Going global with Direct Flights
We love seeing success stories about Aussie businesses expanding overseas. Travel booking platform 'Direct Flights' started out in Sydney by aggregating flight deals for Aussie travellers looking to snag a bargain. It’s now available for travellers of all budgets, globally.
From Australia to the world
In just over nine years, Direct Flights has grown into an international operation with continued expansion on the horizon. They now operate in four different markets, with domestic and international customers, expanding to another two markets soon.
Direct Flight’s goal was to grow a sustainable business from the very beginning.
"Soon after starting the business, we realised that we needed to keep breaking into new markets. We had a particular focus on Asia as we’ve realised that there is tremendous growth in the region and presents an amazing opportunity for us," said Direct Flights managing director Nay Phu Tran.
“The payments landscape in Australia was relatively easy for us to navigate – there are just four big banks and we had a pretty good understanding of the acquirers and gateways available. Overseas, the landscape is very different.”
A key component of Direct Flight’s success was working with the right partners. As part of their international business expansion strategy they identified the need for local experts to support in-market.
“When we started looking into new markets, it all got really complex – particularly payments. Fat Zebra made it easy for us to find the right connections to be able to process overseas and be available wherever our customers were, in the right currencies.” Nay Phu Tran, Managing Director - Direct Flights.
“We have needed different facilities and capabilities at different times during our expansion, and Fat Zebra allowed us to add and enhance difference layers of our payment solution as we needed.”
At the same time, Direct Flights has been enhancing their technology stack and making investments into the customer experience to ensure as much success domestically and internationally as possible. The ability to scale into new markets was key for their business.
“We were happy with the deals and the service we were providing for our customers, and knew that it would resonate with customers overseas. To scale successfully into these new markets, we really had to make sure we had the payments piece right.”
As well the ability to expand into new markets, having flexibility and optionality in how they process has been essential for Direct Flights. Given the nature of airline tickets being a substantial price, having a robust fraud solution is also a priority.
“Ultimately, the two things that are most important for us when looking for a payments partner are; flexibility, so we can continue to grow and scale, and a sophisticated solid fraud solution. Fat Zebra ticks both of these boxes.”
Direct Flights is committed to supporting the Australian economy and tourism industry.
“We're concerned that after the bushfires and COVID-19, Australia needs as much support as possible. Until we are in a place where overseas customers can come back and explore Australia, we're continuing to help our customers get home - wherever that may be, and discover new places in their country."
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