She joined PayByPhone from PayPoint in 2011 as a Junior Account Manager when the burgeoning cashless parking app industry was undergoing considerable change. In 2017, Rebecca was involved in achieving the first PayByPhone local authority client in the UK to go 100% cashless in terms of parking payments.
Rebecca plays a critical role in changing the way PayByPhone develops its client relationships. She contributes to operational development, key project work and reviewing new app functionality, helping to simplify the journey for clients and end-users.
I am the UK Client Director of global mobile parking payment provider PayByPhone. I lead our growing Client Management team and am responsible for the way PayByPhone develops and maintains its relationships with clients, including local councils, fleet operators and app users.
I joined PayByPhone as Client Account Executive in November 2011. I had previously worked as Client Management Team Coordinator at PayPoint and that’s when I discovered my passion for working closely alongside clients. I was able to build on that passion at PayByPhone when I joined, as it had a well-established client base, but at the time only seven people in the UK office. In the interveneing 11 years, I have seen the industry, PayByPhone and my career totally transform.
I didn’t plan my career per se, it evolved organically thanks in part to PayByPhone being a fast-growing organisation where opportunities for personal and professional growth are abundant. Having close working relationships with clients has been a solid constant throughout.
Things accelerated after I returned from maternity leave in 2014. The business was growing and I started a new role as Client Account Manager enabling me to focus entirely on building strong client relationships. I rose through the ranks, becoming Head of Client Management in 2020, leading a team of four. I successfully completed the PayByPhone Aspiring Leaders programme, which focuses on setting up the next generation of leaders.
Then, in January 2021, I was promoted to Client Director, reporting directly to our UK CEO Jonny Combe, and becoming part of the PayByPhone UK Leadership Team. Today, my team and I look after over 180 clients across the UK, and I love it.
Absolutely! The last two years in particular have been difficult for everyone, but I love a challenge and to solve problems.
On a personal level, I was new to the Head of Client Management role when the pandemic hit in March 2020. As a single mother, I suddenly faced homeschooling my seven-year-old son, while continuing my full-time role during this challenging time.
What emerged as a silver lining is the great community we have within our company and in the parking industry. It was inspiring to see colleagues coming together internally (but virtually!), and to witness different companies working together to support clients and customers.
You’re only as good as your last performance, so I will have to say that my recent win of the 2021 Inspirational Woman in Parking Award by the British Parking Association is right up there. I was surprised to be shortlisted, let alone win it, but it’s very humbling to know that my colleagues and industry peers view me as an inspiration – I simply do my job to the best of my ability.
I am also very proud of the work my team and I delivered during lockdown. Even though there were fewer cars on the road during that time, demand for cashless parking solutions skyrocketed. We worked closely with new and existing clients to introduce special rates and free parking options for key workers, new COVID signage and messaging.
One specific campaign that stood out for me is the bespoke, free parking system I helped to create and launch for key workers in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It needed to be implemented quickly and efficiently, which we managed to do successfully as it won awards!
I just love working with people, being challenged and solve problems. When you do something that you love every day, like I do, then it’s hard to call that a job. And that’s what Client Management at PayByPhone is like to me.
Because I joined PayByPhone when the team was still relatively small, I know all sides of the business very well, not just my own area of expertise. I make time to help new team members settle in and also to make myself available to anyone who needs help or advice.
I provide advice, counsel and mentoring to junior female members, because it’s vital to support women in the parking industry’s predominately male environment.
Recognising women in male-dominated industries like ours is very important. It helps women who are starting out know they too can achieve their goals and be successful alongside their male counterparts.
The pandemic shone a light on the plight of working mothers who took on the lion’s share of homeschooling their children while continuing their job duties. As a single mother, the buck always stopped with me, but when I look at my friends, I see that employers can do a lot more to support their staff – male and female – with childcare responsibilities so that’s it not always ‘mum’ who needs take time off because their child is ill. It will provide a more level playing field and will empower women to pursue their career goals – whatever those might be.
I use to be very shy and often felt nervous to put myself forward for things for fear of failure or rejection at the start of my career. If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self to ignore the feelings of self-doubt and give more things a try, even if they seem scary at the time. Over the years I have found that wonderful things can come from stepping outside of your comfort zone.
I would love be more involved in initiatives that encourage more diversity and inclusion within the payment and mobility sector. My goal is to work with others to strengthen the industry as an attractive and inclusive industry where individuals can thrive and fulfil their full potential. I will continue to support and empower women to be more self confident so they can achieve their goals, whatever they might be and regardless of their chosen industries.