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Streamlining processes for commercial drivers

The world is currently suffering from an unprecedented shortage in commercial drivers.

There’s currently a lack of drivers in all regions except Eurasia, and the problem is set to grow further through 2022. While steps are being taken to encourage more people to train as HGV drivers, the problem is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, making it more important than ever to streamline transport and logistics operations and avoid wasting limited resource. 

Professional drivers have a lot on their plates, from managing paperwork and delivery notes to maintaining vehicle checklists and tachographs. Making their job as easy as possible means they’re able to focus on the vital aspects of getting the job done. 

Streamline expense management

For drivers managing higher-than-usual workloads as a result of staff shortages, it’s unsurprising that compromises might have to be made to get the job done – and collecting receipts to submit expense claims is unlikely to be top priority, no matter how important it is to your accounts team. 

By shifting expenses onto a B4B prepaid card system, you can make this job as easy as possible for your drivers. Having a specific card for company expenses will also make it easier for your drivers to separate their personal spending from business expenses, removing the need to fill in lengthy expense claim forms, and saving them from having to pay the costs up front and claim back later. Better still, with a cardholder app that allows them to photograph receipts and instantly upload them to you, you’ll save time chasing VAT receipts!

Put fuel and expense payments in one place

While many companies operating larger fleets use fuel cards, prepaid cards have some advantages which makes them worth considering as an alternative. Prepaid cards offer a single solution for both fuel and other expenses, like accommodation and subsistence, reducing the need for your drivers to juggle different systems and meaning you can view all your expense data in a single easy-to-use platform. 

Prepaid cards also work on a debit basis rather than a credit basis – so you’ll load each card with the necessary funds, and won’t risk unexpected surprises if spend runs higher than you’d anticipated. If your drivers need more funds, it’s easy to instantly top them up, or to set an automatic top-up level that they’ll return to each day. 

Make payments easy for delivery drivers

If you’re employing more casual delivery drivers, prepaid cards can be a great method of payment. Prepaid cards take the hassle out of managing payroll systems, with no need to collect bank details – your drivers can receive their wages in a convenient physical or virtual prepaid card they can then withdraw as cash or spend in millions of locations worldwide. 

Prepaid cards as a payment system for casual workers also means you can increase the frequency of payments if desired, for example paying your team daily rather than fortnightly or monthly. This can help keep your team engaged, and give them more control over their finances, increasing retention and engagement.

Deliver rewards and incentives

With a shortage of drivers, it’s important to keep your team as engaged and happy as possible to minimise staff turnover and maximise productivity and performance. Reward programs can be a great way of showing appreciation for your team’s hard work, as well as incentivising them for good performance. 

A driver incentive program based on prepaid cards can offer your fleet drivers rewards they can use on whatever they like, so there’s no risk of your reward not hitting the mark, or of risking offending people by giving a gift that doesn’t fit their personal or religious preferences. 

Prepaid cards are also reusable, so you can continue to reward your drivers for staying up to date with training, driving safely and achieving their KPI’s, or for minimising their mileage. 

Take control of your fleet expenses with B4B Payments

With fuel costs soaring, there’s never been a better time to take control of your expense and payment management. By implementing a comprehensive expense management system based on prepaid cards, you can keep control of your costs, easily manage receipts, and instantly track spend. 

Contact B4B Payments today to book your demo and find out how we could help you save time and money on fleet expenses.

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Do I need a VIBAN? A guide to international payments for businesses

Cross-border trade is booming, and a growing number of businesses are looking outside their own borders as part of their post-pandemic recovery strategies. 

72% of SME’s have made a strategic decision to look for new opportunities in new markets, and 43% say they now do more business overseas as a result of the pandemic. 

While many are seeing success, cross-border payments remain a sticking point for many businesses. Nearly half of small businesses surveyed said that high fees and poor exchange rates were a problem. 

If you’re expanding your business internationally, the bank account you use could have a real impact on your bottom line. While traditional high street banks often charge a premium for cross-border payments, a new wave of digital banking services is making it easier and more cost-effective to do business globally. 

If you’re increasing the number of international payments you’re making, a specialist payment account with the ability to issue VIBAN accounts could bring a range of benefits and make doing business oversees easier, faster and cheaper. 

What is a VIBAN?

An IBAN, or International Bank Account Number, is a system of identifying bank accounts internationally to make cross-border payments easier and reduce the risk of errors. 

A virtual IBAN, or VIBAN, looks and acts exactly the same as an IBAN, with the exception that instead of representing a single physical account, a VIBAN is ‘mapped’ to another account with its own unique IBAN. This means you can create multiple VIBANs which all ‘map’ to the same central bank account, and that offers a ton of potential benefits to businesses. 

