eWay seeks to drag Australian business into e-commerce

Online payment gateway provider pushing the acquisition of new merchant account closer to real time.

Australian online payment gateway provider eWay has announced that it will mount a major challenge to the country's financial institutions through dramatically overhauling the speed at which businesses can gain a merchant account and get paid after transacting.

The move, according to the company's CEO and founder, Matt Bullock, could potentially bring more of Australia's notoriously e-commerce averse retailers and businesses online.

"We are going to change the speed of how long it takes to get a merchant account," he said. "Right now, if you try to get a merchant account, it takes four weeks, six weeks, six months.

"We are pushing it down to four days, and then we will change that down to four hours next year, then eventually get that down to nought hours.

"That is by getting rid of a whole bunch of banking processes which are busted, and us fixing them and doing them properly."

The increased speed comes at a price: 2.2 percent and AU$0.30 per transaction, and an AU$25 per month fee.

"The cost will be slightly higher [than financial institutions], but the difference is that we have 24/7 support, and we are there on the back end to help," Bullock said.

Bullock said the higher cost would be unlikely to deter merchants, which are largely more concerned with the issue of the time taken to get online, get trading, and get paid.

"You talk to the [payment] gateway [company], they say, 'go away and talk to a bank'," he said. "You talk to the bank, and that is a long and painful process; sometimes you finish through it and sometimes you don't. We're saying, 'talk to us, you don't need to talk to your bank. We will do it all and we'll do it quicker than the banks have ever done it before.'"

Bullock said eWay is also working to become a single hub for merchant transactions, signing deals with PayPal and cloud ERP provider NetSuite.

"The other thing we have done with PayPal, being a one-stop-shop, is sign an agreement so that you can send transaction through us for PayPal as well," he said.

"You will be able to log in to your eWay account in coming weeks and see your PayPal transactions and your eWay transactions."

The company's deal with NetSuite is aimed at allowing eWay's payment gateway solution to interact with NetSuite's SuiteCommerce payments functionality. This will allow for merchants to accept credit card payments in real time.