From corporate world to tech start-up during lockdown

Walking away from almost three-decades in banking at the height of a pandemic to take the top spot of a start-up business would be seen as a leap of faith by some.

But Greg Beehre saw it as the perfect time to join Centrapay, a company enabling the most modern technology to help businesses and consumers connect and pay for products and services.

Centrapay started two years ago, with a focus on next generation technology to personalise the business and consumer payment experience. The Centrapay team have developed the most modern and connected payment network enabling any app to transact on any device.

In that time, it has grown to 18 staff and is riding the wave of new opportunities emerging with the massive transformation of how people pay and interact with businesses.

Another significant change for the sector is the recent introduction of the Government’s Retail Payment System Bill, which will introduce a new regulatory regime for the New Zealand retail payments system. This regime is designed to drive more competition and investment in the domestic payments network, with the aim to ensure systems operate in the interests of consumers and businesses.

Greg Beehre says people have had to adapt in all aspects of their lives as a result of the worldwide pandemic, and technology has been the key enabler in allowing adaptability.

“The way we pay and interact with business is evolving and technology is at the centre of that. It wasn’t that long ago that people opted to pay with cheque or cash – and now many businesses don’t accept either.”

This rapid change for global markets is continuing and is transforming the demand and use of physical cash, he says.

“What we have seen is that Covid has given a lot of people an increased awareness in the likes of QR codes, which in turn will see greater acceptance of this being a more convenient way to transfer payments. QR codes are now widely used and provide a seamless experience for both the consumer and the business.”

While Greg Beehre has moved into a new company, he comes from a long history of working in the payments arena. Most recently he spent 10 years as ASB’s General Manager Global Transaction Banking team.

He says one of the key attractions of Centrapay was the depth of talent already in the business with a strong payment experience at both board and shareholder level. The company also claims some of the most advanced payments infrastructure.

“Businesses are wanting to capitalise on the changing way people and businesses interact, and there is an increased appetite to look to New Zealand start-ups to deliver innovation at pace. New Zealand really is respected around the world and the way we work means we can deliver our products and innovation to anywhere – it is exciting to be part of that.

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