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Simplify corporate expenditures with B4B Payments

The complex process of serving customers, balancing corporate expenses, and delivering consistent payroll can be costly and resource intense for businesses.

The complex process of serving customers, balancing corporate expenses, and delivering consistent payroll can be costly and resource intense for businesses. With the UK alone predicted to become a cashless economy as early as 2026, developing other physical ways to manage and spend has become a top priority for many businesses across the globe.

At B4B payments, we specialise in providing tailored card services to help businesses achieve their payment goals by allowing complete customisation of branded, prepaid and virtual cards, incentives and rewards, and more.

Read on and discover how B4B Payments can help take your payments to the next level with our card services.

Corporate expenses solved

Keeping track of corporate expenses can be difficult for large-scale companies, whether you’re planning a corporate event or providing ongoing travel and work expenses for your employees.

At times, juggling your outgoings through multiple platforms can increase the chance of human error, and give birth to a variety of challenges that can impact your finances too. For example, missing out on opportunities to secure contracts for events, or even forcing your staff to temporarily cover their own expenses due to slow payments, or lack of processing resources, can be detrimental to your business, and even affect retention. To remedy these situations, B4B Payments offers corporate card and payment services, allowing clients to issue employees card and platform access to complete daily expenses across the globe.

B4B Payments hands you complete control through a streamlined, one-stop platform, allowing you the power to reload and deploy funds as you see fit to ensure that your executives are always covered for their travel and expenses. Our iOS and Android application lets employees track their expenditures and store photographic proof of purchase receipts at the click of a button.

What’s more, with built-in measurement and reporting capabilities, you have complete oversight over all outgoing expenditures and the power to identify leaking pipes within corporate expenses.

Branded, prepaid and virtual pay-out cards

Commercial card services are becoming increasingly beneficial in a cashless society, allowing customers and clients alike to make and receive payments instantly across the globe. At B4B Payments, we offer a variety of card solutions that tackle our client’s individual needs and the customers they may be serving.

Our virtual cards provide instant reimbursement or payment services, giving businesses the power to pay people overseas instantly, without the need for time-draining or unsecured delivery processes. Our prepaid cards are perfect for customers without established account information, particularly useful for retail cashback schemes, or helping charities and refugee communities in a cashless environment. But, of course, there are benefits for your business, too; with our branded cards, you can alleviate the stress of setting up regular or recurring payments and generating brand awareness through a customisable look and feel.

It’s easier than ever to deploy cards with B4B Payments through our unified platform, which gives your business complete control over the design, distribution, and loading. In addition, streamlining your card operations into one platform eliminates breaks in the process caused by multiple third-party communications and approvals, allowing you to create a method of payout or payment quickly and efficiently.

Rewards and incentives

Rewards and incentives are a time-tested tradition for retaining employees and customers, and maintaining partner relationships. While there is a place for gift-giving in smaller businesses and niche customer sets and industries, it’s hard to argue with the language of cash when it comes to the perfect reward or incentive.

For larger industries, using B4B Payments physical and virtual (closed and open loop) card services will eliminate the challenges of navigating sensitive areas of requirement like gender or religion for customers, employees and partners. Cardholders also get access to an easy-to-use application, which is downloadable on both iOS and Android devices, allowing them to view card balances, and keep track of their spends and rewards. 

Using these services, your business can seamlessly offer customer acquisition and employee retention schemes through prepaid card bonuses, cashback offers, and bespoke partner reward programmes.

To wrap up

Whether you’re looking for corporate solutions or payment services for B2B, B2B2C or B2C clients, we’ve got you covered at B4B Payments. With over 15 years of experience in innovations in the payments space, and unique card services that cover all bases, we make sure that our clients are ahead of the games with fast and efficient transactions around the globe.

Strengthening your payment and payout solutions through card services has never been easier. Discover more about B4B Payments and the transparent, quick and effective card services that we provide contact us today!

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Optimising payment processes with B4B Payments

Whether you’re looking to optimise your own B2B payments services or provide innovative fintech payment opportunities, B4B payments can help you achieve your goals quicker and more easily than ever before.

