Meet our CCO
Nick Pannell is leading the way
Nick Pannell has spent decades leading Europe-wide sales and marketing teams in fuel, fleet, and mobility sectors. After years spearheading change for the market’s leading players, Nick applied his experience to founding and running his own next-generation consulting firm, Pannell Hayes Consulting (PHC). With a passion for innovation and helping companies to develop and launch new mobility solutions, Nick built a solid customer base of companies looking to change the game.
Focused on supporting transformation in commercial and corporate transport, Nick has dedicated recent years to future-proofing businesses and helping PHC’s clients transition to the integrated, technology-led solutions of the future. While continuing to drive forward his vision for a digitised, sustainable transport and mobility sector with PHC, Nick got to know XXImo. He quickly developed a great admiration for XXImo’s vision, inventiveness, and ambition, and was more than ready for the day the call came with an offer to lead XXImo’s expansion into the UK & Ireland as Country Director.
We sat down with Nick - who was recently appointed XXImo's Chief Commercial Officer - to talk about the importance of forward-thinking practices in the transport and mobility sector, and what drives him to make XXImo’s entry into the UK market a success.
So Nick, why was XXImo such an attractive proposition for you?
"More than anything, it was a meeting of minds – a shared vision. In the early 2000s, I led a Shell team in understanding what the “fleet proposition of the future” would look like. We came back with the answer that it wouldn’t be a fleet proposition at all, but an integrated employee mobility solution at the intersection of mobility and payments technologies. We built and launched an early prototype – but probably launched too early for the market. The conviction stayed with me, and I watched in the wings as XXImo took root and grew quickly. I guess there was always “unfinished business”, so I jumped at the opportunity to get involved and bring XXImo to the UK."
What is it you want to achieve with XXImo in the UK? What’s the big goal?
"Bringing XXImo to the UK is about leading the way in mobility, and bringing genuine innovation to a sector dominated for too long by slow-moving giants. I’m often told the UK market is a “fuel card market”, but I don’t think that way. XXImo is here to accelerate the growth of real “mobility as a service” solutions in the UK, and to show the existing market leaders that new trends, segments, technologies and ways of working are not to be ignored. We want to help the UK market to enter the new age of mobility, and give companies the confidence to take the next steps into the future."
How do you see the traditional mobility market in the UK?
"The mobility sector in the UK is highly fragmented at the moment. From EV-charging to parking payments, train operating companies to fuel card issuing, every segment is operating in its own silo, and many are dominated by seemingly untouchable market leaders. Many of these market leaders have been around for a long time, and seem convinced that they can continue to grow without responding to the real changes happening in business mobility behaviour. At times it can feel difficult to break into a market that’s dominated in this way, particularly by such well-known players."
How does this compare to the new mobility market?
"We aren’t in the “fleet” world any more. All sorts of changes have created a much more dynamic market. EV salary sacrifice, hybrid working, vehicle connectivity, cash allowances for company cars, CO2 reporting requirements, the explosion of the last-mile delivery segment, and the tens of thousands of new electric van drivers that will create. These are all examples of a brand new mobility world. A “fleet” approach just isn’t going to cut it. By adapting new technologies, new mobility businesses like XXImo are creating flexible options that can be adjusted to the needs of each customer. Sustainability is also becoming increasingly important, with more and more companies adopting electric vehicle solutions. We’re also seeing more laws and regulations on transport systems to encourage greener mobility solutions, and more complex tax regulations on “benefits in kind”. It’s a new world of “mobile employees” that XXImo is appealing to."
Specifically in the world of fuel retail, what will these changes mean?
"Essentially it’s game over for business fuel card issuers that can’t adapt to these changes. Without a proposition which works for the commuter, the hybrid worker, the electric van driver, and the salesperson driving an EV, even the fuel card market leaders are going to find themselves left behind when their customers go elsewhere. Why? Because there’s only one way to bring tomorrow’s mobile employees into the service stations of the future and to keep them coming back: by presenting them with a solution which gives them everything they need. Whether that’s booking and paying for a train, parking a car, charging an EV, or fueling a van with diesel. Our solution enables the booking, payment and expense management of all those and more – with a single VAT invoice."
"There’s something else too. The UK market has been so “stable” for so long that fuel retailers are simply paying too much to accept fuel and corporate cards. We’re going to change that when they partner with us."
Who will benefit the most from the changes?
"I think both businesses and their customers are going to benefit once we can actually change the game in mobility and be more responsive. I’ve described a whole new world in business mobility: fuel retailers can start to attract and keep more and more customers from that new world if they work together with XXImo as part of the solution. It’s a world in which real partnership is going to play a big role in determining who wins and who loses. One thing that made me want to join XXImo was its philosophy of building and committing to imaginative partnerships which grow business for everyone. I don’t see fuel retailers as simply accepting our card on our terms. Not at all. I see them working together with us far more closely in building attractive new solutions for business customers. That’s where the benefits will be."
What should companies be doing to benefit from the paradigm shift and transition successfully?
"Maybe it’s too easy for me to say “get in touch with us at XXImo”. But, basically, that’s my answer! It’s all about having the vision to see what’s happening, the courage to innovate, and the willingness to lead the way. Adapting to an industry that is currently in the middle of a big shift can be difficult to navigate, but any company dedicated to innovation that is willing to lead their market is likely to benefit. It can be a scary thing to do though, so it can help to have a partner tlike XXImo with a track record of changing the game. We’ve partnered very successfully with fuel retailers in the Netherlands and Belgium, and managed to attract lots of new customers to their networks with the solutions we’ve developed together."
What role will XXImo play in this?
"Let’s be clear, XXImo isn’t coming to the UK to play around on the fringes, to experiment or run pilots. We’re here to work with challengers and disruptors who want to move quickly to shake things up. We only do that by building partnered solutions which are adjustable to the needs of different customers and businesses. We only do that by helping our partners stay one step ahead with solutions and services. We’re dedicated to improving the mobility industry as a whole, sharing best practices and shortcuts to success with our partners to encourage innovation across the sector."
"If we get that right – and trust me, we will – all our partners, and all their customers will win."
XXImo enables businesses to offer innovative, flexible mobility solutions to their customers and users, while staying in firm control of access to these services and their associated costs. By using smart Network, Payment, Compliance, and Administration solution components that save time and costs, we allow you to quickly adapt to changing customer and business needs.
Developed in-house and maintained by our team of experts, our flexible solution components are secure, easy to use and customisable, allowing you to create innovative solutions that match your business needs perfectly. Easily tap into new customer bases and enhance your current offering. Or offer your customers more payment options and enter new markets without worrying about compliance, because XXImo has already taken care of the nitty-gritty.
Do you want learn more about Nick Pannell and XXImo? Reach out to Nick on LinkedIn or use the form below.