Woolworths enters the Australian payment market with Wpay launch

Wpay will take on the big banks with its own in-house built payments platform.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci has appointed Paul Monnington to be managing director of Wpay. 

Image: Woolworths

The group behind Australian supermarket giant Woolworths Group has announced the launch of a new standalone payment business it is calling Wpay, which will compete head-to-head with some of the country's big banks.

Wpay will offer end-to-end payment solutions to merchants in Australia, the company said.

This will include an in-store and digital payments system that supports traditional card payments, digital wallets, and "alternative" payment methods; payment services including transaction processing, funds settlement, fraud management, reporting and merchant analytics; and gift card program management, including sale, redemption, and distribution partnership.

The company said these services will be offered to merchants outside of the group, such as EG Australia. It will also be the payments provider to BWS and Dan Murphy's.  

"We believe there is value in extending the benefits of the investments we've made in our payments platform to other merchants who may not have the scale to build it themselves," Woolworths Group CEO said. "Payments are an increasingly important part of the shopping experience both in-store and online and we bring unique expertise to this space as retailers."

The new business will be headed up by Paul Monnington, who is currently Woolworths fintech general manager and lead the development of the company's Scan&Go app. Prior to joining Woolworths, Moonington held roles with NAB and Oracle.

"Aside from payments, we know merchants are also looking for simpler ways to integrate gifting, loyalty and direct marketing platforms to engage customers while maintaining direct relationships. We look forward to partnering with merchants to help bring this to life," Monnington said.

According to Woolworths, Wpay will trial what it is referring to as "new ways" of helping customers pay digitally in-store in the coming months.

Recently, Woolworths spent AU$223 million to increase its shareholding in data science and analytics firm Quantium.

Under the deal, Woolworths increased its stake from 47% to 75%, while Quantium founders and team members retained 25%. Woolworths initially purchased a 50% share of Quantium in 2013 for approximately AU$20 million.

Earlier this year, the company announced it would plough AU$50 million over the next three years to train more than 60,000 staff in new tech-related skills including in digital, data analytics, machine learning, and robotics.

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