According to Gartner, 80% of business-to-business (B2B) transactions will be digital by 2025, which suggests that digital transformation is at the heart of modern industries. At B4B Payments, we offer a scalable and cost-effective payment solution which combines various services tailored to our clients’ unique challenges across industries.

Read on and discover how B4B Payments can provide fintechs and embedded payment facilitators with solutions to manage high volumes of domestic and international payments for B2B/B2B2C/B2C and internal payments through our tried-and-tested products.

Go big with mass bank payouts

There are many challenges when providing global payouts on a mass scale. Traditionally the process is long and cumbersome, especially when directing funds or recurring payments around the world, often leading to slow or even delayed payouts to customers.

What’s more, navigating complex and high-cost Foreign Exchange (FX) processes and tax compliance is more strenuous than ever, especially for digital-only businesses in sectors like adtech, online marketplaces, affiliate marketing, and eCommerce. Add to this the constant introductions of new ways to pay (e.g Google, and Apple Pay!) it’s easy to see why businesses could be experiencing a higher churn rate as they struggle to pay quickly and keep up with ever-changing economic landscapes.

But how do you streamline your payment process on a mass scale? Using B4B Payments for your mass bank payouts, eliminates the risk of slow or late payments when paying out to over 25 countries across Europe, with low-cost and transparent global transaction fees and FX rates.

Utilising mass bank payouts through B4B Payments enables you to begin making consistent and quick payments through branded, prepaid, and virtual payout cards, or recognisable banking rails like SWIFT, Faster Payments, CHAPS, SEPA, local clearing in the USA (ACH) and DKK.

Rapid service set-up

Start-ups or businesses moving into new markets suffer a variety of pain points throughout their journey, including the setup or overhauling of their own payment services. As new businesses in B2B SaaS or Fintech, it’s even more critical to offer quick and effective digital solutions for other businesses to grow your partner and customer relationships, and stay ahead of the competition.

If you’re experiencing an increase in human error from disconnected and complex tech stacks or draining resources from a high volume of digital touchpoints in your process, it can easily create bottlenecks in your supply chain and customer or partner churn rates.

B4B Payments provides a one-stop fix for your B2B, B2B2C, or B2C woes, and offers a tried and tested infrastructure that allows you to manage your own payment services and permissions through our sleek and easy-to-use platform.

With our payment rails, your payment services are streamlined, removing unnecessary legacy processes and distilling your tech stack, alleviating the need for multiple touchpoints and helping you increase your speed-to-market for new ventures!

Plus, with over 15 years of experience in navigating payment solutions for start-ups and established businesses across multiple sectors, you can be sure that working with B4B Payments will keep you at the forefront of innovation as your business grows.

Collaborate through one tested platform

Managing payments, payouts, and card services can be messy, especially when you’re using multiple third-party providers. Traditional sectors like travel, transport, and payroll are succumbing to increased pressure to digitally transform since the COVID-19 pandemic. New digital-only businesses in areas like B2B SaaS are bursting onto the scene, creating the expectation of instant settlements and payouts from clients and customers alike.

At B4B Payments, we recognise that using separate services can drain resources and lead to delays in payment and payout processes, and we’ve solved that problem with the main hub of our enterprise: our one-stop platform.

Using our platform, we have combined all our products into an all-inclusive platform for businesses to manage their card and payment services.

Let us explain…

Our unique platform connects services under one single User Interface (UI), including prepaid, instant virtual, and branded card creation and management, as well as payout and payment processing across multiple countries. Not only this, we’ve integrated new and popular ways to pay into our platform, like Google and Apple Pay, with more on the horizon.

Going the extra mile, we’ve also included in-depth reporting and analysis tools into the platform that measure your expenditure and payment performance, as well as making the package accessible through our robust, customisable API and readily integrated for data exchange with your existing accounting software like XERO.

Offering your own services

Start-up or growing companies in the fintech sector require deeper levels of payment integration to meet regulatory requirements and stay ahead of the competition when it comes to handling customer and business transactions.

