Categories
Biotech, Pharma, and CRO Expense Management Insights Newsroom Payroll & Payouts Uncategorised

Science tech start-ups boosted by EU investment

42 start-ups involved in the science and technology industries are set to receive a welcome investment boost from the EU’s European Innovation Council (EIC) as part of a drive to boost Europe’s international standing in these fields.

The EIC will be investing a hefty €178 million in total, taking stakes of 10% – 25% for each company. This is significant news for anyone with knowledge of the EU’s role in funding ground-breaking science and innovation. Traditionally, the union’s funding bodies such as the European Fund for Strategic Investments have limited their offerings to loans, grants or guarantees rather than direct investments. In other words, they have taken a backseat in deciding how allocated funding is actually invested.
The recent decision to switch to equity investments is borne of the fact that Europe has failed to translate its pioneering scientific endeavours into commercial accomplishments in recent years. Faced with a tough economic environment, start-up companies have been finding it difficult to secure the venture capital needed to grow and thrive.
It is anticipated that the EIC’s direct investments will change this stagnant commercial environment, helping to attract investment and mitigate the risks that inhere within any new business venture.
2021 is a big year for the EIC as Horizon Europe – its billion-euro research programme – gets up and running. As part of the programme, the organisation expects to make more direct investments in promising science and technology firms through to 2027.

How start-ups can secure funding

Start-ups can apply for a simple grant or a blended option of support, grant and equity. It should be noted, however, that while the pool of money available for budding start-ups is generous, the selection process is set to be very competitive.
The first step involves making an initial application to the EIC, who will go on to identify the most promising start-ups from the funding round. CEOs who make it past this initial step will then be invited to an interview panel of six experts in the fields of technology, law and investment.
The panel will pass their recommendations over to the EIC regarding which start-ups are worthy of funding and another panel – this time made up of investment experts – will recommend how much money each of the selected businesses deserve. The EIC will then confirm their decisions based on the advice of experts.
If you’re heading a start-up and are looking to take advantage of the EU’s new investment drive, you should note that the grant process is set to change as Horizon Europe gets up and running. The precise nature of the changes is still being negotiated, but rest assured that the future for promising new scientific ventures is looking bright.

Hit the ground running with B4B Payments

Are you a finance manager involved in a science-based industry such as pharmaceuticals or biotech? Perhaps you’re a start-up looking for ways to streamline your financial transactions with a partnering organisation? Look no further than B4B Payments. We offer companies smart financial solutions for organising payroll, payouts, reimbursements, incentives and more, giving them the tools needed to thrive and grow.

Read more articles on biotech, pharma, and clinical trials.

Categories
Company News Newsroom Uncategorised

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.”

Categories
Company News Newsroom Uncategorised

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

Categories
Company News Newsroom Uncategorised

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.

Categories
Company News Insights Newsroom Tools & Guides Uncategorised

The benefits of a branded prepaid business card

To brand or not to brand?

Wait… Is that even a question? Brand! Brand everything!

Often when somebody goes on a company trip, they’ll travel out with a business credit card in order to cover their expenses. This has been the typical method of corporate expense management and keeping your spending on trips under control. However, the use of the branded prepaid business card is on the rise. Here are a few reasons that these cards are beneficial for both the brand, the business, and its users.

A high level of management control

Using business credit cards can often be a struggle, as too many cards being in circulation can be difficult to track. Using a management control platform such as B4B Payments means that you can keep track of all of your corporate expense cards, generate spending reports, and load cards individually or in bulk. This makes the amount of control you have over your corporate expenses far more secure and is a big step towards accurate real-time tracking of company finances and spending.

Personalisation can boost your brand

The improvement of your brand is always a big benefit to any company, and prepaid business cards are not exempt from this idea. When your employees go to a conference and need to cover for their expenses, they can reach down into a wallet and show off your company’s brand whilst paying for anything they get when away. This is a quick and easy way to get your brand seen by more people, often industry professionals, whilst putting minimal effort into getting this exposure. With a colourful and vibrant company expenses card, your business can stand out from the crowd.

Control your expenditure

Everyone’s heard the nightmare stories. Employees often go on long trips to conferences or retreats and may overspend far beyond what the company initially anticipated. With a credit card, it is much harder to stay within these limits compared to a debit card. Using a prepaid business card, there is no credit involved. Your company’s representatives are limited by the amount that is paid onto the card, and therefore can’t overspend and leave your business in financial trouble. Peace of mind is valuable in business, and that is exactly what this card can offer you.

