Member Profile : Sniip 

I've known Damien Vasta, the CEO and founder of Sniip, since 2017. We were introduced by a mutual friend, Darren Halpin. Since then, I've followed Damien's journey closely, checking in, helping where I could, and catching up at various fintech events. His relentless drive to survive and thrive in the competitive fintech landscape has always impressed me.

I've known Damien Vasta, the CEO and founder of Sniip, since 2017. We were introduced by a mutual friend, Darren Halpin. Since then, I've followed Damien's journey closely, checking in, helping where I could, and catching up at various fintech events. His relentless drive to survive and thrive in the competitive fintech landscape has always impressed me.

The Genesis of Sniip

Sniip's story began in 2013, rooted in Brisbane, the city Damien proudly calls home. The idea of Sniip emerged almost by accident, focusing initially on improving the e-commerce experience on mobile devices. Damien and his team wanted to create a seamless, native mobile payment experience, using QR codes, inspired by successful implementations in China through WeChat and Alipay.

Early Challenges and Pivot Points

In the early years, the reception of QR codes in Australia was lukewarm. Many considered QR codes outdated, used mainly to link to websites or videos. However, Damien saw their potential in facilitating quick and easy bill payments. This vision was initially met with skepticism, but the COVID-19 pandemic brought a renaissance for QR codes, proving Damien's foresight correct.

Despite the innovative approach, getting large organisations to adopt this new payment method was challenging. The bureaucratic nature of these entities meant a slow and often reluctant acceptance. Realising the need for a pivot, Damien and his team explored integrating with existing systems like BPAY, which allowed them to offer a wider range of bill payment options without needing each biller's direct cooperation.

Strategic Partnerships and Growth

A significant turning point for Sniip was becoming a Payer Institution Member (PIM) of the BPAY scheme in 2019. This move opened the door to offering customers the opportunity to pay every BPAY-enabled bill with Sniip, marking a crucial step in the company’s growth journey. Another major milestone was the strategic partnership with American Express. By offering American Express at competitive rates, Sniip attracted a loyal customer base keen on maximising their points accumulation while paying their bills, including tax payments.

Innovations and Market Expansion

As a tech company, Sniip has continually evolved, always aiming to enhance the bill payment experience for its users. One of their latest innovations, launched in November last year, allows payments to non-BPAY billers (payments to a biller’s BSB and Account Number). This means users can pay any bill - whether from a small business or a major corporation, using their preferred payment method, through the Sniip app. This development is an absolute game-changer for both bill-payers and billers, especially small businesses that struggle with cash-flow resulting from late payments.

The Vision Ahead

Looking ahead, Sniip's vision is clear. The company aims to provide every Australian (business and consumer) the ability to pay every bill, using any payment method, on their own terms. The upcoming launch of its comprehensive biller web portal, featuring integrated accounting software for seamless reconciliation, is poised to revolutionize how businesses manage and receive payments in the 21st century and beyond. By streamlining financial operations, enhancing accuracy, and reducing manual effort, this innovative solution will set new standards for efficiency and financial management, sparking important conversations about the future of business payments.

Conclusion

Damien Vasta's journey with Sniip is a tale of resilience that’s testament to grit and determination of a founder going ‘all-in’ to ensure the success of his business. It has been a demonstration in resilience, agility and perseverance. 

From its simple beginnings as a disruptive mobile payment app, to partnering with some of the biggest names in the global payments space, Sniip has transformed into a market-leading bill payment platform while keeping operations entirely and development on-shore in Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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