BIN-sponsorship is a great way to separate your start-up or fintech company from the crowd, allowing you to offer your own payment solutions to your unique customer base.

At B4B payments, we offer a rapid speed-to-market solution through a full BIN sponsorship and Settlement only package. Full BIN sponsorship allows unregulated Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) to partner up on their journey towards becoming fully regulated issuers and scheme members. The BIN sponsorship offers total support with compliance and implementation of payment solutions while including fully-managed card services from settlements and reconciliation to Anti-money Laundering (AML) and fraud monitoring.

We offer a settlement-only product, too, allowing regulated EMIs the opportunity to tap into B4B Payments expertise as a global payment provider, leveraging our issuing capabilities while allowing them to build their own customer interface through APIs.

To wrap up

At this time of year, strengthening your payment services is more important than ever.. With the peak holiday season and accelerated festive spending on the horizon, we can expect businesses to be in high demand when making and receiving payments.

Not only this, Christmas is the time for giving, and B4B Payments is the perfect platform to manage your customers and even your company’s all-important festive bonuses through prepaid cards and the universally accepted language of cash whilst eliminating the faux pas associated with customised gift giving.

Discover more about B4B Payments and the services we provide to stabilise your end-to-end cash flow over the Christmas period, contact us today!

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B4B supports ‘Patientprimary’ with a digital expense solution

Patientprimary, a division of mdgroup, works with B4B Payments to provide swift and easy expense reimbursement to support clinical trial participation.

About Patientprimary

Patientprimary, division of mdgroup, facilitates remarkable patient experiences at every stage of the clinical journey. Powered by next-generation care management tools and technologies, their solutions focus on the four key metrics of a successful clinical trial: recruitment, engagement, retention, and trial outcomes.

The situation

When founded in 2017, Patientprimary supported rare trials with ultra-hard-to-find participants. That all changed in 2020 as governments and research centres provided additional support to get patients to trial fast. Patientprimary responded by widening its reach to support trials for less rare diseases. With global reporting on the high-profile vaccine and COVID treatment trials throwing the clinical research process into the spotlight, there was increased interest and an uptick in people signing up to participate. Between 2020 and 2021, there were over 20,000 clinical trials in the US alone.

With increased participant numbers come more opportunities to develop life-changing treatments, but increased scale also brings a need for innovation to ensure that trials continue to run smoothly and efficiently. Delays in the reimbursement of expenses incurred, for example travelling to clinics, can lead to participants having a negative experience, which can often result in them not completing the trial.  Like many industries, the clinical research industry has had to look to digital technologies to deliver trials at an increased scale while maintaining safe working practices in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The solution

The global clinical trials market is expected to grow at a rate of 5.7% annually until 2028. An essential aspect of clinical trials is keeping participants engaged and appropriately reimbursed for expenses incurred. Card-based reward schemes can offer participants immediate return on their contributions and the ability to spend in millions of locations worldwide.

Patientprimary seamlessly used B4B’s programme to distribute funds to participants in a wide range of countries using GBP, EUR or USD cards. The ease of use for both the clinics and participants as a method of reimbursing trial participants improves the trial experience and crucially increases the retention in follow-ups, reducing the need to recruit additional participants. In addition to reimbursing participants, they supported participants who were incurring significant costs travelling from home by preloading the card ahead of time to support them along their journey. 

Our card-based reward programme also encouraged ongoing engagement by offering instant compensation for completing tasks such as diary entries, meaning that researchers can ensure that data is gathered promptly and that participants are kept engaged for the duration of the trial, improving data quality. Our iOS and Android app allows cardholders to view their balance and transactions and upload photo expense receipts where required, with the latest biometric login features for the highest levels of cardholder security. 

The benefits

‘’B4B payments’ innovative solutions offered an effective method of reimbursing and compensating trial participants, increasing the likelihood of compliance and of attendance at follow-up visits, and potential participation in follow-up and future trials.’’

