Receiving the Pearcey NSW Tech Entrepreneur of the Year Award with our co-founders was a great reminder of how far Tyro has come from such humble if ambitious beginnings.

Last week’s presentation was a great honour. The Pearcey Foundation recognises those who have demonstrated outstanding professional, innovative and business achievements in the field of Information Communication Technologies.

Accepting the award with fellow co-founder Peter Haig, and on behalf of our third co-founder Paul Wood and CEO Jost Stollmann, took me back to when we started this journey in 2003.

We three technology entrepreneurs wanted to work together again, this time with the objective of transforming the credit and debit card acquiring market place in Australia — especially for the underserved and overcharged SME community.

Our play was to leverage new technologies such as internet communications, low-cost server hardware, open source projects, the Java programming language and so on to build a payment processing platform that could be operated at low cost while providing highly differentiated features that customers would love.

And deliver a service that was fast, always available and extremely secure.

A year and a half later we met Jost Stollmann, a German entrepreneur who’d being sailing the seven seas, for a couple of years.

Understanding what we were trying to do and why, Jost decided that this “David and Goliath” cause was an adventure that he simply had to be part of. And so this band of maverick outsiders set about changing the banking landscape, from the inside out.

Employees were hired, systems were built, fundraising rounds executed, regulators satisfied and contracts signed. Brick by brick we built this business from a standing start to today where the company is processing transactions at an annual run rate of $10 billion-plus.

Recently, Tyro’s bank licence had all restrictions removed by APRA, allowing us to offer deposit and lending products. Together with the original EFTPOS product these form part of a total integrated banking product and unified customer experience, the like of which has never been seen in Australia.

Tyro’s grand vision for improving the lives of Australia’s SME community has been realised, and continues to be.

Also honoured last week were the founders of Avoka, Digivizer, Expert360, Invoice2Go, Saasu, Sentral Education, Showpo, and WiseTech Global.