Easily grow your international presence

Building an international presence for your business can bring a host of challenges relating to payments. With traditional bank accounts, you’re usually only able to operate in a single currency, and international payments, while possible, often come with extra fees attached. This means that many businesses end up operating multiple accounts with multiple banks to cover the countries in which they operate. 

B4B’s VIBAN accounts are multi-currency, and can receive payments in 25 different currencies as standard. This means you can receive international payments and automatically convert them to your local currency before they hit your central bank account. This means no hassle juggling multiple accounts, and a smoother reconciliation process for international payments. 

Make faster international payments

High street banks often aren’t set up to manage high volumes of international payments, so if your business is expanding globally, you might need a more specialised option. 

B4B’s VIBAN payment accounts are specifically designed to handle high volumes of local or international payments. You can send outbound payments in over 25 currencies via banking rails using schemes like Faster Payments, SWIFT, CHAPS, SEPA or ACH in the USA. 

Because our accounts are designed to handle high volume, you’ll achieve faster settlement times than with many high street banks. 

Save on payment and FX fees

If you send or receive foreign currency payments into a normal bank account, you’ll often attract high fees for making payments via banking rails like CHAPS, as well as for currency conversion on payments received in foreign currencies. 

B4B’s VIBAN accounts can receive payments in 25 different currencies, with up-to-date exchange rates and no hidden fees. This means you’ll be able to convert funds received to a VIBAN into your local currency at as close to market rates as possible, adding up to huge savings over time. 

Make reconciliation easier

With a single bank account, it can be difficult to unpick exactly what area of the business different payments relate to, and you’ll be heavily reliant on the payment reference attached to a specific transaction. If your customer types their reference wrong, it can be time-consuming and difficult to track the payment down. 

With multiple VIBANs all feeding into a single account, you can give a client their own unique bank details with which to pay you, so there’s no need for a reference number. This means you can track the sources of payments much more effectively, easily segregate different types of payments for faster reconciliation. 

Keeping payments organised using VIBANs can also help to increase transparency around where different sources of funds have come from, reducing AML and KYC risk .

Issue international accounts to your customers

The ability to create multiple VIBAN accounts isn’t just useful for managing your business’s own payments. If you’re a payments business, you can also use VIBANs to issue bank accounts to your customers.  

Issuing your own VIBANs to clients is a fast, simple way of offering payment accounts as part of your service offering, with quick account setup and a great customer experience. Better still, VIBAN accounts will be in your client’s own name, not your business’s, so there’s no confusion for customers making payments to these accounts. 

Make international payments easy with B4B Payments

If you’re growing your business, B4B Payments could help you save money and time. To find out more about how you could streamline your high volume international and local payments using a B4B Payments account and VIBAN virtual account numbers, get in touch today.

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How instant payouts can improve customer engagement and loyalty

For customers, faster is usually better, and streamlining processes to ensure that payouts are made promptly is an obvious way of improving your customer experience.

There are real benefits to businesses from speeding up disbursements too, from boosted reputation and lifetime customer value to reduced resource usage and a reduction in complaints and customer service requests. 

Real-time payments are a growing trend both in the B2B and B2C spaces. Open banking technology combined with Faster Payments is making it possible to pay out funds instantly to customers’ bank accounts, while prepaid cards offer a similar experience with added brand recognition and convenience benefits. 

Refunds

While it’s not ideal, customer returns are part of doing business, and the way your business handles these has a huge impact on your customer experience. Two thirds of shoppers say that refund times are an important factor in their decision on whether to return to a merchant. 

Being able to offer refunds instantly, either to a prepaid card or direct into a customer’s bank account, could have a real impact on customer retention and repeat purchase rates. Some companies, like Amazon, even offer to process refunds before the returned items have been processed – while this might seem risky, Amazon has clearly found that the improvement in customer experience and increased loyalty from honest customers is worth the extra hassle it might cause with a few bad eggs. 

Reward and incentive payments

Reward and incentive programmes are proven methods of increasing customer engagement, loyalty, and lifetime value. The most effective reward is one which happens as soon as possible after a customer completes the required tasks – instant gratification helps link the thrill of receiving a benefit or reward to the action they took to earn it (a purchase or recommendation, for example). This means that the behaviour is reinforced much better than with an incentive which takes some time to come through. 

While discounts or points can be a good incentive mechanism, they require long term action to build up, and this can reduce the “instant gratification” element somewhat. To get the maximum bang for your buck on incentive programmes, consider depositing cash straight onto a prepaid virtual card for users to spend right away – not only does this give them instant reinforcement of their decision to support your brand, but it means they’ll be able to use their reward straight away, rather than waiting for enough points to build up. 