Our card solutions paired with Patientprimary services and processes, eliminated the need for trial participants to pay up-front and apply for reimbursement, encouraged ongoing compliance by offering instant rewards with a card-based reward scheme and ensured Patientprimary will be kept in front of mind for returning participants with our fully branded card solution.

B4B played a vital part in supporting Patientprimary in their journey, helping to drive improved participation levels and maintaining smoother and more efficient processes.

To find out more, contact us today!

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B4B awards Ana for the Above and Beyond Award (US)

She has been awarded a virtual card sent to her email, where she can spend online or in-store.

We are incredibly proud to announce that Ana Santos, the Client Operations/Account Manager for B4B Payments, has won the Above and Beyond Award (US)!

Being recognised for your hard work is always a great feeling. It’s even better when that recognition comes from your colleagues. That’s why we hold this award to give all employees the opportunity, to nominate a colleague they believe embodies our core company values.

This award is also a way to show appreciation for those who go above and beyond in their work. We believe rewarding our employees is essential in creating a positive and supportive work environment where everyone can succeed. Here is what Ana had to say:

1. How do you feel about winning the award?

It’s always nice to be recognized by one’s colleagues for a job well done. The gift of a virtual B4B Payments Visa card is a simple, fast method to acknowledge that hard work, and it allows the recipient the opportunity to use those funds anywhere Visa is accepted.

2. Was it easy to get started?

Registering my virtual B4B Payments Visa card was quite simple on the web browser and took only a few minutes. Once I completed the registration process, I could easily find the card details. In the email instructions are provided on how to use it, as well as contact information for Customer Service should I have any additional questions.

3. Where and when do you plan to spend your virtual card?

I am eyeing a leaf blower (‘tis the season, you know) and this will help me pay for it.

4. Why do you think this is an excellent way to reward employees?

It’s a fast, convenient way for employers to acknowledge their staff for their contributions to the enterprise. B4B could not make it any easier.

Prepaid virtual cards are the perfect choice

Organizing an effective reward and recognition scheme in the workplace can be a challenge. You want to give your employees something that will boost motivation and productivity, but you also don’t want to break the bank. Our prepaid virtual cards are the perfect solution! They’re flexible so that you can tailor them to everyone’s needs. They’re a great way to attract top talent into your business. You’ll stand out from the competition by giving them something they want.

We provide the option to brand your cards with a cardholder app fully. Your employees can also add the card to their Google Pay and Apple Pay wallets!

Our prepaid virtual cards are the perfect choice if you’re looking for a way to give your employees the recognition they deserve. To find out more, contact us today!

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B4B are proud finalists for The Banking Tech Awards 2022

We are delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist for the Best FinTech Partnership and COVID-19 Response by Financial Inst The Banking Tech Awards 2022, hosted by FinTech Futures.

The Banking Tech Awards recognise excellence and innovation in the use of IT in financial services worldwide, and the people who make it happen. 2022 will be the 23rd year for these prestigious awards.

For the COVID-19 Response by Financial Institutions category, B4B played an important role in supporting Patient Primary, a division of the mdgroup, in their clinical trials journey helping to drive improved participation levels and maintaining smoother and more efficient processes.

For the Best Fintech Partnership category, B4B’s next-gen BIN sponsorship solution supported Juni through all the stages in bringing their business to the next level. You can find out more about this partnership here.

Best of luck to all the finalists! We look forward to the awards ceremony on the 1st of December at the 5-star Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

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B4B Payments named the best end-to-end issuing and payment solutions company in the UK

We are proud to have won the Best end-to-end issuing and payment solutions UK category from the World Business Outlook Awards. The application was supported and substantiated by our partner, Voly.

Voly is an award-winning fintech provider specialising in financial management for the yacht and multi-assets industry. Recently the Voly offering has been successfully adapted to support the music, TV and film industry.

They were looking for a card issuing and payment platform to help streamline and scale their yachting and music business more quickly, and B4B was able to support them through this journey.

