Shoppers can help the Australian arts sector when they shop thanks to a new payments fintech, ArtsPay.
Friends Marc Goldenfein, Lara Thoms and Alistair Webster were inspired by a desire to find a new way to support the arts, and created the payment processing startup.
They partnered with global payments company Fiserv and local payment gateway Fat Zebra, to give their retail payments solution a social purpose.
Thoms is a practicing artist and the director of a small arts organisation.
“I know the difficulties Australia’s arts sector has in attracting government and philanthropic funding. I want that to change,” she said.
Goldenfein, the fintech’s CEO, said at least 50% of the profits generated from ArtsPay fees will be distributed to through a new funding body, the ArtsPay Foundation, he plans to launch next year.
ArtsPay received an industry collaboration grant through the Australia Council to consult with the arts community on the Foundation’s grant making structures and to grow the business so it can have a long term impact.
“Over time, our mission is to become a permanent, sustainable source of funding for the arts,” Goldenfein said.
“With support from the business community we can make a huge difference to a sector in crisis, and help it rebuild after the pandemic”.
His co-founder, Alistair Webster, said that rather than retailers paying more fees to the banks or financial institutions in Silicon Valley, the can support the arts sector at no additional cost to the business or their customers.
“For the first time, businesses can choose a payment processor that uses the fees for a good cause, rather than paying those fees to the big banks,” he said.
“Together, the business community can support the arts sector through the recovery and beyond.”
Brands and stores that have joined ArtsPay, include fashion labels Alpha60 and Bul, jewellery stores Lucy Folk and Pieces of Eight, the Sydney Contemporary art fair and Melbourne wine store Rathdowne Cellars.
Melanie Katsalidis, founder of Pieces of Eight, said many of her customers are artists themselves.
“We are thrilled to be a founding member of what we hope will be a large group of businesses throwing their support behind artists and arts organisations,” she said.
“They need additional support now more than ever after immense challenges resulting from the pandemic”
The Australia Council’s strategic partnerships executive director Georgie McClean said the cultural and creative industries were among the hardest hit by the pandemic.
“We know that without innovative new forms of funding, it will be a long road back for many artists and small arts organisations,” she said.
“The investment in the Sector Recovery Initiatives supports the sector to re-imagine practice and operations, and test ideas and models for a more resilient, equitable and thriving future.”
More details at artspay.com