CMCRC-SIRCA chairman, Dr David Skellern, AO presented Kristofer Rogers, CEO of Split Payments, with the CMCRC-SIRCA Market Changing Technologies Award.
INVESTS IN INNOVATION
Open banking payments platform wins CMCRC-SIRCA’s Market Changing Technologies Award at Tech23…
Kristofer Rogers paused for a moment during his presentation at the recent Tech 23 2018 conference, ran a hand over his close-cropped head and sighed: “I had hair before I started this role.”
The packed Sydney auditorium erupted in laughter. It was a moment of recognition from the assembled crowd of investors, business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators: it’s a challenging gig leading a burgeoning young company in a competitive market place. It can be fun, exciting, demanding and exhausting all at the same time.
“The sheer amount of work anybody does in growing a business, no matter what sector they’re in, takes a lot of commitment,” says Rogers, CEO of Split Payments and creator of Australia’s first NPP-ready Open Banking Payments Platform.
Rogers is the winner of this year’s CMCRC-SIRCA Group’s Market Changing Technologies Award, presented annually at the Tech23 conference.
Based in Byron Bay, Split Payments is a payment platform that connects businesses and consumers directly with the Australian banking system, making direct debit/credit a viable and cost-effective payment option for eCommerce, B2B payments, and regular payments management.
It aims to make electronic banking “fast and transparent without the high costs associated with card payments”.
“The CMCRC-SIRCA award gives us so much kudos”
– Kristofer Rogers
“Receiving this award is extremely helpful,” says Rogers. “It gives us so much kudos. Where we operate is innovating on infrastructure, and it’s a place where very few people have innovated. So to receive an award like this speaks to the fact that we are changing a market place that’s been stagnant for some time.”
The Award provides mentorship from CMCRC-SIRCA senior leaders, meaning Rogers will be able to spend time with the team to ask questions, learn from their insights, and draw on their entrepreneurial experience and expertise.
CMCRC-SIRCA mentorship “incredibly valuable”
This mentorship is “incredibly valuable”, Rogers says. “The area in which we work – financial technology – still has corridors of power through which we have to navigate ,and I think people with CMCRC-SIRCA’s experience can help us to manage our understanding and to develop relationships.”
Rogers, a social entrepreneur and “innovation enthusiast” with a background in media and technology, has extensive experience in start-up businesses and product development. This includes time in the travel industry, which he says is marked by “complex one-to-many and many-to-many payment flows”.
“We set out to create an online payment platform that supported businesses in their commercial dealings rather than restricted them. One where secure, real time, faster payments that didn’t rely on credit cards were not just possible but enjoyable.”
Rogers says that key to innovation is adaptation: “Being able to work in a landscape that changes and to be able to be the first to react to it… we can’t predict the future, but we can see what is trending and adapt.”
David Wright, CMCRC-SIRCA CEO, said Split Payments was chosen as this year’s winner of the Market Changing Technologies Award “primarily because their approach to developing a platform capable of improving the payments experience of both small and medium enterprises, as well as big business, was focussed on a ‘user first’ perspective to improving the efficiency of direct debit and other forms of domestic payments”.
“The functionality and features of the Open Banking API platform was also very impressive to us.”
He added that the non-finance sector backgrounds of the founders had given them a “unique perspective on the inefficiencies of the domestic payments marketplace”.
“We see that as a very important driver to their ability to quickly become a large part of the very complex ecosystem that is the payments marketplace in Australia and eventually globally.”
“Rachel Slattery has built a community of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, universities and companies that are changing the world”
Supporting home-grown innovation
Now in its 10th year, the Tech 23.2018 conference – a “celebration of innovation” – featured presentations from leaders of start-ups and young businesses encompassing areas including healthcare, enterprise, agriculture, physical, natural and digital environments, mining and energy, and aerospace.
The event – organised by Rachel Slattery, Director of Slatterys – has strong ties to leading incubators, accelerators and businesses within Australia’s R&D community.
After their presentations, the 23 presenters received feedback from industry leaders, angel investors, potential enterprise customers, and entrepreneurs.
Mr Wright said CMCRC-SIRCA had been a sponsor of Tech23 for over seven years “and it is a must-see event for us annually”.
“Rachel Slattery has built a community of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, universities and companies that are changing the world in the projects and businesses they are undertaking. Tech23 gives all those parties the chance to come together, see the latest pitches, discuss opportunities and find new investments.
“The 2018 event was a roaring success from our view – a clear sign that innovation and entrepreneurship in Australia is going strong, and we hope to be involved in Tech23 for the next 10 years!”
Learn more about CMCRC-SIRCA’s investment approach