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Banking Circle & B4B Payments join forces for innovative corporate payments service

Leading corporate prepaid payment provider selects Banking Circle for corporate accounts and clients’ funds safeguarding services

B4B Payments, a leading global prepaid payments provider, has selected Banking Circle to provide payments infrastructure for its corporate banking services. Providing prepaid solutions to businesses for more than 15 years, FCA authorised B4B enables organisations of any size to manage expenses, simplify payroll, reimbursements, and offer employee rewards and incentives.

As a leader in FinTech and prepaid business payments and voted the Best Prepaid Product of the Year in 2019, the new partnership with Banking Circle will enable B4B Payments to offer innovative, flexible, and time-saving solutions that streamline and eliminate antiquated finance and accounting processes. Initially Banking Circle will provide virtual IBAN accounts for B4B clients as well as safeguarding services.

Banking Circle Virtual IBAN gives financial institutions such as B4B the ability to issue virtual IBANs in their customers’ names in a way that traditional banks would simply not facilitate due to risk and legacy systems limitations. It is a genuine game-changer for the payments marketplace.

The future vision of the two companies’ collaboration includes utilising Banking Circle’s multi-currency accounts, SEPA and SWIFT transactions solutions and foreign exchange (FX) capabilities. By making payments ‘feel local’, Banking Circle will be removing the need for B4B to have a physical presence in each country in which its customers operate, yet deliver payment costs comparable to those of local banks in the region.

“Banking Circle is changing the dynamics of the global payments ecosystem. It is doing the heavy lifting for businesses like ours by establishing a super-correspondent banking network that will deliver fast and cost-effective solutions for our clients. We therefore see our partnership as integral to our ambitious development plans.”

B4B CEO and co-founder, Paul Swinton

“The diverse customer base of B4B requires flexibility and adaptability to serve their needs and we are delighted to be able to provide payments infrastructure to underpin that service. Our mission at Banking Circle is to tackle the legacy of high cost and slow international payments and B4B is another business that has seen the value we can add to their proposition.”

Anders la Cour, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Banking Circle

About Banking Circle

Banking Circle is a financial infrastructure provider to Payments businesses and Banks. As a fully licensed bank, free of legacy systems, Banking Circle technology enables payments companies and banks of any scale to seize opportunities in the new economy – quickly, at low cost and in line with high standards of compliance and security – with direct access to clearing that bypasses old, bureaucratic and expensive systems.

Banking Circle solutions are increasing financial inclusion. From accounts to lending, international payments to settlements and FX to compliance, Banking Circle technology is helping thousands of businesses transact across borders in a way that was previously not possible.

Banking Circle is owned by EQT VIII and EQT Ventures in partnership with Banking Circle’s founders. Headquartered in Luxembourg, Banking Circle has offices in London, Munich, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

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B4B Payments welcomes Chief Commercial Officer Craig Simpson to the team

B4B Payments is a prepaid payments solutions company specialising in streamlining B2B payments using prepaid expenses cards, innovative payroll solutions and employee incentives. B4B Payments’ goal is to revolutionise business payments and payroll to make payouts quicker, more efficient, and cost-effective for everyone involved.

B4B Payments are today very proud to announce that a new member is joining the team. Craig Simpson, an MBA-qualified business development professional with over 15 years of experience in the payments sector, has recently been welcomed onboard by the B4B Payments team. The company is incredibly excited to work with Craig, who will no doubt be a valuable asset to B4B Payments.

Craig Simpson’s background includes experience as the Head of Business Development at a world-leading payment card technology company, as well as years as the Head of Business Development with Flex-e-Card, a company specialising in gift vouchers and prepayment cards. As he moves over to join the B4B Payments group, everyone involved is expecting big things from the new partnership. Craig’s immense experience in business development in the business payments sector will no doubt be invaluable to B4B Payments.

Paul Swinton, CEO and Founder for B4B Payments has said of the move, “We’re so excited to welcome Craig Simpson to the team; there’s no doubt that he’s going to be valuable to our work here. With 15 years of experience in business and sales roles and an MBA under his belt, Craig’s CV speaks for itself. At B4B Payments, we’re always looking to the future to innovate and adapt, and Craig’s many years of experience in both business development and payments will no doubt help us to stay at the forefront of payments technology.”

