Chances are, you have already used QPay or know someone who has. In fact, if you’re in a club or society and have bought a membership or a ticket to an event online, you’ve certainly used QPay.
It’s the Canberra-based start-up company that’s attracting students and millennials around the country and overseas, and a UC student is responsible for its rapid expansion.
Ahmed Elshearif is a third-year Politics and International Relations student at the University of Canberra and, at just 23-years-old, has carried the job title of Head of Growth at Qpay for over a year.
Ahmed says he landed the job after saying yes to an opportunity to help the company sell at ANU a casual job that, after being approached by one of the founders, also took him to Queensland and Melbourne.
“After a while, they asked if I wanted to do a trial for a position they had and I didn’t really think anything of it. I didn’t think it was going to be a Head of Growth role where I’ve got so many responsibilities.
“So, they offered me the role and I took it. That was a year ago,” says Ahmed.
Currently, one in five Australian uni students use QPay, but the company has also tapped into the UK market, a project Ahmed was at the forefront of.
“The first day on the job was in the UK, they flew me out for a whole month. I went to Oxford and Cambridge University and got societies and colleges to use us there. That was a really great experience,” says Ahmed.
Now, 24-thousand UK students across Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh and Durham universities are using QPay.
Having major responsibility over a thriving app and banking service while juggling part-time study has its challenges, but Ahmed says his degree is still an important part of his life.
“Even though it’s not something so relevant to my work, learning more about politics is an interest to me.
I feel like it’s a good thing – it contributes to me overall as a person and you never know, it may apply one day,” says Ahmed
The most difficult thing for Ahmed, though, has been learning to juggle multiple commitments.
“I was never someone who was good at time management, but it’s made me that person and I’ve definitely grown from working at QPay and studying at UC,” says Ahmed.
Recently, QPay well and truly caught Australia’s attention after Ahmed’s colleagues, Andrew Clapham, Moe Satti, Zaki Bouguettaya, went on Channel Ten’s, Shark Tank, and convinced two Sharks to invest in their future, otherwise known as QPay Swipe.
QPay Swipe works like a debit card and is the perfect student financial friend and manager. Manager because like any other bank, it tracks your money and records your income and spending’s and friend because unlike other banks, it offers you discounts for the places you regularly buy from.
For example, if you visited Coffee Grounds on campus every day, QPay Swipe would pick up on that and offer you deals. This recommendation system can apply to anything from discounts on your Spotify and Netflix accounts, a ticket to the Isaacs Law Society Ball, and textbooks from the Co-Op.
Over 300 UC students have signed up for QPay swipe, 2300 from ANU, and a total of 20,000 students across Australia are on the waitlist.
For other students thinking about taking a risk while at uni, Ahmed suggests just going for it and pursuing what you want in life.
“When I first started studying, I didn’t know what to do – I even changed my degree twice at the beginning. If you just go for it, you will figure it out through trial and error. Don’t be afraid,” says Ahmed.
Ahmed expects QPay will be visiting UC again sometime this semester to provide students with information and the opportunity to find out more.