Payments fintech Change Financial’s successful international journey has been bolstered by its strong collaboration with Austrade.
The Brisbane-based payments-as-a-service provider is bringing tailored card programs, including prepaid and loyalty cards, to the US and New Zealand. In partnership with Mastercard, Change Financial enables clients to expand their service offerings with innovative card and payment solutions.
‘Change Financial and Austrade share a commitment to bring innovative financial solutions developed in Australia to the world,’ says Tony Sheehan, Change Financial’s CEO. ‘Austrade’s insights and introductions have supported us to take our solution to the US and New Zealand.’
Founded in 2015, Change Financial provides the underlying infrastructure that supports modern payment solutions. More than 60% of the company’s staff work overseas, partnering with and creating payment solutions for over 150 clients across 40 countries. Change Financial listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in 2016.
The global payments space is continuing to see ongoing innovation, from the ever-growing adoption of card programs to the use of artificial intelligence across the financial services industry.
‘Change Financial is determined to simplify payment experiences globally by driving innovation in the payments space,’ says Sheehan. ‘Our experience demonstrates the difference that fintechs can make to support the global economy. We can reach small and medium-sized businesses looking for payment solutions for their customers.
‘Traditionally, card programs and more modern applications like digital wallets have been reserved for those working with major banks and financial institutions. We are shaking up this dynamic and levelling the playing field across the globe.’
Change Financial’s export journey began in the US. The company worked with partners in the country to develop retail banking services for unbanked and under-banked people. This enabled more than 300,000 people to use a mobile app and prepaid debit cards to make payments and withdraw cash via ATMs.
In 2019, Change Financial partnered with Mastercard to offer direct issuing services for prepaid and debit card programs in Australia, New Zealand and the US.
Change Financial also partnered with Mastercard and Fintech Actuator to provide payment solutions to smaller businesses that do not meet the scale requirements of other providers. The company launched this solution at Intersekt, run by Fintech Australia, in 2023.
The Mastercard partnership also led to work with companies such as HealthNow and Simply Zibra.
‘We started as a truly global business and have continued to expand our operations,’ says Sheehan. ‘We are proud to provide access to modern payment solutions to more people, from Southeast Asia to LATAM and places in between.’
Change Financial works with Austrade and industry associations such as FinTech Australia to reach new audiences, expand its network and open new doors in key markets.
This has included participating in Austrade’s New York Landing Pads program in 2022.
‘The program connected us with industry experts, financial professionals and other businesses in the US fintech ecosystem,’ says Sheehan. ‘The contacts we made supported our US operations.’
In New Zealand, Change Financial continues to work with Austrade on the ground to expand its fintech networks. The company is identifying new lines of revenue and further opportunities for partnership and expansion.
‘Austrade’s focus on innovation and supporting the Australian fintech ecosystem has played a critical role in facilitating our ongoing global expansion,’ says Sheehan. ‘By bringing together individuals and groups from across the fintech space, we can bring the knowledge and success of overseas capabilities, right back here to Australia.’
Fintech Australia and Austrade are collaborating on a Fintech Trade and Investment initiative to help Australian fintech businesses access international markets and attract international investment. The initiative is part of the Australian Government’s 2020 Digital Business Plan to drive Australia’s economic recovery. The initiative has received $9.6 million in funding over 4 years.