Anthony Drury, Managing Director at Zip UK
"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."
Date founded: 2013
Customers: 38,500 retail partners and 5.7 million end-users
What does your company do?
Zip is a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) pioneer, disrupting the broken credit card model with faster, more flexible ways to pay.
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.
Globally, more than 5.7 million people choose to pay with Zip online and in-store. 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 over four interest-free instalments.
There are other players in this space – what is your USP?
Our flexible ‘Pay in Four’ product allows customers to pay for products worth under £1000 through four interest-free instalments.
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.
Our global network also offers major growth opportunities for UK retailers looking to grow into new markets. They can integrate once with us and access customers worldwide.
Why do retailers need to embrace this market?
Adoption was already growing significantly and will only accelerate with the massive shift we’ve seen to online shopping over the last year.
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.
Which retailers do you work with?
In the UK we are working with retailers across a really broad range of sectors, from large household names to some fantastic SMEs and startups. 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 have been the main points in your expansion?
Zip was founded in 2013 in Sydney Australia and has grown internationally and at pace ever since. A significant milestone in our global expansion was with the acquisition of the US Buy Now, Pay Later firm Quadpay in 2020.
Now launched in the UK, we’re very 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.
We have a brilliant team of fintech and ecommerce experts globally and are growing a brilliant team in the UK.
How are you using emerging technology to support retail growth?
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.
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. The app also provides opportunities for retailers to reach new customers.
What do you see as challenges for retailers and suppliers in the near future?
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.
What targets are you aiming to achieve in the next five years?
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.