Fintech EFTsure raises $2 million to tackle $700 million cost of payment fraud

Ian Mirels, Mike Kontorovich, and Mark Chazan

EFTsure co-founders (left to right) Ian Mirels, Mike Kontorovich, and Mark Chazan. Source: supplied.

Secure payments data platform platform EFTsure has raised a $2 million Series A round from Our Innovation Fund to tackle the $700 million cost of payment fraud in Australia. The funding injection will be used to scale the business and to address new initiatives such as the rollout of the New Payments Platform in October 2017.

EFTsure was founded in 2014 by Ian Mirels, Mike Kontorovich, and Mark Chazan, creating a platform that combats payment fraud by drawing on a crowd-sourced database of payee information. This allows businesses to check the validity of payment data, ensuring the name of the payee matches the BSB and account number provided before releasing a payment.

Co-founder Ian Mirels said the risk of payment fraud is high in Australia, with many finance officers unaware that Australian banks don’t match payee names with account numbers when payments are processed.

“Payments fraud is a growing area of cyber crime in Australia, with fast payment methods significantly increasing the risk of fraudulent activity”, Mirels says.

He says EFTsure software acts as a “gatekeeper” at the point of payment, just before funds are released.

Strategic partnerships

Mirels says that startups looking to raise shouldn’t accept funding from any source, but should instead be strategic in their investors.

“Who you get funding from is really important: there are a lot of funds out there looking for good opportunities,” he says. 

“We had private investors wanting to invest, but it was important to ensure that our investors – I call them partners – work with us and give us advice and guidance and introductions.”

EFTsure counts well-known brands Sanitarium and Nick Scali among their customers, with local councils and not-for-profits also using the service.

Our Innovation Fund’s Geoff Levy noted that payments protection is an “essential need world wide” and that EFTsure is in a “pivotal position to capitalise on the growing demand for this need”.

“We understand the average cost of a cybercrime attack to an Australian business is in the order of $276,000,” he said in a statement.

“As a current and former director of several ASX companies, having EFTsure’s payment protection in place – especially in the challenging environment of increasing internal and external payment fraud risk – gives me more comfort.”

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