B4B and Voly partnership

Our partnership with Voly has successfully developed over many years. Although the financial services landscape has changed significantly during that time, both companies were committed to innovating to stay at the forefront of their industries. We have understood the ever-changing needs of Voly’s business and have worked hard to adapt and evolve our offerings, to ensure they have the best solution available in the market.

Talking about the partnership with B4B, Ian Flanagan, Found and CEO of Voly Group says:

Voly’s collaboration with B4B has been a great success. B4B understands our product and the industries in which we provide financial management services. In working with B4B, we have built a relationship that provides a market-leading treasury management solution for the yachting and music space. It was definitely a learning experience for both parties to begin with, but one which has gone from strength to strength over the years and we look forward to continued growth and collaboration with B4B

Next-gen solutions for future businesses

B4B Payments’ next-gen solutions are designed to scale flexibly over time to support fintech companies like Voly. From direct payments to client branded cards, B4B’s offering is designed to be either embedded within a client’s infrastructure or as a stand-alone product.

Our commercial model is streamlined, and uncomplicated, technical requirements are minimal and significant control is placed within our client’s hands. We believe these attributes are fundamentally important to corporates who wish to save time, money, and hassle.

Paul Swinton, CEO of B4B Payments says:

We value our partnerships and our relationship with Voly has lasted many years and will continue building together a leading-edge solution for the yachting, music,  TV and film industry. We’re committed to providing innovative solutions that make a difference to our clients and being recognised for this is a big honour

Partnering with B4B Payments allowed Voly to provide more value for their demanding customers and helped the company to scale quickly while also giving them an edge over the competition.

To find out how our solutions can help you, contact us today!

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B4B digital and safe solutions supports ‘Thames Reach’ help protect the homeless

We are proud that our solutions have helped protect the homeless during the pandemic by providing shelter.

About Thames Reach

Thames Reach is a charity based in London, supporting people facing homelessness through prevention, response, and recovery. The charity specialises in helping people with complex and multiple needs, including mental health, drug and alcohol use. It manages a range of services, including street outreach, frontline hostels, and day services, specialising in support of housing and employment schemes. Thames Reach’s mission is to assist homeless and vulnerable adults in finding decent homes, building supportive relationships, and leading fulfilling lives.

The situation

The financial exclusion was a massive hurdle for homelessness during the pandemic. Homeless people don’t have the facilities and documentation to open a typical bank account. As measures were introduced to curb the virus, many services moved online and being unbanked created additional problems with day-to-day payments and accessing government support systems. At the height of COVID-19, when paying for things in person became a problem, this group of individuals was more excluded than ever.

During the pandemic, payments were provided under Government contracts, following an order to get everyone off the streets. This allowed Thames Reach to provide essential payments to help victims during the most challenging times of need. 

An issue for them was how to pay government aid in a way that doesn’t put support victims at risk of being targeted as known carriers of cash.

They wanted to implement better control over expenditure and reduce the risks associated with the distribution of funds for both the recipient and the charity workers.

The solution

Thames Reach plays a crucial role in helping to address social inequality and providing intervention to individuals at critical times of need. Its mission is to assist the homeless and vulnerable men and women to find decent homes, build supportive relationships and lead fulfilling lives off the streets of London.

B4B Payments expense cards have been one of the critical measures put in place to help support those who are homeless and at risk.

Working with B4B Payments, Thames Reach found an easy-to-use digital solution to help clear the streets of homelessness during the pandemic. Homeless people were deemed the most at-risk group due to their inability to shelter and protect themselves against COVID-19.

The B4B payments system and card allowed outreach workers to make direct payments to support vulnerable people on the capital’s streets. Their team leaders used the B4B system to keep track of government disbursements when buying food, clothing and shelter, subsequently helping at-risk individuals get on with their lives and reach more positive outcomes. 

The benefits

With their B4B prepaid cards, Thames Reach received unique login details for the management portal that enabled access only via their fixed IP address.  The burden and risks associated with cash handling were eliminated by putting funds on a virtual prepaid card. Our prepaid cards have reduced administrative strain and overall cost for the charity, making them more efficient and agile and ensuring more donations and payments were spent supporting the victims in need rather than paying for support services. 

