In the middle of the dotcom bubble, Matt Bullock thought it would be a good idea to create a secure payment gateway that made it hassle free to accept credit cards online. His friends thought he was crazy. Nevertheless, he founded eWAY in Canberra in 1998 – giving one guy a case of beer to create a banner, and another a case of beer to design a logo.
Matt wrote the code himself. At that time, the connection to the web server was 64k and the business ran on one server. He placed an ad in Internet magazine NetGuide and found his first customer, a Queensland man who sold bike parts.
Fast-forward 17 years and eWAY has grown to 18,000 customers, with international operations three data centres and hundreds of servers, and has processed AU$4.6 billion – about 25% of the Internet purchases in Australia last year. Only a small part of the original ASP code Matt wrote remains – running the engine.