller partners with Officeworks to launch business banking alternative

Fintech Zeller partners with Officeworks to launch business banking alternative

Zeller co-founders COO Dominic Yap and CEO Ben Pfisterer.

A fintech founded by two former Square executives is hoping to shake up the traditional business banking sector by launching its simple solution for SMEs in partnership with retailer Officeworks.

Zeller's business banking product comes in one box and is on the shelves of Officeworks today for interested customers to simply set up and start using.

Merchants get a next-generation EFTPOS terminal, a free business transaction account, and a business Mastercard included in the ready-to-go package.

According to co-founder Ben Pfisterer, the launch of Zeller comes at an opportune time for the fintech, with many businesses looking for a simple alternative to what the Big Four are offering.

"It couldn't be a better time for us to be launching," says Pfisterer.

"We're super excited that as the Australian business community is getting back on its feet we're starting to see crazy levels of entrepreneurialism coming through, and the fact that we're getting launched to help support those businesses, our timing couldn't be better."

The startup was founded just last year by Pfisterer and Dominic Yap, who hope their smart payments solution will level the playing field for businesses, enabling them to send and receive money quickly.

Like other emerging neobanks like Volt and Douugh, Zeller intends to tap into a general pessimism felt towards the larger traditional banking institutions and their web of products and bureaucracy.

Pfisterer says the simplicity of Zeller is what Australian SMEs are looking for right now.

"It's about having their whole business financial services in a box," says Pfisterer.

"We wanted to build something which every Australian business could use."

When business customers receive their all-in-one box from Zeller they also gain access to the financial services the fintech offers.

This includes a Zeller transaction account, allowing businesses to deposit funds and track business expenses. Funds can be swept to any bank account for next day access if received via the Zeller Terminal.

"When it comes to financial services and business banking, it needs to be simple," says Pfisterer.

"In the space that we're addressing, the business community, there's been next to no innovation, it's just been really stagnant, the Big Four bank propositions are very generic and very much the same.

"I wanted to push the boundaries of what payments and financial services should be."

 

The co-founder says partnering with Officeworks was a no-brainer considering its substantial retail footprint.

"You have to be where the customers are, and Officeworks is one of Australia's best retail brands," says Pfisterer.

"And credit to Officeworks - from our initial concept they've been right on board with us, they've been excited with what we can actually offer our customers.

"We've got a really strong interest in making sure we not only support metro Australia but also regional Australia, and Officeworks has a fantastic footprint in a lot of different places. If you see the closure of bank branches in regional Australia, making sure our products are there means regional businesses aren't forgotten as well."

For Zeller, the launch comes off the back of a $25 million Series A which it quietly completed last year.

Backed by US-based investor and venture capitalist Lee Fixel, the $25 million funding round was a coup for the company, building on its behind-the-scenes work.

Since July last year, Zeller has rapidly scaled its team to 50 people, making 38 new hires in the past six months to boost its capabilities across product, engineering, strategy, risk and compliance.

The hiring push amounts to over 310 per cent growth in headcount and is expected to continue now that the "better alternative to business banking" has launched.

As for what's next, Pfisterer says the growing team is hard at work building new innovations for Zeller.

"For us, it's very easy to look at business banking in general and see there's a lot of areas that need to be enhanced, to grow new products, amazing opportunities to provide more cost efficient and effective solutions," says Pfisterer.

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