Meet retail’s awesome foursome.

Bink is growing and in the past month alone, our retail team has doubled as a result. With over 50 years of retail experience between them, John, Andy, Matt and Amanda bring a formidable set of skills and innovative thinking to Bink. We decided to find out more about this dynamic team, so we asked them to tell us a bit more about where they’ve been, which brands they think are the most innovative in the loyalty space, and what excites them about being at Bink. 

John Lemonius – Head of Merchant Distribution

Andy Bucknell – Retail Sales Director
Matt Smallpage – Head of Retail Strategy

Amanda Sadler – Retail Sales Director

John

“I’ve worked in retail /loyalty, on and off, for the past 23 years. I also have 30 years’ experience in sales and commercial roles, including 18 years at AMEX in the merchant business, covering everything from retail sales and account management, through to leading their European Small Merchant business and commercial acquiring partnerships

When I think of innovation in retail, what Tesco and Co-op are doing is really customer focused. These companies are providing personalised discounts and offers that are easy to understand and engage in. At Bink, we have a unique proposition in our card linking capability and bank partnerships and I think we’re only just starting to scratch the surface of the possibilities that this presents for retailers.

Andy

“I’ve been working with retailers across multiple sectors for the last 7 years.  Although new to Loyalty, I’ve years of experience helping retailers optimise their digital experience, grow sales and drive customer engagement with a range of technical solutions including Buy Now Pay Later and Affiliate services 

I spent just over 20 years at RBS group which gave me a broad understanding of retail and the broader financial and economic landscape.  I then ventured into traditional retail finance with Ikano Bank, securing long term partnerships with some of the UK’s most loved furniture brands.  In 2017 I joined Klarna, at a time when it was really starting to gain momentum in the UK with its deferred payment solution, Pay Later. I went on to spend almost 4 years there in Enterprise Sales, working across multiple sectors, product lines and territories.  I was fortunate to secure partnerships with some wonderful brands including Boots Opticians, Made.com, Bensons for Beds, The Conran Shop and Dermalogica.

The UK has certainly produced some of the most innovative and consumer-focused brands over the last 5 years.  Through the lens of rewards and loyalty, standouts for me are Booking.com, Gymshark and Pets at Home but he one closest to my heart is Brewdog.  Clear brand identity, they understand their audience and through Equity Punks they drive a level of loyalty and engagement that few brands have achieved over the last few years.

What excites me about the journey for Bink?  2 things – people and product.  We have an amazing team of industry experts and a truly market leading product.  Being able to promote a retailer to millions of digitally native shoppers through our banking channels is a game changer.  Buy Now Pay Later has been one of the key battlegrounds for retail and tech over the last 5 years, I firmly believe that loyalty, data and engagement will now dominate with Bink hopefully at the heart of this.”

Matt

“I’ve worked in retail/loyalty for 15 years, helping retailers to design, build, run, measure and optimise customer engagement programmes. I’ve been lucky enough to work for some of the world’s most successful loyalty programmes like Nectar, Avios and Aeroplan. I’ve always loved the role that data plays in helping to measure impact and inform decision-making, which is why I was so excited by Bink’s technology that helps retailers to unlock so much more.   

Canadian grocer Loblaws gets my vote for being the retailer most attuned to their customers’ needs. They were one of the first retailers to launch a fully digital loyalty programme and to focus on personalised offers that reward customers for products they buy regularly. Loblaws was also an early adopter of the subscription or ‘paid loyalty’ approach. 

I believe that Bink’s technology and integration with major high street banks provides retailers with a unique way to increase data capture and engage high volumes of customers via their banking apps.” 

Amanda

“I’ve been working with retailers across all verticals, on and off since 2004. I’ve always sat in the payments and finance space until I recently joined Bink, where I’m now embracing all things loyalty. I originally started out in retail finance and then moved across into commercial finance, where I worked primarily within the technology sector. I then moved back into retail finance and payments, where I was working for Close Brothers Retail Finance when they were acquired by Klarna back in 2018. Being a part of Klarna’s growth journey was an amazing experience and I was lucky enough to not only be a part of bringing amazing brands on board, but also to lead the UK’s SME team, which ended up being the fastest growing sales channel for Klarna.

We really do have some of the most innovative brands here in the UK, but one of my personal favourites is Gymshark. Watching their journey from the beginning has been incredible and just their openness and transparency – not only amongst their staff but also across their consumer base – is amazing. They have a clear brand identity and a super-strong board. Ben Francis, their original founder and now CEO, has been so vulnerable about his own development journey that people have subsequently bought into this as well as the apparel. I’ve been fortunate enough to see fellow Gymshark execs Noel Mack and Steve Hewitt speak on several occasions and they just get it. There’s no BS; it’s all just very real and authentic.

That said, let’s not overlook some great brands like M&S, Currys and Decathlon, who are all taking a very different approach to what they had originally – a mix of tech, customer experience and loyalty is not only keeping customers engaged but is also providing new acquisition channels for them. At Bink, we have an incredible team of experts and a truly market-leading offering. Our banking relationships enable us to provide a digitally engaged audience of millions of consumers who regularly like to shop, coupled with quality data and insights, and a complete omni-channel offering. What’s not to love?”

It’s very exciting to have such a great blend of experience, passion and talent residing within our retail team. We wish them every success as they go forth and conquer the loyalty space!