Gaming payouts

In the gaming industry, fast payouts can significantly increase customer engagement and maximise the chances of repeat business – if a customer receives the funds from a big win straight away, they’re more likely to reinvest some or all of it into more gameplay, compared to receiving it several days later when some of the excitement has waned. 

Gaming companies can also increase customer loyalty and engagement by offering payouts on a branded pre-paid card. Not only does this allow funds to be deposited instantly, but it ensures that a customer’s winnings are separated from the rest of their finances, maximising the chances that they’re re-used for more gaming rather than absorbed into day-to-day expenses. 

International payments

If you do business internationally, you’ll be aware of how stressful cross-border payments can be. With longer settlement times and hefty fees compared to domestic bank transfers, sending money to foreign bank accounts can be a challenging process, and this can affect your reputation if the client or customer on the other end is getting impatient. 

With B4B Payments’ corporate payment accounts, you can send cross-border payments quickly and efficiently over banking rails, reducing settlement times and keeping your overseas customers or clients engaged. 

For customers who need refunds or other payments quickly, a virtual prepaid card could even reduce settlement times to zero. By transferring funds on a virtual prepaid MasterCard or Visa card, your customers receive their funds instantly via email, and can withdraw it from an ATM or spend it in millions of locations worldwide. 

Insurance payouts

If you’re in the insurance industry, the benefit of making an instant settlement goes deeper than simple customer experience. The faster an insurance claim is settled, the lower the likelihood that a customer will challenge the payout, and this can reduce the overall value of claims paid out, significantly increasing profit margins. 

Paying insurance claims quickly via instant bank transfer or onto a prepaid card can mean both happier customers and improved business performance. 

For travel insurance, virtual prepaid cards could make it easy to get funds to customers for fixed-price claim items such as delays or cancellations, or even to cover the cost of emergency alternative travel options or subsistence costs. This saves your customers the hassle of having to cover expenses up front and claim back later, and could be a major USP for your policies. 

Make faster, easier payments with B4B

Whoever you need to get funds to, B4B Payments can help you take advantage of cutting edge technology to make payments as near to instantly as possible. To find out more about how we can help, get in touch today.

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Digital and data driven processes to increase charity donations

The past few years have been challenging for charities in many ways.

With increased cost of living driving increased demand for many charity organisations’ services, it’s also put donations under pressure as regular donors feel the pinch. At the same time, the COVID pandemic has dramatically reduced the number of cash transactions across the UK, reducing a vital revenue stream for many charities. 

With so much change, charities are looking to digital as a way of increasing donation levels to support their work post-pandemic. Many are introducing innovative new approaches to increase donations, helping them weather what’s likely to be a highly uncertain couple of years. 

While some charities are at the forefront of digital innovation, others are still catching up – the most recent Charity Digital Skills Report shows that 40% of charities still don’t have a digital strategy in place, and 17% don’t offer any online services. 

No matter what your charity’s level of digital maturity, there are simple steps you can take to leverage technology to improve donations. Here are a few areas to consider:

Contactless donation options

In 2017, debit card transactions overtook cash as the UK’s most popular payment method, and the pandemic has only accelerated this. It’s predicted that by 2027 only 16% of payments will be made with cash

With spare change donations worth as much as £320 million to charities annually, it’s vital that charitable organisations find alternatives to cash donations quickly. 

Contactless technology is a simple alternative to cash donations, allowing donors to give via a QR code or by tapping a card or smartphone. 

Direct bank payments

QR codes can even leverage Open Banking technologies, allowing people to donate direct from their bank accounts rather than using a debit or credit card. Where direct bank payments used to take time to confirm, many can now be authorised instantly with no need for charities to handle donors’ bank sort codes or account numbers. 

Direct bank payments also mean lower fees payable by the charity, so a greater percentage of donation revenue is retained. 

Micro-donations

While QR code and contactless donations mimic the convenience of a change collection box, they don’t replace the “every little helps” concept, where donors are giving loose change that means very little to them. 

Some technology providers are working to replicate this phenomenon – FundStar’s Percy prepaid card makes a micro-donation every time it’s used, allowing customers to give to your charity in tiny increments that they’ll barely even notice. 

Many online retailers also offer similar functionality at their checkouts – for example, Amazon Smile allows customers to set up a preferred charity and donate a percentage of their spend every time they shop. 

Automated gift aid

While encouraging donations is vital, it’s also important to ensure that your charity is maximising the value of every donation it receives. 

The UK government’s Gift Aid small donations scheme allows charities to claim back 25% tax on contactless card donations of £30 or less by activating PAR (Payment Account References), allowing Gift Aid claims for card payments to be automated. 

Streamline your payments with B4B

Whether it’s launching a prepaid card scheme for your donors or enabling direct Open Banking payments, B4B Payments can help you streamline your charity’s payment processes and get the most out of your funds. 

