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Using prepaid cards to motivate an online workforce

Online working has taken off big time over the past couple of years, for obvious reasons.

Although the pandemic necessitated remote-working, businesses across the globe have seen the benefits, from the ability to recruit a more diverse staff team without geographical restraints to cost savings from not powering an office at full capacity.

However, remote working isn’t without its drawbacks. Without frequent face-to-face interaction with colleagues, some people may feel isolated, and some processes, like handing over cash for work purposes, might now feel like a nightmare.

So what can you do to motivate your online workforce?

Monthly lunch on the house

Before lockdown, it might have been a regular motivational strategy to treat your team to lunch every now and then. It’s a great way of getting the team away from their desks, chatting to each other and getting a little reward at the same time.

Obviously though, where teams are working remotely, this isn’t possible quite so regularly. Of course, you can go down the ‘Zoom or Teams lunch’ route to maintain the social aspect but there’s no reason you can’t provide the food from afar too!

By issuing your team with prepaid company cards, you can schedule cash transfers as frequently as you choose to pay for lunch as a thank you for hard work. And to make sure it’s going where you want it to go, you can specify which retailers that money can be spent with.


The old method of discreetly emailing the team and keeping an envelope of cash contributions in a drawer for birthday presents, leaving gifts or special occasions is on the decline. With people working remotely, the practicalities of slipping a few quid to the birthday pot every few weeks is tricky. And, as teams grow, knowing what to get someone from the team can be just as difficult.

But collections can still happen remotely!

Giving prepaid cards as presents for your team, whether they’re expecting a child, getting married or celebrating a birthday, can still be a personalised gift. By specifying a type of retailer – or even leaving it open as a simple cash present – you can show your employees how much they are appreciated by their employer and their wider team.

And the process of getting contributions from the team doesn’t need to be complicated either. Your team can transfer money directly onto the gift card from their own, rendering the old, complicated envelope in the drawer method null and void!

Entertainment passes

A happy employee gives more at work and leisure time is just as important for keeping your team refreshed and motivated as the time spent at work. So why not give your team some entertainment to help them wind down and to show them that they’re appreciated?

Cinema tickets are a typical perk that many organisations gift their employees, so that’s always an option – every month, transfer funds to their branded prepaid cards and specify which retailers that the money can be spent on to give your team the opportunity to see a film after work.

Or, moving into the modern age, why not pay for a streaming service, such as Netflix, Now TV or Disney+? You could even provide entertainment for while your staff are working. Studies have shown that listening to music can make workers not only more efficient but also feel happier as they work, so why not pay for a music subscription, such as Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon Music?

Pay expenses and give your team control

Using a prepaid company card, you can speed up the expenses claims or even pay expenses in advance. Through a simple app, your team can upload receipts to your finance team and have payment reimbursed as quickly as you choose!

This means that staff are spending less time out of pocket for work and, if they’re heading to a meeting at month end and need a train fare, money doesn’t have to be a factor in whether or not they can attend.

What’s more, petty cash doesn’t have to be complicated. Some staff, particularly charity workers who need to reimburse beneficiaries their travel and meal deal expenses, need daily access to cash – but this is messy for all involved. It’s difficult to get that cash to the employee in the first place if they work predominantly online and keeping hundreds or thousands of pounds worth of cash on site is risky.

By issuing your team with prepaid cards, all of this can be done virtually and, importantly, safely. Staff can request and receive the money they need with a fast turnaround and without the need to travel to the office to collect it. On top of that, they can take control of the change that they need – no longer do finance have to keep a store of 10 and 20p coins! The whole process is faster, simpler and safer, and it gives staff control over their own budgets – this can only help to motivate your team.

Interested in using prepaid to motivate your own workforce or have your own ideas? Get in touch with B4B Payments to see how we can help!