Open banking fintech Waave rides $4.7 million seed round

Open banking fintech Waave rides $4.7 million seed round

Waave co-founders Ben Zyl, Mark Connolly and Peter Traianou (Provided)

A Sydney-based fintech using Open Banking technology to offer competitive merchant fees has raised $4.7 million in a seed round backed by Menulog managing director Morten Belling and e-commerce investor Paul Greenberg.

Founded in 2022 by Ben Zyl, Mark Connolly and Peter Traianou, who collectively have decades of experience working for the likes of PayPal, AfterPay, NAB and Adyen, Waave is a payment app that allows customers to manage their finances from one place.

The company’s flagship product is Pay by Bank, which claims to be the first payment platform offering Open Banking to both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) clients.

Open banking gives consumers the choice to share their data with external platforms to access their savings and credit data, but is restricted to third parties that have been accredited by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Pay by Bank takes a flat 28 cent transaction fee, making it up to 80 percent cheaper than card payments processing an average cart value of $100. It requires no passwords, and instead uses authentication methods like FaceID and TouchID to approve transactions.

The platform works across all Australian banks, and allows customers able to make payments both online and in-store.

To avoid confusion, Waave has no connection to the Pay by Bank joint venture between Bank of America and Banked Ltd – a separate payments system that is currently only available in the UK.

“We believe the payment industry is archaic and the way we pay today is clunky and outdated,” Zyl said.

“People have become complacent with card dominance - businesses shouldn’t be paying exorbitant fees to receive payments, and customers should have full control and visibility over their money.

“We’re here to drive change by bringing back the connection between consumers and businesses.”

Since mid-2020, Australia’s bank customers have been able to give permission to accredited third parties to access their savings and credit card data. Later that year, customers were also given permission to allow accredited third parties access to mortgage, personal loan and joint bank account data.

According to London-based consumer research firm The Business Research Company, the global Open Banking market is expected to reach a value of $48.13 billion by 2026.

From July, Waave plans to roll out its services to key enterprise e-commerce customers both online and in-store across Australia. The team also believes there is scope to grow internationally alongside increased uptake of Open Banking globally.

“We will adapt, evolve and grow our platform ecosystem and products, but our core purpose will always come back to improving the connection between consumers and businesses,” Traianou said.

Waave is an ACCC-accredited data recipient and is regulated by AUSTRAC, meaning customer data is secured with the highest encryption management systems.

“Waave is a champion for merchants at a time when they're feeling cost crunches from every direction,” National Online Retailers Association (NORA) founder and investor Paul Greenberg said.

“Waave will also be welcomed by consumers – a simple, convenient, and secure way to pay. Many of us are looking to ‘Spring clean’ our wallets.

“Getting rid of those high cost, underused payment solutions is simple and cathartic. Waave enables this by cutting out the middlemen."

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