To find out more about how we can help, get in touch today.

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B4B Payments are proud to have won the PayTech Award 2022!

We are thrilled to announce that we have won for ‘Best Corporate Payments Initiative’ Category.

The results were announced on the 1st of July 2022 at the Merchant Taylor’s Hall, attended by the B4B Sales, Marketing and Accounts team and Banking Circle! We have won amongst many reputable finalists including Cal and Custodia, Natwest, National Australia Bank, Monneo and more!

B4B cards have supported charities for urgent expenses during the pandemic. Our corporate virtual expense cards have been one of the key measures put in place to help vulnerable people whom are homeless and at risk. They provide a method for paying for essentials like food, shelter or medical care but also give staff access to a digital management platform where they can track, spend hassle free, whilst being able monitor how much funds have been disbursed monthly and carefully choosing how best to utilize government contracts.

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How our contactless prepaid cards can benefit the travel industry

The travel industry was particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the future looks brighter. Industry bodies expect to see a boom in travel as people make up for years spent at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As travellers return to the road or the skies, there are signs that they’re prepared to spend more to make their next trip special – 80% of US travellers aged 18-34 are planning to “go big” on their next trip, and boomers expect to spend at least $4000 on travel in the next 12 months

With consumers champing at the bit to jet off, travel and tour operators are in an ideal place to capitalise on the situation, offering new and innovative ways for their guests to make their trip extra special. 

Prepaid cards have a long history of use in the travel industry – foreign exchange providers have offered prepaid currency cards for many years, giving travellers a convenient, secure alternative to carrying large amounts of foreign currency when they travel. In 2022, there are tons of ways prepaid cards can be used to elevate your customers’ travel experience and increase their lifetime value. 

Post-COVID recovery

While many holidaymakers can’t wait to get away without the stress of masks and restrictions, others remain cautious. Data from booking.com suggests that nearly half of all travellers opted to avoid public transport while travelling in 2021, and 79% of global travellers will take more precautions due to COVID. 

With consumers looking to travel companies to support them to stay safe while travelling, contactless prepaid cards could be a useful way of reducing potential transmission points and help customers feel more confident bouncing back from the pandemic. 

Cruise onboard spend

Prepaid cards are the perfect choice for cruise onboard spend, allowing your guests to purchase everything from spa treatments and souvenirs to onshore excursions. Prepaid cards are particularly useful for cruise passengers as they can be used in multiple currencies, making it easy to make purchases onshore as well as on board. 

A branded card makes it easy for guests to manage their onboard funds, as well as offering an easy method for applying any incentive or reward payments they may have earned. 

Best of all, funds loaded onto a branded card can be saved for a future trip, encouraging repeat travel and increasing customer lifetime value. Payment cards could even be used to incentivise customers when they’re not travelling – for example, by offering discounts at select partner retailers. 

Tour groups

Security is a high priority for many guided tour groups. Organised tours are highly visible and can easily become a target for pickpockets and thieves, leading many tour operators to set requirements that guests wear travel belts or take other security precautions to keep their belongings safe. 

Branded prepaid cards could help you offer another level of security to your guests. By requesting that funds are stored on your company’s prepaid cards, you can easily freeze lost or stolen cards to avoid funds being lost, and can quickly transfer your guest’s funds onto a new card instead. This means that if the worst happens, you’re able to respond quickly and get your tour back on track – saving your guests the hassle of having to call their own banks to freeze cards, or arrange alternative payment methods in the interim.

Tour guide expenses

Prepaid cards aren’t just useful for your guests. They’re also perfect for employees like travel representatives or tour guides. 

Prepaid company expense cards can make it easy for your representatives to manage expenses, both for themselves and on behalf of the groups they’re working with. With the option to set automatic top-ups to a preset limit, your guides will always have access to the funds they need to deliver amazing experiences for your guests, and with easy photo upload of receipts and automatic integration with your accounting system, reporting is a breeze too. 

Delay subsistence funds

Every travel organisation occasionally runs into problems with delays or cancellations. While these are unavoidable, the way your brand supports customers can have a significant effect on their experience with you, and on the effect of disruption on your reputation. 

While many travel operators provide vouchers to delayed or stranded guests, prepaid cards could be a more user-friendly and modern option. While vouchers are only accepted by specific outlets, a prepaid MasterCard or Visa can be used in millions of locations worldwide, giving your guests more choice and a better customer experience. Prepaid cards can also be topped up instantly, allowing your customers to cover the cost of pre-approved expenses like taxis or hotels without needing to front the funds from their own money and claim back later. 

