“Cash is king – borrow and take investment before you need it”

Name: 

Geraldine Wilson

Role and company: 

Managing Director of WorldPay Zinc

Company turnover (and most recent ebitda/most relevant profitability metric):

WorldPay Zinc launched in June 2013, so it’s still very early days. Our parent company, WorldPay Group, has revenue of £3,089m, and EBITDA £305m.

Employee numbers:

We have 60 employees in the WorldPay Zinc team.

Growth forecast for the next three years:

We want to grow WorldPay Zinc to be a £100m+ EBITDA business. The UK’s micro-business market is significant but largely untapped. We see this as a major growth opportunity for the business.

In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace:

  • No monthly fees, pay just 2.75 per cent per transaction;
  • Sign-up in five minutes;
  • State of the art mobile Chip & PIN keypad which works with our app;
  • No one is refused for credit reasons;
  • Money in your bank within four business days; and
  • Keypads sold in retail outlets for the first time.

What’s the big vision for your business?

WorldPay Zinc’s vision is to become the leading payment partner for small businesses, helping them grow by providing great, reliable and easy to use payment services.

Current level of international business, and future aspirations:

Currently, WorldPay Zinc is only available in the UK, following our launch in July 2013.  We are reviewing opportunities to expand the WorldPay Zinc service internationally, starting with Europe. 

Biggest career setback and what you learned from it:

During my career, I’ve learnt that cash is king and that you should borrow and take investment before you really need it. Otherwise, you put yourself at the mercy of lenders and that isn’t always a good place to be.

What makes you mad in business today?

It annoys me when people give me stupid reasons as to why I can’t do something obvious.

What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years?

People will continue to fall out of love with cash. They will increasingly want to pay small businesses by debit or credit card and I see a big rise in contactless card payments as well. Mobiles will be progressively Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled, which means we will pay for things by simply tapping our phones on a contactless payment terminal. There’s huge potential for this to go beyond just payment cards as well. Loyalty cards and coupons will follow in suit, something that I’d personally love to see. One day I’d like to get rid of all the plastic cards that take up space in my wallet.

Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow? If not, what can be done to improve things?

Some new technologies, like NFC, have been a long time coming and it’s been hard for small, innovative companies to raise finance in that uncertainty. More government backing and an encouraged co-ordination of industry initiatives like the rollout of contactless payments and NFC could be useful to keep the UK at the forefront of new technologies and services.

How would others describe your leadership style?

I lead from the front. I am always working on the next big thing which means that I’m really challenging and passionate about reaching our goals. I like strong people around me who can stand the heat and make big things happen.

Your biggest personal extravagance?

Clothes – I love fashion.

You’ve got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK’s independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper:

We need easy access to finance, loans and grants. Pick certain sectors to champion and have innovative support programmes that will help small businesses in that space to punch above their weight on the international scene. That way, maybe the UK can develop some more global giants of its own, as opposed to selling out to the US and other countries.

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