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Everything you want to know about… Virtual (digital-only) prepaid cards for business

Online shopping has been on the rise for some time now, and the pandemic has only increased its popularity. Many consumers have now started to shop online for the first time, and safe digital payment methods are needed even more. One such innovation is prepaid virtual cards. In this blog post, we look in more detail at virtual cards and how they work.

What are virtual (digital) cards?

A virtual, or digital card is an online hosted, digital virtual representation of any plastic card. A digital card, unlike a plastic card, doesn’t require any physical representation. Like a traditional credit, debit, or prepaid card, a virtual card allows users to purchase services or goods online.

An advantage of using virtual cards for your business is that the cardholder can use their card immediately. No need to wait for a traditional card to be sent in the mail. As soon as the card is created and funds loaded, the user will receive an email with instructions on retrieving their new card details.

The benefits of virtual cards

Virtual cards have great applications for business with total versatility to be used for a wide range of purposes. They can be used for purchasing items online, offering incentives to staff and clients, managing expenses, the list goes on.

If your business makes a large number of online payments, for example paying for travel, using a prepaid virtual card is a fantastic way to make sure payments remain secure and expenses are within budget. B4B Payments offer prepaid virtual cards that make business payments simple. Virtual cards can be generated instantly via our online managerial platform – the cardholder can then use it immediately rather than needing to wait for a physical card to be sent through the post.

How does a virtual (digital) card work?

Your virtual prepaid Mastercard® or Visa® is a reloadable, online e-money card consisting of a standard card number, expiry date and CVV number, which you can retrieve at any time by choosing ‘Display Card Image’ from the B4B cardholder dashboard.

You can use your virtual card details to make purchases online or over the phone at millions of businesses and retailers anywhere in the world. You cannot use your virtual card details to make in-person payments in a shop.

Can virtual cards be used in my digital wallet?

Not yet. B4B Payments are currently working to provide clients and cardholders access to prepaid cards using digital wallet devices, such as GooglePay and ApplePay services.

Are virtual cards safe?

Yes. Just like a physical card, you must keep your virtual card details safe and secret. However, with a few clicks, cardholders can suspend their account.

If you’re a B4B cardholder, and have any questions, please contact our customer service team directly.

Virtual cards in the future

With online shopping increasing and the use of cash declining, it seems that the presence of prepaid virtual cards will only continue to grow. It’s easy to see why – the advantages of virtual cards both for online shopping and business payments lie in their security and accessibility.

If your organisation could benefit from increased security when you make payments online, B4B Payments can help with virtual cards for businesses. Our efficient system allows you to set up and close down cards quickly and easily, causing minimal disruption to your operations. For more information about our services please get in touch.

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Closed loop and open loop prepaid cards

There’s no question that prepaid cards are becoming more commonplace, especially as the use of cash declines. Prepaid gift cards are now seen more frequently in stores than the traditional paper gift voucher, and prepaid cards are also a useful way of helping people to budget. In addition, with online shopping on the rise, prepaid cards are very popular in the form of virtual or digital cards.

Closed loop and open loop

There are two main types of prepaid card available – closed loop and open loop. So what’s the difference between the two and what are the benefits? When you think of a gift card for a particular store, what you’re actually thinking of is a closed-loop card. This type of prepaid card is designed to only be used at that store and cannot be accepted for payments elsewhere.

On the other hand, an open-loop card is not tied to a particular store or brand. These cards are usually identified by a Visa or Mastercard logo and can be used anywhere that accepts card payments. Open-loop cards are typically loaded with cash in specific increments and are often used to help with budgeting. This type of card is also frequently sold to travellers as a more convenient and secure way of taking currency abroad, or for making card payments in other countries without incurring hefty fees.

Solutions for businesses

Both closed-loop and open-loop cards have useful applications for businesses. When it comes to employee incentives and rewards, both types of prepaid card are great options. A closed-loop card for a designated store can be a really personal way to reward a particular employee, gifting them something you know they’ll genuinely appreciate.

Alternatively, an open-loop card makes your employees’ rewards work for them – handy if you’re buying cards in bulk or you want to give flexible rewards and incentives. B4B Payments offer prepaid cards that you can adapt to your needs, and which ensure every employee gets a perk they love.

Open-loop cards are also a fantastic solution for business expenses; they eliminate the need for employees to use their own personal finances. Open-loop prepaid cards allow employees to spend money wherever they choose but make it easier to stick to a budget. A prepaid business card from B4B Payments also makes it simple to manage expenses and receipts – you can track all expenses through our secure platform and receive comprehensive reports on expenditure.