Trust B4B to elevate your guest experience

Prepaid contactless cards from B4B can help travel companies deliver an elevated customer experience to their customers, and help make their return to travel extra special. To find out more about how we can help, book a demo today.

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How EdTech is helping universities meet the needs of students

In March, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi announced that the government is ready to spend £150 million to give every school in England access to a high speed broadband connection by 2025.

Following the pandemic, remote learning has seen a boom, initially through necessity but now because it’s been proven to work. Technology in classrooms is enabling students to engage in learning in a very different way to how they engaged ten years ago, with EdTech creating IT tools to provide a more engaging, inclusive and individualised learning experience.

So how is EdTech helping universities meet the needs of their students?

Open to different learning styles and paces

It’s a widely accepted fact that different people learn in different ways and at different paces. Some people learn better by reading, listening, talking, doing or drawing – there are dozens, if not hundreds, of different learning styles.

EdTech allows for all of these different learning styles to be considered, understood and catered for.

Where historically, students might have had one – and only one – opportunity to sit through a two hour lecture with nothing but a textbook and their own notes to refer back to, they can now access the same information in multiple formats whenever they need it. It might be as basic as a film of the lecture with accompanied transcript, or more engaging, interactive, online courses – either way, students can now learn in their own way and at their own pace, which can only lead to a greater sense of agency in their own learning and greater academic outcomes.

24/7 Accessibility

A big way that EdTech is helping students is by making learning accessible to all. For example, text to audio and audio to text tech enables students with impaired vision or hearing to benefit from lectures, either virtual or in person, alongside other learners. While specific support, such as signers or braille formats may still be needed, this kind of EdTech means all learners can engage and work with the same material.

Video lectures, either streamed or recorded for later viewing, allow students with other commitments, such as caring responsibilities or health considerations, to watch and learn from lectures without having to leave their homes and without having to put other aspects of their lives on hold. They also allow neurodivergent students, such as autistic students or those with ADHD, to manage their own learning environment and learn at their own pace, in chunks of time that work best for them.

Collaboration

EdTech is opening up the ways that students can communicate and collaborate with one another.

Project management tools and e-learning resources make it possible for students to work together without having to be in the same room or even available at the same time. Group projects can operate in a fluid way, allowing students to still engage and learn together, whilst still being available for other important commitments.

Tutors can also input and feedback virtually, meaning that questions can be asked and feedback can be given more regularly, making learning possible at times that suit everyone.

Paperless classrooms

Asides being messy and difficult to keep track of, excess paper isn’t great for the environment – and this is an issue close to young people’s hearts.

In September 2021, a global survey found that 60% of young people aged 16 to 25 felt very or extremely worried about climate change, and more than 45% said that these feelings affected their daily lives.

It tracks then that paper-based learning isn’t what students want, especially given that students today are digital natives. But EdTech allows for students to learn in a paperless environment.

Cashless systems

Younger generations are more likely to rely on cards and digital banking than cash in their day to day life, so cashless payment is expected at university too – especially if remote learning is now commonplace.

Introducing fintech into the university experience can bring huge benefits to students. By issuing students with prepaid cards on enrolment, they can easily receive bursary and scholarship payments quickly and to be accessed immediately. The risks of fraud and human error in inputting bank details are also diminished and processing payments is much quicker than bank transfers or, even worse, cheques.

Prepaid cards can also play an important role in societies, events and clubs. Student union and society fundraising activities often leave students in charge of large budgets but prepaid cards allow students to easily access and take control of their activities. Prepaid cards can also have restrictions that mean funds can only be spent in certain shops, meaning that the budgets can be kept safe.

Cards can also be used as a recruitment and engagement strategy – students can be offered meals and travel expenses to attend open days or to volunteer, making these events and opportunities accessible to all students without racking up their own expenses.

And students facing challenging circumstances can be paid hardship funds in an efficient and cost-effective way, meaning that money can reach them quickly and when it’s needed.

EdTech has transformed the way that students engage with higher education, from making learning more accessible to different people with different schedules, reducing the impact of learning on the environment, and making for safer and more efficient payment solutions.

To find out how B4B Payments can help meet the needs of your students, get in touch today. 

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Choosing a BIN sponsor: key questions to ask when making a decision

Increasing numbers of businesses in all industries are making financial services part of their business proposition to improve their traditional offering and delight their customers.

Whether it’s offering branded cards or buy-now-pay-later payment accounts, embedded finance (or Banking as a Service) can help you offer attractive new features and drive customer engagement and loyalty.

To offer electronic payment accounts like these, companies need an Electronic Money Institution (EMI or eMoney) license. For companies offering payment cards, they’ll also need to be a member of a card scheme like MasterCard or Visa.

