With Xero’s “beautiful” accounting software, Tyro’s totally integrated and mobile nextGen banking and our shared vision for Australia’s SMEs, it may just be a match made in heaven.

Listening to Xero Managing Director (Australia) Trent Innes (pictured) speak at our inaugural Tyro nextGen Business Banking Summit today about its Vision for a Connected Word gave me great hope.

He spoke of Xero’s incredible growth in the last decade, a love of everything cloud, and how technology was revolutionising their industry. Trent said he was seeing a “rewiring of the small business economy”.

He could have easily been talking about Tyro. It just showed how similar the story of our two companies are, how we have both (despite the challenges) flourished in that same time, and more importantly how much our vision for Australia is a shared one.

In Tyro’s case, we have grown from just an idea from three Australian engineers to today’s 300-plus Tyros delivering nextGen banking to Australian SMEs: a totally cloud-based, totally mobile and integrated banking model. Amazing.

But watching him speak also made it abundantly clear where our focus should be (and stay) for the future. It’s must be about the SME, the true driver (and major employer) of the Australian economy. There is no mining boom to fall back on. This is the group that the country’s prosperity will depend.

And it’s what Tyro, with Xero, can do together to help that community that will define us.

Helping SMEs working smarter, not harder

We understand from our own research, that we can all work smarter rather than harder.

The recent Tyro SME Banking Report found 44 percent of SMEs (880,000 businesses) spend more than three hours a week checking, entering, paying and reconciling data, costing each an average of $7,800 a year which adds up to a total of $7 billion nationally.

But how do we make an impact? How can we enable such a major change? With partners like Xero, we think we have the answer.

For too long, SMEs have been burdened with setting up unwanted business accounts which come with little in the way of features but a lot in the way of fees from the banks for the pleasure. Now there is an alternative.

With our Tyro Smart Account, in what we think is an Australian first, you can approve bill payments out of Xero with a tap on your iPhone (and soon Android), have your banking and Xero accounting seamlessly reconciled, earn bonus interest and not pay any fees. That’s right. No fees.

With the Tyro Smart Account, your EFTPOS banking, bill payments and accounting is now totally integrated. It not only allows you to manage batch payments with ease but the integration means you don’t need to log into online banking or download cumbersome ABA files. And it’s all so simple and based on data feeds that can be set up in minutes.

And better still, you keep control because you are not handing over your banking details to your bookkeeper or accountant.

I remember with fondness the day those at Xero first saw the Tyro Smart Account, and said how much like Xero it was in terms of touch and feel. That is a true compliment.

Changing the way we do lending

Just like Xero, our business is based on a real understanding of small and medium-sized business. For years, SMEs have been at the mercy of the big banks who have made their life a world of pain.

They have stunted growth and innovation in this country because of outdated, outmoded technologies and worst still, old ways of thinking. That has now changed. Tyro’s nextGen banking is a complete rethink of how we should be approaching small business financing.

Our vision is all about being fair and transparent in our banking model with the SME at the centre. That’s how Tyro Smart Growth Funding came into being. It has to be easy to access, comes with a flat fee, and one of the key obstacles for SMEs, have no need for collateral.

You don’t even have to apply. Through one app on your mobile device, you can accept an offer from Tyro with a few taps on your phone, and have the funds you need within minutes.

So if you’re at a tradeshow and want to buy $20,000 in stock you just hit the button, receive the money and can pay for it on the spot.

Investing in the SME community

We are not just talking the talk, we are walking the walk. Tyro today announced that we will provide up to 10 grants of $25,000 each to businesses with the best ideas in an effort to encourage Australian SMEs.

Through our Smart Growth Grant Program, we want to help them kick-start their next phase of growth. As part of that drive, we will also be crowdsourcing ideas we can share with the business community to help close the efficiency gap.

The journey has just begun

We are realistic. There’s still a lot of work to be done until all frictions to banking are removed. We know we still have a way to go with nextGen banking. But with partners like Xero, we’ve made one of the best possible starts to create beautiful banking.