Q&A: Anthony Drury, UK Managing Director, Zip
Zip is a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) pioneer, disrupting the broken credit card model with faster, more flexible ways to pay.
Anthony, can you tell us a bit about your background?
I’m currently leading Zip’s global expansion here in the UK as Managing Director.
Prior to Zip, my career has spanned international business development, ecommerce and payments transformation – with senior executive roles at PayPal, American Express and easyJet across Europe and Asia Pacific.
What does your company do? / What is your USP?
Zip is a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) pioneer, disrupting the broken credit card model with faster, more flexible ways to pay. We’re an Australian-headquartered company, founded in 2013 and we have over 5.7 million customers across the globe. With offices in Australia, the US, Canada, New Zealand and the UK, Zip is continuing to increase its global presence across the rest of Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Americas.
BNPL allows customers to complete the transaction on a product but defer some or most of the payment to a later date. This brings forward purchasing power, makes transactions faster and easier, and caters to mobile-centric shopping.
Our flexible ‘Pay in Four’ product allows customers to pay for products worth under £1000 through four interest-free instalments. We partner with retailers across a range of sectors – from homeware and entertainment to fashion, sport, health & beauty, groceries, and travel – to allow their customers to buy items and spread the payment.
Our leading technology, infrastructure and product offer globally means that we can extend our range of products in the UK in 2021 and beyond, which is really exciting.
What’s special about the platform and your approach?
Zip will be one of the first to offer an omnichannel BNPL solution in the UK, providing the choice and flexibility that we know from our research consumers want. You can start the same user journey in two places: either at the online checkout or in store by downloading the ‘Tap & Zip’ app and using it to pay anywhere that Visa is accepted.
We’re focused on offering transparent, responsible and fairly priced products and working closely and collaboratively with all of our retail partners to seamlessly embed the Zip platform and deliver a first-class customer experience.
What does implementation actually look like and how do you ensure success?
We have a dedicated integration team to help retailers seamlessly embed Zip into their checkout and we work collaboratively with our retail partners. Our goal is always to create a first-class customer experience that helps retailers offer their customers this more flexible way to pay, in turn, helping retailers create stronger relationships with their customers and drive their business performance.
How are retailers using your systems to gain competitive advantage and what does best practice look like?
With our global footprint working with more than 38,500 merchants, we have developed world-leading technology and infrastructure. This includes our app that allows consumers to manage their Zip balance and see all of their online and offline spending in one easy to manage place.
Our global network offers major growth opportunities for UK retailers looking to grow into new markets; they can integrate once with us and access customers worldwide.
Are there other companies you partner with?
Since Zip was founded in 2013 in Sydney, Australia we’ve grown at pace. A significant milestone in our global expansion was the acquisition of the US Buy Now, Pay Later firm Quadpay in 2020.
Our UK ecommerce channel partnerships include BigCommerce, Shopify and Stripe. These help to boost ease of integration for retailers and simplify the process of offering and accepting Buy Now, Pay Later payment.
In the UK we are working with retailers across a really broad range of sectors, from large household names to some fantastic SMEs and start-ups. They include Homebase, Boohoo, The Fragrance Shop, Celtic FC, Crystal Palace FC, Alternative Airlines, Fanatics, Fashion Nova, The Game Collection, Hype, JTF Mega Discount Warehouse, Marks Electrical, Never Fully Dressed, Oh Polly, Perkbox, ShopTo and Wave Direct, to name a few.
What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail for 2021?
The future retail experience needs to let consumers transition seamlessly between channels. Retailers must have a strong presence on and offline and provide choice across and greater customer experience at every touchpoint.
Shopping behaviours have shifted in two directions in the wake of the pandemic, too – online of course, but also the renewed meaning behind shopping locally and supporting small businesses – it’s not just large retailers that will need to consider their omnichannel strategy and offer choice for customers. We are working with multinational brands as well as smaller retailers to maximise the opportunities that Buy Now, Pay Later can offer.
Millennial shoppers, who were the original target audience of this technology, are increasingly changing their buying habits. They’ve moved to using it in a much wider range of industries, reflective of the fact they’re purchasing homes and having families. You can see this from our varied retail client base.
How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?
Adoption was already growing significantly and will only accelerate with the massive shift we’ve seen to online shopping over the last year.
Now we’ve launched in the UK, we’re really well placed to bring more Zip products already used by merchants and consumers in Australia, New Zealand and the US – to this market in 2021 and meet the changing needs and expectations of retailers and consumers.
We have a brilliant team of fintech and ecommerce experts globally and are growing a brilliant team in the UK that works closely with our retail partners and customers.
What is on the horizon for you as a company?
Research by Worldpay released in February 2021 predicts that BNPL spending in the UK will balloon from £9.6 billion in 2020 to £26.4 billion in 2024. We will work hand-in-hand with our growing community of retailers, to help guide them through this fast-changing environment.
In the future, we’ll bring more flexibility to the app and integrate things like personal finance management tools. There is a lot of potential crossover in combining payments with things like loyalty and rewards.
At the same time, usage will expand to other sectors and become more mainstream and more expected.
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