Businesses exploring the potential of adding embedded finance features into their business offering quickly discover that the process of applying for these licenses is complex and daunting. Instead, many opt to partner with a BIN sponsor, leveraging another organisation’s license and scheme membership to offer services without the regulatory burden of becoming authorised themselves.

There are a number of BIN sponsors on the market, and it can be difficult to differentiate the benefits offered by different providers. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a BIN sponsor for your business…

Does my BIN sponsor have the right licenses for my needs?

Starting with the obvious – it’s important that your BIN sponsor has the correct licenses for your needs. This sounds simpler than it is, particularly if you want to offer your services internationally.

For the UK, for example, eMoney licenses are issued by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, since Brexit, UK-authorised EMI’s are no longer automatically able to access SEPA, the Single Euro Payments area, to make and receive payments across Europe. If you’d like to offer payment services in Europe, your BIN sponsor will need a separate license for this if they’re a UK EMI – B4B Payments is authorised by the Bank of Lithuania, meaning our Emoney License is applicable across Europe, as well as by the FCA for UK operations.

In the United States it’s even more complex; eMoney licenses are managed at a state level rather than federally, so you’ll need to apply to the individual licensing boards for the states you’d like to offer services in. Other countries across the world have their own individual, separate requirements too. Similarly, it’s important to check you’ll have access to the right card scheme memberships, to be sure you’re able to offer cards which are familiar and widely-usable in stores or ATMs in your target country.

Does my BIN sponsor have experience working with businesses like mine?

While the first area to check is that a prospective BIN sponsor holds the relevant licenses and scheme memberships, that’s not the end of the story. Not all BIN sponsors are cut from the same cloth, and like all businesses, each will have its own specialist areas of expertise.

It goes without saying that different businesses have different needs, and even though BIN sponsorship may seem a simple service, partnering with a BIN sponsor who has experience working with businesses in your industry or sector can help smooth the path and ensure a positive, productive relationship for years to come.

For example – a fast-moving fintech needs a partner who understands the importance of maximising speed to market, and who’s willing to push the boundaries of their service offerings to deliver new and innovative solutions and to work with them through their own applications for EMI licenses or scheme membership. At the other end of the spectrum, a business who simply wants to issue store cards will have simpler needs and could be happier with an off-the-shelf co-brand solution which can be cheaper to mobilise.

What other areas could my BIN sponsor support me with?

At its simplest level, BIN sponsorship simply involves issuing BIN ranges – the first six numbers on a payment card which identify the bank who issued it. However, if you’re in the process of launching your own card scheme it’s likely that you’ll need far more than just this service.

Some additional services, such as regulatory reporting, compliance management and fraud monitoring, are the responsibility of the BIN sponsor by default. However, things like card manufacturing or foreign exchange services may not be.

To avoid having to coordinate multiple third-party suppliers, it’s worth checking the full range of features a prospective BIN sponsor is able to offer throughout your growth lifecycle, as investing in an end-to-end solution could significantly reduce the time it takes to bring your card scheme to market.

Can my BIN sponsorship solution scale as my company grows?

Many fintech organisations see a partnership with a BIN sponsor as a temporary state, and have ambitions to hold their own eMoney license, scheme memberships or even their own banking license.

The process of applying for these licenses is lengthy and expensive (with good reason – it’s vital that regulated entities are asked to prove their suitability to offer such critical services), and can take many years to acquire. They’re also not a one-and-done process – there are a number of intermediate steps on the path to becoming a fully regulated financial institution, and in the fast-moving world of fintech the path to authorisation can seem painfully slow.

For fintech companies, a BIN sponsor should be able to accommodate and support your business through each stage of its growth with a flexible and scalable set of services. Gaining an eMoney license means you’ll no longer need to leverage your BIN sponsor’s license, but you may well still need to leverage card scheme memberships. Further down the line, should you be granted your own scheme memberships you may still need support from your BIN sponsor for things like funds safeguarding or accounts.

B4B Payments’ BIN Sponsorship 2.0 solution is designed to support fintech organisations through every step of their transition from a new, unregulated business to a fully regulated EMI with scheme permissions. Our offering is designed to flex and scale as you grow, helping you to become more independent whilst continuing to offer the features you need to get to the next stage of your journey.

Does my BIN sponsor’s platform integrate with my technology?

It’s important to consider how you and your customers will access their services, and this means checking that they have a robust technology platform which will integrate with your own offering.

Fintechs often live or die based on their customer experience, and most invest huge amounts of time and effort into designing an intuitive, inviting and easy-to-use interface for their customers. It’s vital, then, that the transition from your company’s own platform into the areas your BIN sponsor controls, such as payments or accounts, is seamless – an ugly iFrame could negatively affect your customers’ experience, and your brand’s reputation in turn.