B4B Payments has already made a name for itself as a leader in business payments and prepaid business cards. Founded in 2006 as Payment Card Solutions, B4B Payments has been an FCA authorised Payments Institute since 2017. 2020 was a good year for B4B Payments, as the company expanded into new offices in both the USA and Europe, and this new hire of Craig Simpson is part of B4B Payments’ ongoing growth. The company is no doubt on an upward trajectory, with huge developments occurring over the past few years, including becoming a mastercard® principal member, EMI status, and winning the Best Prepaid Product of the Year at the Cards and Payments Awards in 2019. When coming on board, Craig said, “I am really excited to be joining B4B Payments at such an exciting time in its growth trajectory. We have big plans for expansion, industry leading technology and products, and a fantastic team in place. I believe that B4B Payments has a very bright future, and I am glad to be part of it.”

With new talent on board, B4B Payments is well placed to take on the international prepaid card industry in 2021 and beyond. The company’s strong record of award-winning products and services over the past decade and a half is the perfect match for Craig Simpson’s similarly strong record of exceeding sales targets throughout his career; in 2021, B4B Payments is set to go from strength to strength.

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B4B Payments partners with NGOs in modern slavery response

Supplying prepaid Fintech solutions for NGO organisations

A critical issue for all of the NGOs who support victims of modern slavery is how to pay aid in a way that doesn’t put them at risk of being targeted as known carriers of cash. For the victims themselves, being unbanked creates problems with payments in their daily lives as well as with accessing government support systems.

What is modern day slavery?

Modern-day slavery is a critical global issue that is still commonplace in the United Kingdom. Since 2011, local NGOs have had to supply aid to more than 10,000 victims. In 2019, nearly half (46%) of potential victims who were referred to the support scheme were from London.

On a global level, it is estimated that 1 in 200 people are currently slaves. These people are the victims of a variety of exploitative practices and are often forced into work on factories and farms or coerced into the sex industry. Many also end up pushed onto getting involved in illegal pursuits such as smuggling drugs.

B4B Payment’s solution

B4B is a fast-growing Fintech company and an established presence in the prepaid card sector, currently helping NGOs to supply prepaid cards to modern slavery victims.
The launch of their improved process is one of many initiatives that NGOs and their partners have developed in collaboration with the Home Office to improve the way that charity aid is supplied to modern-day slavery victims. Prepaid cards, in particular, help NGOs to reduce the level of in-person contact needed during the current pandemic. These payments are provided under Government contracts and allow NGOs to provide essential payments to help victims begin their process of recovery.

Better inclusivity and safety for victims

By pairing up with B4B Payments, NGOs can now supply the people they help with a prepaid Mastercard® rather than a cash payment. This cashless solution enables staff to send the victim a one-off payment in full, without any worries that they will be targeted for carrying money. Card users are also empowered to make payments online, just like they could with a normal bank card. This means that they can access Government services or purchase things from home much more easily should they have a disability or be adhering to COVID-related social distancing precautions.

An NGO spokesperson said: “Bringing forward the roll-out of prepaid cards has been one of the key adaptations we’ve successfully introduced in recent weeks to help survivors of slavery as they not only begin to live independently but also supporting them to do this within Government guidelines, to protect them from infection.”

CEO of B4B Payments, Paul Swinton, said: “It has been hugely rewarding to provide our services to NGOs because they’re tackling some of the biggest social problems in the world today. Financial inclusion is an issue that cuts across so many different areas including modern slavery, domestic abuse, people trafficking, and homelessness, and we as a financial technology company must do our bit to innovate and help the less fortunate.”

A success story

By partnering with NGOs to create a cashless solution for the previously unbanked victims of modern-day slavery, B4B issued over 7700 prepaid cards across 13 organisations. This included a partnership with one of the largest and most well-known charities globally. Since initiation, over 140,000 transactions have been made using the cards and over £7.7 million in charitable funds have been processed through the new system.

In addition, the program took only two weeks to issue a victim with a prepaid card from the initial sign-up date. The positive impact on the lives of the victims can be seen in the increased safety of their payment methods and the improved convenience of online shopping and access to governmental systems. As previously unbanked people, they can now have the benefits of a card and the financial inclusivity it allows.

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B4B Payments secures exclusive partnership

Blackhawk Network, a global industry leader in payments, rewards and incentives announces a partnership with payment processing and e-money issuing solutions provider, B4B Payments.

As a result of the partnership, Blackhawk Network will extend its coverage of mastercard® badged open loop prepaid solutions across Europe for clients to use in their reward or disbursement programmes. 

The partnership enables Blackhawk Network to offer multinational clients a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all their rewards and incentives, including gift cards, eCodes, and prepaid cards. This streamlines the often-complicated processes seen when operating with multiple products in multiple regions, by giving clients a single relationship and point of contact, which ensures simplicity and efficiency for all. 

B4B Payments CEO Paul Swinton said: “We are delighted to extend our relationship with Blackhawk Network and give their impressive client list the ability to take advantage of our co-branded open-loop cards throughout Europe alongside their other offerings. We are looking forward to our joint markets growing exponentially as covid-shocked businesses get back to promoting themselves using our wide array of incentive payment tools.”

