Zip Co (My Current Employer)
Zip Co is a publically listed FinTech company in the ASX300 that offers consumers digital flexible payment options and financial management solutions. We aim to help our customers save and spend in an ethical and transparent manner. And envision ourselves as becoming the first payment method of choice - anytime & anywhere.
We align ourselves strategically with businesses to offer a number of Buy Now, Pay Later solutions that can help increase sales conversions and average order values.
We strive to be unlike others in the industry – we partner with businesses and customers alike to create transparent, responsible, and fairly priced consumer credit products and are here to do things very differently for a change.
If you would like to partner with Zip, then please reach out to Darren on LinkedIn
(2019 - Current) Product Manager (Pocketbook) @ Zip Co
The G&I team was dissolved in ~Oct 2018, and I moved to the Product Team, where I conceptualised, formed a team and delivered our gift cards initiative using an internal Hackathon as the vehicle to do so – an initiative that is now amongst our highest grossing channels of revenue.
I also setup a user research function and strategy, completed a number of UX research initiatives, coded a connector to a major POS-Fintech cloud platform to open Zip up to everyday spend in food, restaurants and cafes, and utilized my biz dev skills (and relationships) to open doors for the business in to a number of industries.
In ~June 2019 I moved across to the Pocketbook team as a Delivery Manager / Lead Business Analyst and elicited and analysed requirements for the Pocketbook Rewards project.
In ~September 2019, the Product Manager for Pocketbook left, and I took on his responsibilities, whilst continuing to write requirements for Pocketbook. These responsibilities included user research (online surveys, interviews, etc), analysing analytics and providing deliverables to management, defining the day to day roadmap and leading the engineering team.
(2017 - 2018) Head of Growth Projects @ Zip Co
After leading the Sales Engineering team for 6 months, an opportunity arose when I was offered the role of Head of Growth Projects, within our Growth & Innovation (G&I) Team.
During my time in this team, I contributed to the definition of the Growth & Innovation strategy, researched and designed technical payments solutions, managed a number of strategic partnerships, built business cases for core growth initiatives – presenting these to C-level + board, ran an RFP to replace our payment gateway and coded basic apps to solve business problems as they came up.
(2017) Head of Sales Engineering (Enterprise and Channel) @ Zip Co
After working as a sales engineer for a year at Zip, I was promoted to run the enterprise and channel functions of the team – with two direct reports (one that I hired).
During my time in this role, I continued with sales engineering duties and supported the pre-sales efforts and delivery of integrations with many major Australian brands, including – Michael Hill Jewellers, Mitre 10, Beacon Lighting, Kathmandu, Anaconda, Best & Less, Australian Geographic, The Co-Op Bookstore, Sanity, Trip-A-Deal, Wittner Shoes and over 40 SMB and Mid-Market opportunities – with a very high collective turnover.
In addition to this I was part of a team of three that responded to a major tender for a billion-dollar retail group (Super Retail Group). I put together the written response for technical solution, project management and risk management – and pitched these areas face-to-face to the client, culminating with us winning the tender.
As the manager of this team I also developed and introduced team process to improve efficiency and professionalism of approach and formulated and executed a training and mentorship program for my direct reports and for the SMB engineers.
(2016 - 2017) Pre-Sales Engineer (Enterprise and Channel) @ Zip Co
During my year as a sales engineer at Zip, I built many direct integrations myself on behalf of my clients, and also acted in a consultative capacity for larger integration projects.
Amongst these are major Australian brands like Catch of the Day, Forever New, WebJet Exclusives, Adairs, Harris Farm, Cheap as Chips, PLE Computers, PC CaseGear + over 120 SMB and mid-market opportunities – all with a very high collective turnover.
Further – I re-engineered the team’s responsibilities and process from one where most integrations were done directly by the team (for smaller merchants) to one where we took on pre-sales consultative responsibilities for larger enterprise and channel merchants. To support this, I built out professional-looking pre-sales artefacts – such as technical proposals and technical pre-sales presentations, that went on to be used in the day to day duties of all team members.
In addition to this, I took on a number of coding projects including the development of two developer API playgrounds, a tool to increase efficiency of PCEFTPOS in-store roll-outs and participated in the testing and delivery of our new merchant API.
(2014 - 2016) Pre-Sales Consultant @ PayPal
I originally joined PayPal after my 7-year stint at GraysOnline, where my plan was to develop my consultative and pre-sales skills.
During my time at PayPal, I acted in a pre-sales consultative capacity across many large opportunities in the government and insurance spaces, and supported the integration of Intuit Quickbooks, Flight Centre and AMF Bowling with our payment systems.
Further – I designed and introduced point-and-click merchant prototypes to our pre-sales process; and participated in a team that designed, developed and delivered a payment “tap and pay” wristband trial, which was piloted at the Splendour in the Grass music festival, and for which we applied for a provisional patent for the technology.
I also participated in the Battlehack Hackathon as a payments consultant and mentor and presented at a number of partner events on PayPal payments technology and the payments industry in general.
It was during my tenure at PayPal that, through mentorship, I developed a deep understanding of Australian and Global Payments Systems.
(2011 - 2014) Delivery Manager / Senior Business Analyst (Tech) @ Grays eCommerce Group
After delivering the GraysOutlet website, I was promoted to Delivery Manager / Senior Business Analyst.
My workload increased and I hired one direct report for myself. Due to how well he performed within the business, I was involved in the interview/hiring process for many other recruits (primarily in engineering).
During my time as Delivery Manager / Senior Business Analyst, I owned, specified and managed delivery of a variety of projects (some built internally, others outsourced), including – a rewards + gift card platform, integration with PayPal, integration with the Adobe Analytics and Test+Target products and many more.
Further – I undertook side projects as they came up including consulting to a firm we contracted to prepare our R&D tax grant application, re-engineered team process to optimise efficiency and speed of delivery, and initiated the project for, sourced and replaced our customer help centre (moving it across to Salesforce).
(2009 - 2011) Business Analyst (Tech) @ Grays eCommerce Group
During my time as a project manager at GraysOnline I was exposed to our eCommerce website (www.graysonline.com), as this was one of our primary channels for asset disposal.
Given my interest and background in all things tech, I organised a meeting with the CTO and briefed him on a wide selection of ideas that I had. Ultimately, he offered me a role as a business analyst within the IT team. As a business analyst I owned, specified and managed delivery of a variety of projects - the biggest being the GraysOutlet website (our attempt to enter the buy now market for fast moving consumer goods).
Other projects included - integration with Optimost (for recommendations and A/B+Multivariate testing), Site Intellgience for web analytics and Alterian – as a marketing data warehouse; in addition to a wide variety of BAU projects.
(2008 - 2009) Graduate Programme (Project Manager - Sales) @ Grays eCommerce Group
I began at GraysOnline straight out of University – where in spite of the fact that they were looking for someone with an engineering degree – they were impressed enough with my participation in Toastmasters whilst at Uni and believed it would be applicable to the role.
I began by joining those in the field – cataloguing assets for companies that had gone insolvent or in to administration. I quickly progressed to undertaking some biz dev work of my own (primarily warm leads from a lead generation program) and to project managing asset disposal projects – including some very high-profile ones such as ECP Australia (used to distribute air conditioning systems) and Kleenmaid (whitegoods).
Further – I re-engineered an archaic fax marketing process to bring it in to the 21st century and built out process around our strategy targeting local councils looking to dispose of their plant and equipment (excavators, pad-foot rollers, etc).