Friday, 2nd March, 2018
Talking Tech Interview: Bink
• Name: Greg Gormley • Role: CFO • Duration: Launched 2014, released app in 2016 • Previous roles: Finance Director, NDS Group PLC, Head of Financial Planning and Strategy, CME TV, Director, Amplify Consulting
How did Bink start?
My business partner, Lee Clarke, and I saw an opportunity to streamline the loyalty industry by securely linking customers payment cards to their loyalty programs and storing them all in one place.
We noticed that too many consumers were losing out on points and rewards simply by not bringing their loyalty card with them when they dine or shop, so we created a technology that would seamlessly link these together – Payment Linked Loyalty. We also recognised this would have significant benefits for merchants as the simple to use platform would encourage more customers to sign up to their loyalty scheme enabling the merchant to better understand their customers spending habits and tailor their offers accordingly, encouraging repeat visits.
We spent countless late evenings around the kitchen table working on the concept, and now we have a passionate team on both sides of the Atlantic integrating Payment Linked Loyalty to some of the biggest global merchants, including Individual Restaurants which incorporates Piccolino and The Restaurant Bar & Grill.
How did you end up at Bink?
Both Lee and I have worked with numerous start-ups, so when I had the opportunity to work with him on a genuinely game-changing business, it made complete sense to combine our expertise and embark on our mission to transform the $100 billion loyalty industry.
What does Bink do?
Bink’s technology benefits both the merchant and the consumer.
For the merchant, Bink increases operational efficiencies, increases profits and allows them to engage with customers and diners. We provide merchants with 100 per cent of customer purchase data – this allows them to send consumers truly personalised offers and engage with them more effectively every time they dine or shop, ultimately incentivising spending.
For the consumer, Bink eliminates the need for them to carry plastic loyalty cards or paper coupons. Through the platform, and via our free app, customers can store and viewpoints as well as manage all their loyalty programs in one place, so they never have to miss out on points and rewards again.
How many staff members do you employ?
We have grown from a handful of employees to a 60-strong team spanning from the UK to the USA. As we continue to expand internationally we have focused on hiring local employees who have extensive knowledge of the local markets.
What is the office atmosphere like?
We work hard to encourage an open and honest atmosphere at Bink, and making time for face-to-face interaction with employees across all our sites is key to this. We understand the importance of developing people and the power of encouraging them to ask questions and debate for their personal growth as well as the growth of the business. We don’t always agree with their suggestions but we’re always up for the discussion and debate as there is no such thing as a bad idea!
What did you want to be as a child?
Surprisingly, I always wanted to be an accountant, even as a child! When I was growing up my hero was Sir John Harvey Jones, who pretty much pioneered reality TV. He was a business consultant who visited and advised struggling businesses – a bit like Gordon Ramsay visiting restaurants in need of repair. He brought business consulting to the attention of the general public and really inspired me to do what I do now.
What industry challenges does Bink address?
The rise of Deliveroo and UberEats, together with stagnant wages, has resulted in the public staying in for dinner, rather than venturing out to restaurants. This has caused many restaurants to lose significant profits and subsequently, close. For instance, Jamie Oliver recently announced that he will close six of his Italian restaurants due to tough trading.
Bink addresses this by opening a direct communication line between restaurants and diners. Merchants can use this to maintain their relationships with customers and gain insights from them remotely, as well as tempt diners to eat out with personalised offers and rewards.
What makes Bink unique?
Bink is re-writing the rule book for how restaurants can build and maintain meaningful and rewarding relationships with customers, through our unique Payment Linked Loyalty technology. By empowering customers to securely collect loyalty points and rewards just through presenting their payment card in a restaurant, we are combatting the decline in consumers’ engaging with restaurant loyalty schemes caused by the take-away phenomenon and shift towards a cashless society.
What are the ambitions of Bink?
To become renowned as global loyalty innovators, through making life simple and rewarding for all. There are a vast variety of loyalty schemes active across the world, which could be optimised for consumer and merchant alike through implementing our technology. We want to reach these progressive, forward thinking merchants and show them the benefits of partnering with us.
What was your first day at Bink like?
Moving out of the kitchen and into our first office in Bagshot felt like Bink’s first day. It was brilliant to see that our team had as much passion for Bink as Lee and I have had since day one. Three years later, we are partnering with the UK’s favourite merchants and expanding on an international level, working with some of the biggest global retailers.
What challenges does the business face day to day?
The biggest challenge we’ve faced is looking to cater for all industries, which have differing wants, needs and wishes. Ultimately though all retailers want to do is identify all of their customers so they can engage with them individually to create either an additional visit or increased spend enabling the retailer to reward them more.
What has been your best day?
There have been many proud days at Bink, which have marked significant advancements in our journey, for example: signing up all three card issuers, on-boarding our first national retailer, and engaging with global institutions. However, my proudest moments have been when I have been away travelling, and return to a buzzing office which is full of energy and the new faces who have joined us. The excitement and enthusiasm of the Bink team makes me proud every day.