Ensuring that features like card issuing, management and payment are integrated with your own systems in a way that maintains the high quality experience and technology, you’ve spent so long developing means finding a BIN sponsor who has the same commitment to UX as you do.

B4B Payments’ card issuing and payment platform is designed to integrate seamlessly into your own workflows for an end-to-end embedded finance solution. Our robust API and webhook functionality makes it easy for developers to build our advanced payment features into your own platform, whilst maintaining the highest levels of security and compliance throughout.

With over 15 years of expertise in payments and now as part of the Banking Circle group of companies, B4B Payments is a globally recognised and trusted provider of card issuing and payment services.

Since 2006, we’ve supported thousands of businesses to bring innovative fintech solutions to market via our robust payments platform.

Our next-generation BIN sponsorship 2.0 solution supports fintechs along every step of their journey from co-brand to fully regulated issuer and scheme member.

Our team has a market-leading level of knowledge and expertise to help you grow your business with the power of scalable and secure payments, and our market-leading solutions provide everything you need to put payments at the heart of your proposition.

Get in touch today to find out how B4B Payments can help you make your fintech ideas a reality with our next-gen BIN Sponsorship services.

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How BIN sponsorship can make your fintech ideas a reality

Fintech is big business, and the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have only accelerated the pace of the sector’s development.

64% of consumers worldwide have used one or more fintech platforms, up from 33% in 2017. In 2021, $102bn in investment was fed into the fintech sector.

It’s no surprise, then, that an ever-growing number of startup companies are working to bring their own innovative fintech offerings to market. London alone plays host to over 2,500 fintech companies, and there are thought to be well over 25,000 startups operating in the space worldwide.

Growing a successful fintech startup in such a competitive landscape requires a diverse range of expertise, not least a solid understanding of the financial sector and the rules and regulations to which fintech’s are subject.

While in the UK initiatives such as the Kalifa Review are seeking to create a more welcoming environment for fintech innovation, founders still struggle to expand their businesses, particularly in the face of international regulation, with 47% citing regulatory compliance issues as the main barrier to international growth.

BIN sponsorship as a solution to regulatory bottlenecks

While it’s possible to go it alone, many new companies find themselves overwhelmed by the level and complexity of red tape surrounding financial regulation, which threatens to hold back their ability to deliver innovative new services to their customers. In these situations, partnering with a BIN sponsor could offer a lifeline to many fintech startups.

For fintechs looking to issue cards or offer payments, obtaining an Electronic Money Institution (EMI or eMoney) license and card scheme membership could be a significant hurdle – in the UK, companies applying for an EMI license must provide in-depth information about the structure and objectives of their organisation, as well as proving they hold a significant amount of starting capital.

Instead of going through the rigorous process of obtaining these licenses ahead of launch, partnering with a BIN sponsor allows brands to leverage another company’s existing licenses and partnerships, getting your offering off the ground without the complexity of becoming a financially regulated entity.

While many fintechs have ambitions of becoming regulated entities in their own right, BIN sponsorship is an attractive first step on the road that offers a number of benefits to startup companies.

Increased speed to market

While the value of so-called “first mover advantage” is sometimes debated, there are undeniable advantages in being first to offer an innovative new service. Bringing an offering to market quickly allows startups to outmanoeuvre direct competitors, establish early brand loyalty with customers, and use resources and investment effectively by minimising costs with a shorter development roadmap.

Launching faster also puts your product in front of potential users more quickly, giving you first-hand insights and feedback at a much earlier stage and providing vital data for further development of your offering.

Even if your ultimate goal is to operate as a fully-regulated entity with your own scheme licenses, BIN Sponsorship could allow you to launch your offering while your applications are still in progress, accelerating your development roadmap and cementing your brand’s position early. With B4B Payments next-generation BIN Sponsorship 2.0 offering, you’ll get access to the licenses and scheme memberships you need to get to market, alongside longer-term support and flexibility as you move along our journey to becoming fully regulated in your own right.

Confidence in regulatory compliance

While speed to market is a high priority for many startups, in finance it’s vital that this doesn’t lead to cutting corners. Security breaches or instances of fraud can be hugely damaging to fintech brands, and can lead to serious consequences if they’re discovered to have been the result of compliance issues. For example, OCBC bank’s fraud prevention measures are currently under scrutiny from the Monetary Authority of Singapore after customers lost S$8.5 million in an SMS phishing scam.

By partnering with a BIN sponsor, you’ll receive a raft of support for all aspects of regulatory compliance. As well as being able to leverage your sponsor’s e-money license and card scheme memberships, your BIN sponsor will handle AML checks, fraud monitoring, funds safeguarding and more, so you’re free to focus on developing an innovative tech offering and exceptional customer experience.

