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 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:

  • The company’s operating model and global success
  • The opportunities for global fintech firms in Australia
  • The role of Australian Trade and Investment Commission (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 Australia growth story with strong growth in revenues, merchant partners and customer wins.

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 by automating administrative tasks and payment reconciliation across billing platforms. Besides lowering failure rates to as little as 0.5 per cent, 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,” says Robins. “Combined with enhanced and seamless cash flow, GoCardless is committed to helping large and small businesses in Australia deal with delayed payments.”

GoCardless currently has more than 60,000 business customers across the UK, US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It processes $20billion 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 in late 2020, worth $95million.

GoCardless Austrade

GoCardless Austrade

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,” says Robins.

“Additionally, as Australian companies realise the benefits of bank-to-bank debit, businesses of all shapes and sizes see 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. This has helped us scale up effectively.”

Helping Australian businesses go global

According to a 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,” says 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.”

Austrade helps with market entry and launch in Australia

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

“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,” he says.  “Austrade also hosted local events and facilitated introductions.”

Andy Thompson, investment director at Austrade, says: “The success of GoCardless in Australia is a testament to the vast opportunities our country offers to global fintech firms. 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.”

To learn why Australia is a brilliant destination for fintech investment, visit austrade.gov.au/fintech.

Austrade is the Australian Government’s international trade promotion and investment attraction agency. It delivers quality trade and investment services to businesses to grow Australia’s prosperity. They do this by generating and providing market information and insights, promoting Australian capability and facilitating connections through Austrade’s extensive global network.