Stacey Richards, Prepaid Product Director at Blackhawk Network said: “B4B Payments are a like-minded organisation who, similar to Blackhawk Network, believe in offering innovative payment solutions. We are pleased to announce this partnership and embed their solution as part of our wider prepaid card portfolio. We are the market leader when it comes to rewards and incentives and are excited to make our footprint in the payments space even bigger.”  

About Blackhawk Network  

Blackhawk Network delivers branded payment programmes to meet our partners’ business objectives. We collaborate with our partners to innovate, translating market trends in branded payments to increase reach, loyalty and revenue. With a presence in over 26 countries, we reliably execute branded payment programmes in over 100 countries worldwide. Join us as we shape the future of global branded payments. 

Blackhawk is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. For more information, please visit www.blackhawknetwork.co.uk  

About B4B Payments 

As a leader in fintech and prepaid payments for over 15 years, B4B Payments continues to 

offer flexible and time-saving solutions that streamline and eliminate antiquated finance and accounting processes. B4B Payments has recently introduced a partnership programme to serve as a springboard for increasing the level of cashless organisations worldwide. Offering a range of solutions for partnership targeting businesses that are ready to take control of their expenses, manage payroll, payouts, and incentives. Whether you’re looking to differentiate yourself in the market by adding additional services or to add additional revenue streams, B4B has a mutually beneficial programme for your business.  

B4B Payments has offices in London, Vilnius and Boston. For more information, about partnerships with B4B visit our partnership programme page.

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Everything you want to know about… virtual prepaid cards

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

What are virtual (digital) cards?

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

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

The benefits of virtual cards

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

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

How does a virtual (digital) card work?

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

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

Can virtual cards be used in my digital wallet?

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

Are virtual cards safe?

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

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

Virtual cards in the future

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

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

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Closed loop and open loop prepaid cards

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

Closed loop and open loop

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

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

Solutions for businesses

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

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

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

Prepaid cards in the future

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

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B4B Payments celebrates European expansion with Fintech Hub LT association

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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B4B: UK E-money Institution & Mastercard Principal Membership

Payment solutions experts, B4B Payments (B4B), celebrate approval to become an E-money institution and the launch of a new branch office in Vilnius, Lithuania. This follows on from the launch of the Boston branch in August 2020, the launch of its products in the USA and is another step completed in the strategic goal of B4B to widen their company reach on a global scale.


On Friday 28th August, the FCA authorised B4B to operate as an E-money Institution (EMI). The following week, B4B joined Mastercard as a principal member. This change in status will allow the company to issue their own cards and offer even more innovative prepaid business cards and payment solutions throughout Europe.

As an EMI, B4B Payments will take responsibility for and be able to issue electronic money in the form of prepaid cards for its business clients, which can then be used to make payments to third parties. This removes another supplier from its supply chain bringing faster decision making and an improved approach to product enhancements.

The Vilnius branch will cover all of B4B Payment’s customers in Europe, helping to Brexit-proof the company and the company is on track to receive a second EMI licence in Lithuania.

Dual authorisation as an E-money institution allows B4B Payments to provide their financial payment solutions to all territories in Europe. No matter what exit deal the UK secures with the EU, this approval will allow B4B Payments to continue to provide their high-quality services to businesses throughout Europe.

Paul Swinton, B4B Payments co-founder and CEO said: “This is undoubtedly an exciting time for us. We are taking the next step in our global expansion plan and have just been approved to become an E-money institution in one country and a second will shortly follow. We have also continued our long-established relationship with Mastercard by becoming a principal member. As we migrate all our European cardholders away from Wirecard Card Solutions onto our own licence we will ensure there is no impact to cardholders or our business customers. We are delighted to grow our company with our clients and look forward to offering more enhancements to our corporate payment solutions moving forward”

For over 14 years, B4B Payments have been leading the Fintech and prepaid solutions market, working with a global team to offer consistently innovative and flexible payment solutions that can help businesses manage their corporate expenses efficiently and easily.

Paul added, “I’d like to thank the hard work of the B4B Payments team who managed to make this all possible and our colleagues at Mastercard who have acted quickly and decisively to ensure that thousands of customers of Wirecard will not be further impacted. The passion of our company has enabled the first stages of our international expansion to be a huge success and I can’t wait to continue to share news of our success with our customers as we move forward.”

Opening a Lithuanian office is further proof of the forward-thinking nature of B4B Payments, who endeavour to bring the best payment processing solutions consistently to the market.

