As the Ian Harper Competition Review seeks to examine not only the current laws, but the broader competition framework, to increase productivity and efficiency in markets, Tyro is pleased to contribute the perspective and experience of an innovative, fast growth new entrant into the banking space and an advocate for the Australian small-to-medium business community.

Most of Australia’s two million trading businesses are small-to-medium businesses (SME) and they are the engines of employment, innovation and growth. They employ almost 70 per cent of the workforce.

The Australian banking system has found it difficult to support the SME community with efficient transactional banking and funding solutions. It might very well be up to new players using new approaches to provide the overdue solutions. To have a go, they need access and a level playing field.

However, as Tyro battled for access, market entry and critical mass, it observed first hand a culture among the major retail banks that is guided by “what can one get away with.” Hindering access to new entrants, stifling investment into the inter-bank infrastructure, discriminating settlement, bundling and cross-subsidising are common practice.

To address this issue Tyro recommends:

  1. A strengthening of the Competition Law, including as put forward in Recommendations 25 and 28, which would hopefully create an impetus for an ACCC Inquiry into anti-competitive structures and behaviours in the Australian payment space dominated by the four major retail banks.
  2. A review of Australian public procurement policies and procedures with a view to promote competition and innovation through open panel tendering of payment services.

Further, given the network nature of the payment system and its crucial importance as a foundational piece of national infrastructure, Tyro also believes that an engaged regulator will always be necessary to ensure the payment system is best serving the broader community.

Tyro is the new entrant challenging the banking establishment. We are proud that there is one Tyro innovating and competing successfully in a core banking process, but where are the others? The country needs more of these high growth companies.

If the Review of Competition Policy encouraged innovative, start-up and growth companies through open access and a level playing field, there would be more companies such as Tyro starting and scaling up in Australia instead of Silicon Valley.