With the regulatory aspects of your payment service taken care of, you’ll be free to innovate with confidence that your customers will be safe and that your compliance risk is minimised.

Expert support and guidance

While they may have talented developers and visionary ideas, fintech startups often lack knowledge of the inner workings of the banking and payments world. By partnering with a BIN sponsor, fintechs can gain access to a team of experts with many years’ combined experience in the industry, and all of the benefits that brings.

B4B Payments’ BIN sponsorship service gives you direct access to a team of seasoned industry veterans, each with many years’ experience in the payments space as well as a deep understanding and appreciation for fintech innovation. They’ll be on hand to support you from your first steps towards launching a card issuing or payment platform, right through to taking over the reigns as a regulated entity in your own right.

Our BIN Sponsorship 2.0 offering also provides access to a wide range of pre-built processes and procedures to make it simple to stay on top of your compliance and regulatory responsibilities, without the pressure of developing these yourself.

Robust underlying technology

Innovative technology is only as good as the foundation upon which it’s built, and while fintech companies rely on their own teams of expert developers, there’s a definite advantage to being able to leverage tried-and-tested solutions, at least at first.

While not all BIN sponsors offer an end-to-end service, B4B Payments’ next-generation BIN sponsorship solution includes access to our cutting-edge payment platform, designed to be integrated using our API and webhooks to create your own embedded finance solution. By leveraging our trusted payment platform, fintechs can focus on the developing the advanced features and innovations that make them unique, with the confidence that the basics are taken care of via a robust, established and secure technology platform.

With over 15 years of expertise in payments and now as part of the Banking Circle group of companies, B4B Payments is a globally recognised and trusted provider of card issuing and payment services.

Since 2006, we’ve supported thousands of businesses to bring innovative fintech solutions to market via our robust payments platform.

Our next-generation BIN sponsorship 2.0 solution supports fintechs along every step of their journey from co-brand to fully regulated issuer and scheme member.

Our team has a market-leading level of knowledge and expertise to help you grow your business with the power of scalable and secure payments, and our market-leading solutions provide everything you need to put payments at the heart of your proposition.

Get in touch today to find out how B4B Payments can help you make your fintech ideas a reality with our next-gen BIN Sponsorship services.

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Fintech start-up leverages B4B’s issuing solution

LONDON, England, 10th May 2022: B4B Payments, a leading global payments provider, is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership. Swedish fintech start-up Juni has chosen UK payment solutions provider B4B Payments to deliver their innovative financial services offering for ecommerce companies, this is delivered as part of a new service by B4B, designed to help fintech start-ups scale their offerings more rapidly.

Gothenburg-based Juni was listed as 2021’s fastest-growing fintech startup in Europe, raising $76M in Series A funding and has recently come out of beta with its all-in-one financial management platform. With a goal of eliminating common challenges faced by ecommerce businesses, Juni has leveraged B4B Payments’ BIN sponsorship 2.0 service to power their prepaid card proposition, with the aim of making it easy for businesses to keep track of their finances across multiple platforms.

“We’re delighted to be supporting Juni to bring the Juni prepaid Mastercard to market, and to see our payment solutions leveraged in such an innovative way to empower ecommerce and digital marketing entrepreneurs. As an established fintech firm ourselves, we’re excited to be part of Juni’s success, and we look forward to working closely with them to achieve their ambitious roadmap.”   

Paul Swinton, CEO of B4B Payments

“We’re really excited about our partnership with B4B and their support in building our infrastructure. It will enable us to scale Juni and continue our fast-paced growth while, most importantly, give our customers more value when using our platform. Through B4B, we’ve recently launched our new USD accounts and Mastercard cards, and we’re looking forward to launching additional currencies and features in the coming months.”

Samir El-Sabini, Co-founder and CEO of Juni

B4B Payments’ issuing solution is designed to provide an easier path to market for innovative fintech firms like Juni by removing many of the complexities of regulatory compliance. While Juni is not currently a financially regulated entity, B4B Payments enable them to offer fully secure and compliant card issuing and payment services integrated seamlessly into their platform without first needing to jump the hurdles of gaining regulated status.

Juni has selected B4B Payments to support the launch of their virtual Mastercard prepaid card. With the option to make payments in multiple currencies, process FX transactions with a 0.25% capped fee, earn 1% cashback on ad spend, and access data from multiple ad accounts in a single dashboard the Juni Card empowers ecommerce businesses to gather data insights, make better decisions, and scale their activities more effectively than ever before.

B4B Payments’ next-gen solutions are designed to scale flexibly over time to support fintech companies from their earliest days as a start-up through to becoming a fully licensed entity in their own right. By offering not only access to the required licenses, but a raft of resources and expert support, B4B Payments aim to support a new wave of fintech companies on the path to success.