Woolworths Pay partners to power ‘catalyst for change’ PayTo offering

Wpay Zepto partnership

Wpay, the paytech development arm of Australian retailing giant Woolworths Group, will partner with fellow paytech Zepto to deliver one of the first retail use cases for payments initiation service, PayTo.

The newly developed solution, based on the New Payments Platform’s (NPP’s) real-time payments rail (used by PayTo), promises real-time bank account verification and real-time payment validation, processing, settlement, and reconciliation – providing immediate funds availability for Wpay users.

Being among the first retail use cases for PayTo, the pair, alongside PayTo overseer AP+, said their innovation, designed for Woolsworths and its partners, would “play a significant role in driving consumer adoption of the new payment method”.

“The partnership recognises both parties’ commitment to delivering enhanced customer payment experiences via real-time, digital account-to-account payment solutions that scale as businesses do,” Zepto said in a statement.

PayTo, launched mid-last year, enables merchants and businesses to initiate real-time payments directly from their customers’ bank accounts. The service is overseen by NPP Australia (which, together with eftpos Australia and BPAY, now forms AP+), which administers Australia’s fast payments rail, the New Payments Platform.

Zepto was the first non-authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) approved to connect directly to the NPP as a ‘Connected Institution’ – an organisation permitted to initiate payments with participating financial institutions and which meets AP+’s strict technical and security requirements to operate in a real-time environment.

Commenting on the partnership, Wpay managing director Paul Monnington said Zepto was “the obvious choice for us when looking for a PayTo partner”, acknowledging the company was among the first non-ADIs to establish a direct connection to NPP’s fast payment rails.

“We are seeing an increased appetite from customers for real-time payments because they offer immediate processing and settlement of transactions, which provides greater convenience and speed compared to traditional payment methods,” Monnington said.

He added: “Wpay has grown significantly as an omnichannel provider and facilitates more than 1.2 billion transactions per year. Partnering with Zepto, allows us to complement our offering and provide a superior payment experience for our customers.”

Wpay, which was originally spun off as a dedicated in-house paytech development arm for Woolworths Group businesses, now offers it end-to-end payments solutions – including in-store and digital payments systems, digital wallets, and “alternative” payment methods; payments transaction processing, funds settlement, fraud management, reporting and merchant analytics; and gift card program management – to all Australia and New Zealand-based merchants.

Katrina Stuart, general manager of business payments of AP+, welcomed the pair’s development as “a real catalyst to drive uptake [of PayTo] across the wider retail industry”.

“PayTo can not only deliver benefits to the end-consumers using it at the checkout but also to the merchants from a back-office perspective.

“We are delighted to see this partnership between Wpay and Zepto focused on bringing this use case to life.”

Launched in 2018 as ‘Split Payments’ and rebranded as ‘Zepto’ in 2020, the paytech developer said its API-backed solution “enables merchants to make, manage, and receive payments by connecting them directly to their customers’ bank accounts in elegantly simple, data-rich, cost-effective ways”.