Credit card provider Mastercard launched the Australian Mastercard Global Tech Hub in Sydney – the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere – in recognition of the city’s, and the country’s, “advanced marketplace and strong start-up community”.
The tech hub is designed to bring together Mastercard’s own employees and start-ups in the payments and wider technology sectors for mutual support to develop and test new product offerings.
“In the next five years, we will see more change in payments than we’ve seen in the previous 50 years,” said Richard Wormald, the company’s division president for Australasia.
“By closing the gap between customers, product and development, businesses of all sizes – enterprises, SMEs or start-ups – are now able to bypass legacy approaches and develop innovation at an accelerated pace.”
It was officially launched by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet.
Meanwhile, beverages giant Coca-Cola Amatil announced that it had partnered with three local start-ups to pilot “ready-to-go” ideas.
Chris Sullivan, Amatil’s group director of partners and growth, revealed the multinational had signed up Bellr, Snooper and Staybil as part of the second phase of its Xcelerate program, which aims to test start-up innovations and concepts within an established business.
Bellr is a platform that delivers promotions and tailored loyalty programs for the hospitality industry while providing consumers with real-time information on events and offerings at venues in their city.
Crowdsourcing and virtual shopper platform Snooper aims to leverage its 35,000-strong community to share real-time experiences with retailers and brands, providing feedback and data that can be used to track customer behaviour.
Staybil is an AI-powered platform designed to use underutilised data to drive efficiencies and improvements, as well as optimise workforces for larger organisations.
“We look for the best and brightest new talent in the areas of sustainable futures, customer experience and route-to-market. We then work together to build or grow their concepts into outcomes which delight our shared customers and deliver timely, creative solutions for business,” Mr Sullivan said.