A Look Inside… PayZip, a Payment Management Startup in Cardiff

( Post 18 of 25 )

Jaymie Thomas of PayZipFollowing on from our post taking a look inside of Nudjed, I spoke to the CTO – Jaymie Thomas (@jaymiethomas) – of another South Wales-based startup: PayZip, which is based in the heart of Cardiff’s city centre. Jaymie’s previous company – Red Apple Software – recently announced that they had merged with PayZip, which had previously developed the platform. In addition to talking about the reasons behind the merge, Jaymie kindly talked us through their preference on location, tools and more…

Firstly, what is PayZip and why would people use it?

It’s an easy way for community-based clubs to manage member payments.

Running any club or society involves volunteers’ time and dedication. From our own experience, we understand the challenges faced by those collecting money from members. Using PayZip, club organisers and treasurers can easily request money by email and the club’s members can pay securely online or by cash or cheque if they prefer. Because PayZip supports both desktop and mobile devices, payments can be taken in-the-field – literally!

PayZip MacBook Pro screenshot

PayZip’s dashboard on a MacBook Pro
(Click to enlarge)

Because PayZip’s dashboard is always completely up-to-date, organisers can take the financial pulse of their club – and can send payment reminders to everyone who owes money – with just a click of a button, saving them valuable time each month.

How did you develop PayZip?

It was originally an idea to help bodies like The Scout Association manage their memberships as a whole. It had a different name back then, but we had everything in there: next of kin, medical information, dietary requirements, as well as the ability to make member payments. After iterating on this idea through a couple of versions, we learned that most clubs already handle the personal information another way and that the payment element was the one that they struggled with – and not just the scouts, but every club, society or charity. PayZip was born.

Why is PayZip based in the centre of Cardiff, and in FoundersHub (a coworking space) in particular? What are the benefits of being in such a space?

We used to have our own offices on the outskirts of the city and whilst we had plenty of room, there was very little there to inspire us, and contact with other on-site teams was limited. Working from FoundersHub means that we’re right in the city centre, which is easy for holding meetings, plus with the varied crowd working from FoundersHub from day-to-day, we’ve met some great people – indeed, this is how we met and hired Luke, our Lead Developer.

What makes you different?

In the PayZip product, our focus is absolutely on helping the treasurers in these clubs and societies, who give their own time to help out. It’s our mission to ensure that they can take the financial pulse of their club at any time and make it easy for members to pay in the way that suits them best.

I would encourage anyone still working from one fixed location to get out and try a day at one of the many great workplace hubs around Cardiff.

As a company, we really enjoy how technology has evolved to the point that we can now work from anywhere. FoundersHub is a really useful contact point and there’s no real substitute for face-to-face meetings, but for the rest of the week, we work wherever makes the most sense for us – whether that’s in the Hub, at home or another location. I would encourage anyone still working from one fixed location to get out and try a day at one of the many great workplace hubs around Cardiff.

[In fact, we’ve put together a list of coworking spaces in South Wales, which includes FoHub – check it out here!]

What tools/software do you use?

We use Basecamp to track online conversations about design decisions – whether that’s logos, buttons or page layouts. We also use it for to-do lists, as it provides a great end-of-day email summary to everyone on the project.

Intercom manages our customer contact and engagement. We can put automatic messages in there to notify them of recent system improvements, but you can also build-in triggers so that a user is shown a message when certain criteria are met – such as third login within a week – or automatically capture when someone hasn’t used the system for a set period of time. This is an immensely powerful way to engage with those who might otherwise forget about and leave your application.

PayZip iPhone screenshot

PayZip’s dashboard on an iPhone

We love Slack – it’s the heartbeat that connects our business processes. Our inter-team messaging, sales transactions, Basecamp, GitHub and Intercom notifications all get presented in Slack, so we each know where we are with every aspect of our business at any one time. It keeps us all in sync in a piecemeal approach. It’s so much easier glancing at your smartphone after a meeting and seeing all of your updates categorised, rather than a wall of email that you have to sift through manually.

Why is PayZip merging with RAS (Red Apple Software)?

Red Apple Software built the current version of PayZip, along with Simon Hodgkinson, who is PayZip’s CEO. We’ve had great feedback from our customers and really encouraging sales figures. When we looked at what we were going to be doing in 2015, it was clearly going to be all about PayZip, so a merger of the two companies made perfect sense – it means we’re now all focused fully on taking PayZip to the next level of growth.

What’s next for PayZip?

We’re trialling the system with a major UK sporting body at the moment and we’re really looking forward to rolling-out PayZip to each of their clubs shortly. Beyond that, we will be releasing lots of exciting new features this year to make PayZip the go-to app for making club payments, and reducing the amount of cash that club treasurers have to handle manually.

A big thank you to Jaymie once again for taking the time to contribute this info!