Australia's Tyro Payments has hired UBank founder Gerd Schenkel as chief executive as it begins to take on the nation's biggest banks with a push into the small business banking market.
Tyro currently serves more than 16,000 small businesses and processed $8.6 billion of transactions and generated more than $95 million in revenue in fiscal 2016.
Schenkel takes over the reigns from current CEO and founder Jost Stollman as the company sets out to deliver what it calls 'nextGen banking' to a population of more than half-a-million Australian Eftpos merchants who take credit, charge and debit cards in payment.
The company last year became the first Australian technology firm to gain a banking license from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority and in November banked $100 million in funding from Tiger Global Management in New York, TDM Asset Management in Sydney and local tech entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes. Operating from an in-house developed cloud-based mobile core banking platform, the firm has launched its first deposit product, Tyro Smart Account and is piloting its first lending product, Tyro Smart Growth Funding.
Says Stollman: “Now that Tyro has a bank licence and $100 million in new capital, Gerd joining the Tyro team as new CEO is the last piece needed to deliver very strong growth in the years ahead.”
Schenkel has more than 17 years’ experience in Australian banking and technology-related businesses.
He founded Australia’s first home-grown digital deposit and mortgage bank, UBank, in 2008 which now has around $20 billion in customer balances and created the Telstra Digital channel, which now counts 500,000 subscribers.
“Tyro is a new kind of company with a uniquely attractive culture," says Schenkel. "It’s a technology company that happens to be a bank, not the other way around."