Edoardo Volta, Head of Fintech, UK & Ireland, Mastercard commented “We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with B4B Payments as they continue to innovate in the commercial space. Our worldwide acceptance network and solid experience in the Fintech space will ensure we are able to support their global ambitions and future success.”

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Notice of New Terms & Conditions

This change affects both B4B and Bread4Scrap clients and cardholders. The following communication was sent on 15th September 2020.

Dear Client/Cardholder,

This is a notice to advise that your current terms and conditions showing Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd (WDCS) as the issuer of E-money will be replaced by the attached new set of terms within the next 60 days.

This change has come about because WDCS has determined that it is going to bring about an orderly wind down of its business. All cardholders and e-money accounts will be transferred to B4B Payments to allow operations to continue as normal.

B4B Payments as the trading name of Payment Card Solutions (UK) Ltd and is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Electronic Money Institution (register number 930619) and is a Principal Member of Mastercard International Inc.

B4B Payments has been operating your cards and card program since its inception as a program manager of WDCS and to date has carried out all operational activities in respect of the program, so this change should have little to no effect on day to day operations.

The only significant difference is that B4B Payments will be additionally responsible for the safeguarding of cardholder funds whereas WDCS performed this function previously. Like WDCS, B4B Payments uses the segregation method to ensure all client funds are held in credit institutions in the EU. The safeguarding policy is available upon request.

It should be noted that if you do not wish to continue the use of your card or the e-money services currently being provided by B4B Payments under the new terms then B4B Payments will allow you to redeem your e-money and waive the normal redemption fee. 

It should be further noted that for operational reasons the balances of cards maybe transferred to B4B Payments within the next 60 days, but this does not affect your rights under the current terms.

If you no longer wish to continue under these new terms, then please contact your account manager or customer services to arrange the redemption of your e-money.

As always, we appreciate you choosing B4B as your prepaid payments partner.

Regards,
Paul Swinton, CEO B4B Payments & Bread4Scrap

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B4B Payments Announces Strategic Expansion into U.S. Market

B4B Payments announces new collaboration with Visa in the U.S.

Digital payments company, B4B Payments, today announced a strategic collaboration with Visa in the United States. B4B Payments will leverage Visa’s proven scale, security and reach to grow in the U.S. market. The B4B payments program will be delivered on Visa Debit Cards and supported by Visa DPS for issuer processing services.

The move will see B4B Payments’ technology aiming to help companies facing challenges with outdated payment methods in the United States. Due to open its first U.S. office in Boston, Massachusetts in August 2020, this announcement marks a significant leap forward in capability for B4B Payments.

“Now is the right time for us to unleash our platform into the U.S. market and help companies free up their time from the sometimes-antiquated expense management processes in the same way we have in Europe. We are looking forward to achieving similar levels of success by collaborating with Visa to take our product forward.”

Paul Swinton Founder and CEO of B4B Payments

B4B Payments’ technology helps to streamline the payment process for organisations who had previously found difficulty managing issues that can be associated with traditional payment methods, such as employee expenses or third-party payments. The platform is entirely digital and can be used in conjunction with the B4B app to enable updates on the go, featuring automatic notifications of funds received, reminders for receipt input and freeing up the business to spend more time on other tasks. The technology allows for increased visibility and control over the expense payments that a company makes to its staff and suppliers. B4B Payments is particularly useful for agile digital companies without the resources to employ full-time administrative staff, or who employ gig economy workers and contractors, because payments can be tracked and made as needed without needing a central interface.

Kieran Draper, Head of B4B Payments (USA) Inc, comments, “We’re delighted to be able to announce the company’s expansion into the U.S. market, which has been a corporate ambition of ours for some time, and to transform the sometimes challenging process of business payments alongside a global brand like Visa is a great privilege.”

Our platform assists U.S. businesses facing challenges with purchasing and payments, in a world where the gig economy is growing massively. We hope to provide these businesses with a swift, secure and easy-to-use platform that gives them more time and effort to focus on their trade, rather than their administration.”

“We have successfully worked with fintech organizations across the globe to provide a clear path towards getting to market faster and more efficiently, leveraging Visa’s scale, security, reach and strong network of partners. By working with B4B payments on their expansion to the U.S., we are continuing our support for fintechs, with the goal of accelerating the growth of the payments industry and creating better ways to help move money everywhere.”

Terry Angelos, SVP and Global Head of Fintech, Visa

B4B Payments announces this exciting news off the back of an excellent 2019, which saw the company win Best Prepaid Product of the Year at the 2019 European Card & Payments Awards. With over 1,000 customers in Europe alone and several award wins under their belt, this expansion into North America represents a significant milestone for the company.