Once an individual was identified as at risk and in need of support, the process of paying for accommodation was fulfilled digitally – benefitting both workers within the Thames Reach offices and the people they serve.  Funds were safely transferred to the B4B float, and payment was made to the merchants without needing cash or vouchers, all administered by an intuitive, easy-to-use payment card and management portal.  

Here is what Martin Hubbard, Head of Finance had to say:

By providing our front-line staff with pre-paid credit cards we enable them to provide immediate support to our clients but within a framework that gives us control over how much can be spent by each employee

Fintechs have a considerable responsibility to break down legacy barriers within the banking and financial services and make financial services more accessible to those in need. With our help, Thames Reach has now achieved the best possible system for supporting victims’ homelessness, allowing payments to at-risk individuals remotely and securely.

To find out more, contact us today!

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B4B awards Steve for the Above and Beyond Award (UK)!

He has been awarded a virtual card sent to his email, where he can spend online or in-store.

We are incredibly proud to announce that Steve Meacher, the Customer Service Manager for B4B Payments, has won the B4B Above and Beyond Award (UK)!

Being recognised for your hard work is always a great feeling. It’s even better when that recognition comes from your colleagues. That’s why we hold this award to give all employees the opportunity, to nominate a colleague they believe embodies our core company values.

This award is also a way to show appreciation for those who go above and beyond in their work. We believe rewarding our employees is essential in creating a positive and supportive work environment where everyone can succeed. Here is what Steve had to say:

1. How do you feel about winning the award?

At first, I was surprised as I didn’t expect to be nominated. It’s lovely being recognised for my contribution to the business by colleagues.

2. Was it easy to get started?

Registering for my virtual Mastercard was very simple when using the B4B Payments app. It took no more than two minutes; the longest part was trying to choose a username! Once I was registered, it was easy to find the card details. There is also information on how to use the virtual card and the contact us button so I can send a message to Customer Service should I have any additional questions.

3. Where and when do you plan to spend your virtual card?

I plan on spending my virtual card funds on new winter clothes, as it’s just around the corner. It’s great that I can use my virtual card online, add it to my Apple wallet and use it in-store to pay, should I see anything I like whilst I’m out shopping.

4. Why do you think this is an excellent way to reward employees?

I think it’s a great way to reward staff because they will feel acknowledged for their hard work by their employee and colleagues.

Prepaid virtual cards are the perfect choice

Organising an effective reward and recognition scheme in the workplace can be a challenge. You want to give your employees something that will boost motivation and productivity, but you also don’t want to break the bank. Our prepaid virtual cards are the perfect solution! They’re flexible so that you can tailor them to everyone’s needs. They’re a great way to attract top talent into your business. You’ll stand out from the competition by giving them something they want.

We provide the option to brand your cards with a cardholder app fully. Your employees can also add the card to their Google Pay and Apple Pay wallets!

Our prepaid virtual cards are the perfect choice if you’re looking for a way to give your employees the recognition they deserve. To find out more, contact us today!

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Safeguarding funds to help manage risk in the travel industry

COVID led many tour operators to offer additional flexibility for bookings.

While this won’t continue in all cases (British Airways recently announced the end of their flexible booking policy), consumers affected by COVID cancellations are still likely to remain wary, and are more likely to ask questions about a tour operator’s processes if things do go wrong.  

This means it’s more important than ever to be transparent with customers about the ways you’re protecting them. Funds safeguarding is an important part of that process, giving your customers the confidence that, should the worst happen and your firm goes out of business, their funds are protected. There are also broader benefits to your business and your brand from doing so. 

Legal requirements for funds safeguarding

Legally, tour operators must arrange financial security to protect funds paid for package holidays sold in the UK in the case that they go out of business, as well as legal protection to ensure that customers receive the services they paid for. Arrangers of “linked travel arrangements”, where multiple travel services are purchased separately by the same supplier, must also arrange financial protection in the event they go bust, although passengers booking via this method don’t receive the same level of legal protection as those booking package holidays. 

