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Press release

New report by Zeller reveals that over 1 in 2 regional business owners feel negatively impacted by bank closures

22 March 2022

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA —Today Zeller announced the release of the Zeller Regional Report: Shining a Spotlight on Regional Businesses. The new research, based upon a survey of 420 Zeller merchants trading across metro and non-metro areas, explores the regional business boom, uncovers top-of-mind challenges for merchants, sentiment towards the big four banks following increasing branch closures in regional areas, and what the growing opportunities are for regional business owners following the impacts of pandemic-triggered lockdowns.

With a record number of Australians packing their bags for a regional tree-change in the past two years, economies and communities outside of the capital cities are undergoing a rapid transformation. Zeller’s research indicates that business owners in regional areas feel disproportionately impacted by closures of local incumbent bank branches, a finding which supports the increasing adoption of new technology to support regional business payments and financial services.
  • Majority of regional regional businesses are impacted by branch closures: More than 1 in 2 (53%) regional businesses say they have been negatively impacted by big-4 branch closures.
  • Customer service worsens after branch closures: 81% of regional respondents say they received worse customer support from their incumbent bank after their local branch closed.
  • Regional businesses believe profit-chasing is driving bank branch closures: 57% of regional business owners feel that banks are leaving regional areas to grow profits.
  • Regional businesses prefer a non-big four financial services partner: 67% of non-metro businesses prefer a non-big four payments and financial services provider.
Australian merchants are embracing new financial services and payments technology providers — like Zeller — who offer integrated payments, transaction accounts, and business Mastercards backed by reliable uptime and accessible, local support. It’s a move that is enabling regional business owners to accept payments and manage their finances without the traditional, archaic banking infrastructure of the big four.

For Bendigo-based entrepreneurs Matilda and Paris, who opened hair salon Hair & Halo in January 2022, the decision on which payment provider to choose was simple. “I sat down with my Dad, who used to work at a bank. We started with the terminals offered by the big-4, but we googled “best EFTPOS terminals” and found Zeller,” commented Matilda. “I like the fact you can purchase the terminal, and it’s yours forever. Everyone else makes you rent. Plus, our clients say Zeller looks amazing — it really fits with our aesthetic.”

Zeller continues to see growing demand from regional businesses for its services, as the big four banks’ retreat from regional Australia accelerates.“With more than 4 in 5 merchants saying that they received worse customer service following a branch closure, Zeller is committed to filling the gap the big four are leaving in regional Australia by delivering a financial services solution that’s backed by outstanding support and reliable uptime,” commented Ben Pfisterer, Zeller CEO and co-founder. “Regional business owners have demonstrated resilience through lockdowns, floods, bushfires and tough trading conditions. With over 42% of businesses signing up for Zeller being based outside of the capital cities, we’re committed to exceeding their expectations by delivering a financial services solution which enables them to focus on not only running their business, but growing it.”

Click here to read the Zeller Regional Report.


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