Payo CEO Taf Chiwanza

Payote profile: CEO Taf Chiwanza

Behind the payo brand is a pack of passionate payotes who’ve spent years navigating their way through the wild hospo landscape, learning the ins and outs of the national food scene we all love. One of those payotes is our Co-Founder and CEO, Taf Chiwanza.

Taking up the reigns of Chief Executive Officer in late 2020, Taf has spent his time at payo overseeing the implementation of as many delicious features, perks, venues and promotions as possible, shaping payo into the smorgasbord of culinary experiences we know it as today.

Suffice to say, Taf has a lot on his plate. That being said, he did recently spare us some time for a bite-sized chat about all things food.


Taf, what was the inspiration behind creating payo?

We wanted to introduce tech to hopso that would be a win-win for both the consumer and the merchants. Buy Now Pay Later was the perfect catalyst for that based on the consumer demand in retail. We always had our sights set on being a full payments platform for hospitality, and payo checkout is the evolution of a win-win for both the consumer and the merchants.


Everybody’s gotta eat, but who exactly was payo created for?

Payo was created for the people who want to enjoy a new and better way to pay (and eat!). Those who want to upgrade their dining out experiences without breaking the bank. Now – with payo – this can be done by splitting your bill into four easy payments or using our self-checkout technology in the venue.


Why do you think Australia’s food scene is so rich and vibrant?

It’s because of Australia’s different cultures and our fearless approach to breaking rules. Our diverse population has created a wide selection of unique, authentic eats and just as strong now is our selection of fusion restaurants. Australians are adventurous by nature, and they have brought that same attitude to dining with experimentation that has created some of the best dining experiences around.


Why is supporting the hospo biz so important to you?

I’ve spent over ten years in food tech, and I’ve continually seen businesses launch and take advantage of hospitality by putting themselves first at the cost of the restaurants, usually by charging high commissions. Restaurants are so important to the fabric of Australian culture, so it’s critical we give them every opportunity to thrive.


What can we as Aussie diners do to help local businesses get back on their feet?

Simple – supporting local is always a good start. Better yet, head over to the CBD if you can!


How does payo make you more mindful of your money, and why was that an important part of the app’s design?

Australians like to eat out, and we wanted to be part of that lifestyle in a responsible way. That’s why we designed payo to help you track the cost of your lifestyle. Now, you can see how much you’re spending on your dining out budget and even better manage your cash flow, all from the touch of a few buttons.


What secret ingredient makes payo the perfect dining partner?

The option to upgrade your experience. To be able to treat yourself to that degustation you’ve been dreaming of while also better managing your cash flow.


What’s your go-to venue on the app?

A local gem in Richmond called Kekou.


What’s one venue you’re dying to visit?

Botswana Butchery when it opens in Melbourne.


If you had to eat a cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Argentinian food!


You’ve met Taf, but have you met our app? It’s every bit as sweet as it sounds. You can learn more about payo here. Alternatively, to get fresh updates, exclusive offers and venue announcements sent straight to your inbox or social feed, follow us on Instagram or subscribe to our newsletter.



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