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Tyro appoints former PayPal Australia executive Kareem Al-Bassam as its new head of product

Four months after appointing a new CEO, Sydney-based fintech company Tyro Payments has announced Kareem Al-Bassam as its Head of Product.

The role has been newly created through the splitting of the Head of Product and Engineering position; Paul Peterson, Tyro’s current head of product and engineering, will head up the engineering function while Al-Bassam will tasked with leading the ongoing development of Tyro’s banking and payments products.

Al-Bassam has over a decade of experience in the payments technology space, founding PayPal Credit in Australia and launching PayPal Working Capital, the company’s small business lending product, in 2014.

Allowing small businesses to borrow up to 25 percent of their yearly PayPal sales, to a maximum of $97,000, PayPal Working Capital originated over $100 million in loans in its first two years of operation in Australia.

Gerd Schenkel, CEO of Tyro, said the company was excited to attract someone of Al-Bassam’s talent.

“Kareem brings enormous insight, experience and vision about payments and banking from around the world. He will strengthen our leadership and management team at a time of rapid growth for Tyro,” he said.

”He knows what it’s like to compete against the established banking sector using technology and an innovative customer-first approach. Tyro has ambitious plans to continue our extraordinary growth path, and Kareem will help drive our NextGen banking and payments offering.”

Al-Bassam said he is joining Tyro at an important time in its growth.

“Tyro has a unique set of assets in mission, technology, culture and scale to disrupt the traditional banking sector for the benefit of Australia’s two million small and medium sized businesses,” he said.

“Tyro’s customer-centred approach means we can identify and address unmet needs. In conjunction with its technology-driven approach, Tyro can meet those needs faster and more effectively than the traditional banks.”

The company has been vocal about its vision to become a fully-fledged bank.

After raising $100 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global in late 2015, Tyro last year attained a banking licence – the first Australian technology company to be granted a full banking licence – allowing it to accept deposits and lend money to Australian businesses.

Tyro reports it now serves over 16,000 small businesses across Australia, processing $8.6 billion in transactions and generating over $95 million revenue in the last financial year.

Image: Kareem Al-Bassam. Source: Supplied.

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