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ARTICLE PaymentsJuly 8, 2014

Q&A: SecurePay’s General Manager Nathan Brown

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Nathan Brown recently stepped into the General Manager leadership role at SecurePay. He talks about how SecurePay is integrating more closely with its parent Australia Post; how he sees the future growth of e-commerce in Australia; where he is mostly likely to be found on the weekends; and he reveals his career “Plan B”.

SecurePay’s newly appointed General Manager Nathan Brown on his background, his plans for SecurePay and the future of e-commerce in Australia.

1) What is your career background?

"I started at KPMG and then moved into corporate finance in the small and medium-sized ASX-listed market, providing advice on how companies can grow. I learnt a lot about how companies can be structured for growth and worked closely with boards, CEOs and management teams. Then I joined Australia Post, SecurePay’s parent company, where I have been for eight years. I have been with SecurePay for almost three years, and I was keen to join SecurePay to work in a company with great growth prospects and to work with other growing companies. I joined as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and in April 2014 I became General Manager."

2) What are SecurePay’s current priorities?

"We are focused on improving customer service and educating businesses looking to go on online or grow online. We are also working hard with our partners to make our integrations as smooth and simple as possible, not just for payments but also for parcels and deliveries."

3) What is the future of e-commerce in Australia?

"I think there is still significant scope for growth in e-commerce in Australia. There are always geographic or demographic differences between countries, but Australia is significantly behind the USA and United Kingdom in terms of e-commerce as percentage of retail sales. From a merchant’s perspective, e-commerce is now extremely competitive. It is becoming more difficult to offer something unique and for e-commerce businesses to be successful they need all aspects of their business to be running well, not just a nice website. We are trying to be the trusted adviser to merchants and help them either get their businesses online, or if they are already online, provide advice on how they can grow. We want to help our customers focus on the core of their business, instead of spending all their time managing the back-end. From a consumer perspective, mobile is the way forward – merchants need to ensure everything is responsive and can be used on multiple devices."

4) What is the best thing about working in e-commerce?

"It’s a growth area, and because it is growing, there is lots of innovation, which is exciting for me. I also like that it is part of everyday life and that everyone has an opinion about it."

5) What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

"From a work perspective, it is “lean in to the conflict”. Having difficult conversations is a key part of my role, but avoiding conflict or crashing through conflict is not my solution. It may be uncomfortable at first, but if you lean in and understand the issues from both sides, you can resolve difficult issues. From a personal perspective, most of life is not about the destination, so make sure you enjoy the journey. For example, you can never say: “Okay, I am now a good father so I can stop, or I am now healthy so I can stop, or I am now a good golfer so I can stop”. While you should have goals, you should enjoy striving towards those goals in the knowledge that it is rarely about getting to the destination in itself."

6) What was your career “Plan B”?

"Working in the charity sector and giving back to the society and the community. I am a big believer in being grateful for what we’ve got."

7) What are your interests outside of work?

"Our three young children keep my wife and I entertained, and we love playing with them and watching them grow up. It is amazing what they absorb and what joy they can bring. I am also a keen golfer and enjoy watching most sports. I am happiest when I am spending time with my family and friends, whatever the setting."

8) What’s your favourite holiday destination?

"Port Douglas."

9) What song are you most likely to tackle at karaoke?

"My Way by Frank Sinatra."

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