New payment platform Fat Zebra aiming to help start-ups deal with banks

A new online payment platform has vowed to help start-ups improve their relationships with the major banks, having already forged ties with the likes of Pollenizer and Fishburners.


Fat Zebra, founded by Pred Dragila and Matthew Savage, aims to simplify the process of accepting credit card payments online for retailers, service providers and other small businesses.


According to Dragila, Fat Zebra is keen to help start-ups strengthen their relationships with the banks.


“As start-ups ourselves, we’ve seen how difficult it is for start-ups to work with the banks to get up and running… Banks are still very prehistoric in Australia,” he says.


“My background is in finance, which has helped me build a lot of relationships over the last couple of years. We’ve leveraged off those relationships to find the right people in banks.”


“Start-ups don’t know who to approach at the bank.”


“By us being able to make that introduction, and dealing with people outside the call centres who have the ability to make decisions, we work with the banks to make it happen for [start-ups].”


The fact that Fat Zebra is also a start-up has been an advantage, Dragila says.


“Being a start-up ourselves, we did a lot of cold calls to a lot of other start-ups. We’ve also had good support from Pollenizer and Fishburners – they’ve helped us with some good introductions,” he says.


“We’re meeting a lot of people in that community willing to spread the word. We’ve been actively chasing those relationships and, for us, it’s been a great way to see where the technology has to go.”


“[For example], start-ups want the cost as soon as possible… We offer discounted pricing for start-ups and hands-on involvement in setting the facility up.”


Rather than compete with major players such as PayPal, Dragila says Fat Zebra will focus its energy on helping businesses in their growth phase.


As for the unusual name of the business, Drigala says the logo actually came first.


“With online retail, there is always some form of a barcode, so we wanted to use that and then took the pattern and thought we could relate it to a zebra,” he says.


“Zebra stripes could also be seen as a zebra crossing, which is a safe passage across traffic. So it works in a greater sense in that we provide a safe passage… and people remember it.”


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