Outside of those two situations, there are no legal requirements to offer safeguarding of your customers’ funds. However, having a clear policy on how your customers are protected in the case of unexpected problems is likely to remain a strong trust factor, increasing conversion and improving the way customers perceive your brand. 

Methods of safeguarding

Tour operators and other travel providers can arrange financial protection for their customers’ funds in a number of ways. The one customers are most familiar with is through membership of a financial protection scheme such as ABTA or ABTOT. Bookings including a  flight are also covered by the ATOL scheme, administered by the Civil Aviation Authority. 

Travel companies can also take out insurance to cover them in the case of financial failure. Alternatively, they can choose to deposit customer funds into a safeguarding account.

How does a safeguarding account work?

A safeguarding account separates customers’ payments towards non-completed bookings from the rest of a travel company’s finances, holding the funds securely until a customer’s trip has been completed. At this point, they’re released to the travel company and become part of their regular cashflow.

It’s not enough for travel companies to simply set up a separate account for customer funds. A trust account needs to be managed independently to guarantee to consumers that the funds won’t be used by the business before they’ve fully discharged their contractual obligations, preventing pending funds being lost if a firm finds itself in financial difficulties. 

Why choose a safeguarding account over insurance?

When big shifts happen in the travel industry, insurers feel the pinch. Since Thomas Cook’s collapse in 2019 followed by the pandemic, many insurers have left the market, causing an increase in insurance premiums and making it harder for travel companies to access appropriate insurance products. 

Depending on a company’s circumstances, holding customer funds in a safeguarding account could be a more cost-effective method of keeping funds secure, as the cost of maintaining the account could be cheaper than rising insurance premiums.  

A safeguarding account also removes the need to go through the process of claiming against an insurance policy if things go wrong – the money is already there, ready to refund to customers. This gives a strong level of consumer protection as there’s no risk that an insurer chooses not to pay out (or goes bust themselves and is unable to). It also means that travel firms can choose to offer protection for a wider range of circumstances if they wish – insurance typically only refunds customers in the event that the tour operator they’ve booked with goes bust. 

Why use safeguarding over bonding?

Most customers are familiar with the idea of a bonded tour operator – somebody who, as a member of a scheme like ABTA or ABTOT, has financial protection in place in case of their failure. However, claiming funds back via these schemes can be time-consuming and stressful, and again, schemes can come under pressure when there are large-scale issues within the travel industry. 

Safeguarding funds directly can offer an extra benefit that sets a travel company apart from its competition – going the extra mile to protect customers’ funds not only boosts your brand’s trust and increases conversion in the short term, but it can help you to protect your reputation in crisis situations, allowing you to refund customers quickly and efficiently. 

Boost your financial stability by safeguarding funds

While insurance or membership of a scheme like ABTA can fulfil your legal obligations as a tour operator and keep your company safe if things go wrong, safeguarding funds directly can actually help to ensure that your company is more financially stable in the long term. 

By actively segregating pending funds from actual profit, you can maintain a clearer picture of your business’s finances and avoid inadvertently getting into a situation where you’re using customer funds as working capital. This means that if the worst does happen in the form of a future travel crisis, your business is on solid financial footing, and is as well-placed as it can be to weather the storm. 

Secure safeguarding accounts with B4B

As part of the Banking Circle group of companies, B4B Payments’ corporate payment accounts give you everything you need to manage your travel company’s payments effectively. From accepting payments in multiple currencies to making fast, cost-effective cross-border payments to suppliers or tour guides, our accounts help you streamline your payment processes and reduce costs. 

Our safeguarding account functionality also offers a secure method of storing customer funds ahead of their trips, offering them full confidence that their payments are being held securely and independently, and that they’ll receive a refund if anything goes wrong. With full transparency and oversight and support from our team of payments experts, we can support you to ensure that customer funds are held safely and compliantly. 

To find out more about B4B Payments’ safeguarding accounts, get in touch today. 

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How fintech can streamline processes in freight logistics

Freight logistics is an exercise in extreme process optimisation, in search of the most efficient and effective approach to maximise reliability and profit.

