Role and company:CEO of Zapp
Employee numbers:50 and growing fast as we go to market in 2014.
Growth forecast for the next three years:In the next 36 months we forecast that millions of people will have done a Zapp transaction, over half of all bank accounts will be enabled with Zapp functionality and 1,000s of online, mobile and real world retailers will be accepting Zapp payments.
In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace?Zapp is the only payment solution that puts real time payments on mobile phones for the benefit of consumers, financial institutions and retailers. Zapp allows people to make payments in real-time seeing their balance before they pay for goods and services. This simplicity allows retailers to sell more at lower cost.
What’s the big vision for your business?We will own payments on the mobile phone for millions of consumers. Just by using their existing bank account and mobile phone they will be able to forget their wallets both real world and digital. Zapp delivers convenience, security and simplicity for the consumer – no confusing new things to sign up for, no new passwords to remember, just your bank account, your existing mobile banking app and your smartphone. Zapp puts the bank account back at the heart of payments and helps retailers sell more at lower cost. Zapp is a once in a generation opportunity to create a digital first payment eco-system.
Current level of international business, and future aspirations:We launch in the UK in 2014 and are actively exploring international markets after the UK.
Biggest career setback and what you learned from it:One of the biggest career challenges that I’ve faced was after 2000 and the furore after the millennium bug. The industry predicted huge PC sales but the market halved. I was Marketing Director of PC World at the time and it was hugely pressured. We turned it around but the experience taught me you can never out run the market.
What makes you mad in business today?Bureaucracy and red-tape: winning in business is all about speed and execution. There are always many reasons not to do something and it’s easy to create complex processes which actually add little value. The value is in the doing. We need a more entrepreneurial, faster economy – reducing barriers to people realising their potential by creating growing businesses must be a priority. That’s what Zapp is all about – mobilising money – making money flow faster, more securely and at lower cost.
What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years?The continued impact of digital technology will bring about significant changes in our market. Within the financial sector there is very little that can’t be digitised. We have had internet banking, which has only recently evolved into mobile banking. Next in line will be mobile payments and over the next two – three years I expect to see tremendous innovation in the ability to use your smartphone as a payment tool. Out of this innovation I expect Zapp to become frontrunner. Zapp is a simple solution to understand, it’s based on familiar institutions (banks/retailers) that consumers can easily relate to and it uses robust, secure and proven technology.
Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow? If not, what can be done to improve things?There are a huge number of new businesses attracting funding in the payments industry at the moment. Given the penetration of smartphones and cloud computing there is now a lot of focus and money flowing into new ways of paying.
How would others describe your leadership style?Collaborative, trusting and demanding. I learnt from my career in retail and financial services that great people getting things done fast in a high trust culture is the key to winning.
Your biggest personal extravagance?My five children.
You’ve got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK’s independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper:Get out of the way and make it unbelievably easy for anyone to set up new business and access finance. By Shané Schutte
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