MYOB homes in on BNZ mobile payments deal

Australian listed accounting software developer plans 'next gen' payroll and invests in better phone support.

ASX-listed accounting software developer MYOB has found the road to mobile payments in New Zealand hard, but is now homing in on a deal.

James Scollay

While rival Xero took its Xerocon conference to Australia last week, MYOB travelled the other way to host an extended Partner Connect programme in Auckland, where James Scollay, general manager SME solutions, outlined the company's platform progress.

Scollay said getting the banking arrangements in place to offer mobile payments in New Zealand had been difficult and taken longer than expected, but the MYOB was now finalising a deal with BNZ.

Scollay said that would deliver "tight integration" between MYOB's OnTheGo mobile payments app, which is available on IOS or Android, and BNZ's PayClip. When live, users will be able to take credit card, debit card and Eftpos payments by signing up with MYOB's PayDirect payments service.

Scollay told ZDNet plans for the technical integration were already in train and that part of the process was not difficult.

BNZ launched PayClip mobile payments through a parternship with Australia's Mint Wireless in 2013.

Scollay said MYOB was the number one accounting software provider in New Zealand and now had 116,000 clients in the cloud across Australia and New Zealand, up from 10,000 in December 2011.

Cloud growth was 30 percent year on year, he said, and with less than 20 percent of the market using cloud accounting there was still plenty of growth to come.

"We are at the beginning of many years of growth," he said.

MYOB appears to be challenging Xero, the leading cloud accounting supplier in the ANZ region, on a number of fronts, not least through the acquisition of local payroll software providers. Wellington-based Ace Payroll, acquired in May for NZ$14 million, was the latest.

Scollay made it clear MYOB's payroll ambitions go further with the development of what he referred to as the "next gen" of New Zealand payroll already underway.

"The pain points are obvious: data capture, calculating payroll and meeting reporting obligations," he said.

"We want to reengineer what payroll can be in New Zealand. We think we can redefine productivity."

The new product, which will be available stand-alone and integrated with MYOB AccountRight, is scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2016, in time for the new financial year for most New Zealand businesses.

Scollay said New Zealand has the tenth most complex payroll environment in the world. Administration is even harder because 65 percent of small and medium businesses still pay employees weekly.

MYOB is also focusing on providing phone support to give it a market edge. Scollay said it has invested to reduce call wait times by 50 percent and these should be less than three minutes from September.

He said this was vital because a different type of customer was now moving online. The early adopters, the first 10 to 15 percent, needed less support.

"The next cohort is both less tech savvy and more complex and have more need of support," Scollay said.