Prepaid cards in the future

It seems clear that the use of prepaid cards, both closed loop and open loop, is likely to continue rising. If you’re looking for a smart solution to rewards, expenses, and business payments, the flexible payment solutions from B4B Payments could be the answer. Our products allow you to track and manage expenditure, whilst giving freedom and flexibility to employees. If you’re interested in streamlining payments and incentives with prepaid cards and would like more information, get in touch

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A new study finds that loyalty programmes are an important factor for customers

Every business knows that customer loyalty is one of the most important factors of any successful business. No matter the product or service you offer, keeping your clients happy is the best way to ensure that they will remain loyal to you for years to come.

When it comes to finding new customers and keeping loyal clients happy, a new study1 has revealed that loyalty programmes are an important factor when it comes to making purchasing decisions. In fact, an astonishing 86% of respondents said that loyalty programmes play a big role in their buying decisions.

This study also highlighted that there is a continued want for instant payment methods as well as a growing preference for loyalty programmes. Here are some of the top findings from the report.

Top findings and trends

One of the most interesting findings of this study is that contactless payments are becoming increasingly popular. The study also found that payment apps and mobile wallets have been rising in popularity. Here are some of the key statistics:

Over 50% of consumers in the UK say that at least 75% of their payments are made through contactless.

The use of virtual and digital cards continues to rise in popularity, with more than 50% of participants saying that they have used this sort of technology in the last 6 months.

The study also highlighted how, nowadays, more people care about rewards and instant payments.

52% of respondents favour receiving a virtual card to a physical one delivered to their home.
40% of participants favour receiving instant payments.
56% would opt for a virtual pre-paid card over a physical card.

Finally, the study has highlighted that there are huge benefits to giving customers prepaid cards that offer incentives and rewards (such as loyalty programmes).

Consumers in the study overwhelmingly preferred getting a prepaid card that can be used anywhere to convert loyalty points to payments over receiving a specific gift card for a retailer.

What does this mean for my business?

The study conducted highlights how important loyalty programmes are when it comes to enticing customers to make purchases and continue as loyal customers for your business.

Moreover, the study also shows that customers are starting to use contactless and virtual payments more frequently (and are preferring to pay like this).

Data like this, demonstrates how important it is that your business moves with the times and, if you want new customers and want to keep your current customers loyal, one of the best ways to do this is to offer loyalty programs using prepaid cards.

How do I get this technology?

One of the best ways to simplify your business payments and offer incentives to employees and regular customers is to use B4B payments. Go cashless! Manage your business expenses and loyalty programmes on your company’s prepaid cards. Contact them directly today to learn more about how they can help you grow your business.

1Study conducted by Syncapay

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B4B Payments celebrates European expansion with Fintech Hub LT association

Following a successful year in 2020 and its continuing expansion into Europe, B4B Payments is proud to announce further development with its recent Lithuania launch.

In November 2020, UAB B4B Payments Europe was issued with an electronic money institution licence by the Bank of Lithuania. This allows the company to offer services for processing payments throughout the European Union. Receiving this status goes some way to securing the company’s presence in the market, regardless of the UK’s exit from the EU.

B4B Payments is proud to announce that it has become a member of the Fintech association Fintech Hub LT. The association boasts nearly 50 licensed Fintech companies and aims to foster favourable conditions for Fintech activities, strengthen compliance. The head of Fintech Hub LT noted: “We are thrilled to see the rapid growth of our association and companies like B4B Payments joining us. We will continue to create value for the fintech sector, encourage AML and regulatory compliance, and ensure better conditions for licensed fintechs.”

Launching its services in Lithuania means B4B Payments can now supply businesses of all sizes in the country with its range of payment processing solutions, including prepaid cards and virtual cards to use for business payments, expenses, and employee incentives.

This development represents a significant step towards B4B Payments, increasing its presence in the Baltic region, as well as continuing to build on its expansion throughout Europe as a whole. B4B Payments’ CEO Paul Swinton said: “We’re very excited to be expanding with a permanent office in the EU market and at the same time improving the service we offer to our current clients by improving the coverage of B4B’s services.”

The launch in Lithuania and the Fintech Hub LT association’s membership shows that the company is continuing to go from strength to strength. This follows a highly productive year in 2020. During this time, B4B became a principal member of Mastercard. In addition, the company acquired electronic money institution status in the UK, expanded into the USA market and continued its expansion into Europe. This growth has included welcoming a new General Manager for Europe to the business, Vladimiras Kolesovas.

B4B Payments are thought leaders in Fintech and the corporate prepaid payments industry, with a presence in the industry for 14 years. Backed by an international team, the company is committed to supplying businesses of all sizes with innovative solutions for payments, intended to streamline and eliminate antiquated finance and accounting processes.