Payments and account processes can add a significant amount of time to your processes, but many freight firms still rely on paper invoices and old-fashioned expense management. Streamlining your internal payment processes can help your operations run quickly and seamlessly, saving time for your drivers and your accounts team whilst helping you to present a professional image to your clients.  

Simplify lumper fees with virtual prepaid cards

An unpredictable element of freight logistics is the payment of “lumper fees” – payments made to casual workers for helping to load or unload vehicles. Often, paying lumper fees is left down to truck drivers themselves, who need to carry cash and front the payments themselves before claiming them back as expenses. Not only does this add pressure to your drivers’ finances, it could leave them open to financial loss – carrying cash can be risky. 

Instead of requiring drivers to find their own solutions to pay lumper fees, virtual prepaid cards could offer a fast and secure alternative. Cards can be loaded with funds instantly and delivered to an individual’s email address, giving them the option to spend their funds in millions of locations worldwide. This saves your drivers the stress of making payments themselves, and gives you full transparency and control over lumper fee payments. 

Streamline driver expenses

While most logistics firms use a fuel card scheme to make savings on fuel costs, truck drivers incur a wide range of other expenses as part of their job, and they’re often expected to cover these costs themselves and claim them back as expenses later. From food and accommodation to vehicle repairs and consumables, these costs can add up, and could put pressure on your team’s finances, reducing their engagement and risking increased turnover of hard-to-find professional drivers, as well as causing significant issues and delays if a driver is unable to meet an unexpected expense themselves. 

Broadening your payment card system to incorporate a wider range of expenses than just fuel could make your drivers’ lives significantly easier, and help your day-to-day operations run more smoothly. With prepaid expense cards auto-topped up to a predefined limit, your drivers will never find themselves struggling to pay for essentials when on the road. With the ability to instantly upload photo receipts via a cardholder app, they’ll also save time processing lengthy expense claims, and make your finance team’s reconciliation considerably easier too. 

Make fast, seamless international payments

If you’re in the process of scaling your freight logistics firm, you’ll know just how important trust is in the industry. Your clients need to believe that you’ll do what you say you will, and communicating that trustworthy appearance means being reliable not only in the execution of your contracts but in all the services and interactions that surround it. 

There’s nothing worse than starting out on a contract with a new client only to have the relationship tarnished by payment issues. Even though payment delays can happen and they’re often not your fault, the added stress can make it harder to establish trust and project a professional image, particularly if you’re a new entrant to the market. 

It makes sense, then, to ensure that your payment processes are as robust and reliable as possible, particularly if you’re transferring funds internationally. While high street banks can charge high fees for payments which can take days to go through, a specialist payment provider can give you access to a range of different payment protocols, with faster settlement times and no hidden fees. A specialist provider can also offer easier management of bulk payments, minimising the risk of slip-ups within your payment team, too.

Offer instant bank payment options

If you’re receiving large payments regularly, card fees can start to add up and over time can be a significant drag on your bottom line. It’s tempting to encourage clients to make bank transfer payments instead, but these can be harder to keep track of, not to mention slower. If an urgent job is in the offing, waiting for a bank transfer to be confirmed could cause unacceptable delays, leaving card fees as the only option.

New technology based on Open Banking could help your company to accept bank transfers even when time is of the essence. A new breed of fintech companies, called PISPS (payment initiation service providers), offer direct bank transfer as a payment option alongside card payments. Your clients go through a checkout process similar to making a card payment except that the payment is taken directly from their bank account. You’ll get instant confirmation as soon as the transfer is confirmed, meaning you can get on with the job in the full confidence that your payment has been received. 

Transform your freight logistics payments with B4B

Whatever stage of growth your freight firm is at, B4B Payments’ advanced corporate payment solutions can help you make your payment processes faster and cheaper. From flexible prepaid cards to make expense management a breeze through to advanced corporate payment accounts offering fast, affordable international payments, we can support your business to build a global presence with cutting-edge technology and expert guidance. 

To find out more about how we can help, contact us today.