If you’re interested in a prepaid personalised business card in order to control your corporate expenses and get your brand out there, get in touch with B4B Payments. Our team of experts will help to explain all of the available options to you and find you a bespoke way forward.

Categories
Company News Newsroom Uncategorised

B4B Payments chooses LHV Banking Services to fuel growth

LHV, the financial and payment services provider, is pleased to announce award-winning corporate prepaid payments solution provider, B4B Payments (‘B4B’), has become the latest FinTech customer of its London branch. 

Since the launch of its London office in 2018, LHV has now quadrupled its client base to 120.  Customers are predominantly financial institutions and FinTechs, who have been drawn to LHV’s value proposition, its ‘one stop shop’ offering that covers large scale banking service requirements, and its partnership model whereby LHV works closely with clients to develop custom made solutions that satisfy their individual requirements. 

FCA authorised B4B will gain access to LHV’s full service offering including state of the art payment infrastructure and real time Euro and Sterling payments capability via Single Euro Payment Area (‘SEPA’) Instant and Faster Payments schemes respectively. In addition, B4B will benefit from access to LHV’s Application Programming Interface ‘LHV Connect’, which offers a wide range of services, including GBP and EUR safeguarding accounts, Virtual IBANs, currency exchange, liquidity services and where appropriate financing.

B4B Payments, veteran prepaid payment provider in Europe, is going global, expanding operations in North America and opening its first US offices in Boston. The platform 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 for over 14 years and voted the Best Prepaid Product of the Year in 2019, B4B Payments continues to offer innovative, flexible, and time-saving solutions that streamline and eliminate antiquated finance and accounting processes.

Andres Kitter, Head of LHV’s UK Operations, said, “Our decision to establish a presence in London post the 2016 Brexit referendum was to increase our presence in what remains one of the leading financial and fintech sectors in the world and in the process attract customers of the calibre of B4B.  The company has been operating for fifteen years, which shows significant experience and market resilience and we are delighted that two profitable organisations are partnering for continued growth.

“In a little over two years, we have not only quadrupled customer numbers in our London office to 120 but also significantly diversified our client base so that the companies we serve range from payment service providers to FX brokers and from startups to established financial institutions and unicorns. All our clients are subjected to comprehensive onboarding procedures and due diligence and encouragingly we have a growing pipeline of potential customers currently undergoing this process.  I am therefore confident that the momentum behind our London operations will be maintained going forward.” 

 B4B CEO and co-founder, Paul Swinton said, “We looked at a number of providers to provide safeguarding and virtual IBAN capabilities. LHV came out on top due to their flexibility, functionality and value proposition. We migrated our clients easily onto the platform and we are very happy with the service to date. LHV will also be able to support us when we establish our European operation later this month with a one stop solution.”

Categories
Case studies Education Insights Payroll & Payouts Uncategorised

Next Steps South West provides support with prepaid Higher Education Travel Cards

Next Steps South West (NSSW) is an organisation, part of the Uni Connect programme, funded by the Office for Students.  Their aim is to increase progression into higher education by inspiring young people, working with teachers and parents to overcome barriers.

NSSW use personalised, prepaid cards for their Higher Education Travel Card scheme to enable students to attend university and college open days.

B4B Payments provides forward-thinking payment processing solutions, enabling any size organisation to manage its expenses, simplify its payroll and offer rewards and incentives using prepaid cards. With over 1,000 customers and growing all of the time, B4B Payments was voted the Best Prepaid Product of the Year in 2019.

Taylor, a student at Eggbuckland Community College in Plymouth, was the subject of multiple interventions from NSSW, who offered one-to-one support, motivational talks and workshops to help him become the first member of his family to attend university.

With the help of B4B Payment’s prepaid cards, NSSW was able to cover the cost to help Taylor travel to attend a UCAS exhibition and open days at the University of Exeter and the University of Plymouth. Following the support of NSSW, Taylor was able to earn multiple university offers to become an undergraduate student in September 2020.

With B4B Payment’s online portal, customers can easily load their cards with funds in a matter of minutes, track their expenditure and monitor access to their funds, giving organisations like NSSW, complete control over their finances. Annie Winsland, Central Team Leader at NSSW expressed her gratitude for B4B Payment’s prepaid cards: “The whole process has been simple and straightforward. Nothing is too much trouble for B4B staff and their swift response to any matter that may arise and the ability to tailor cards to suit our needs is a definite win for us.”

Categories
Case studies Expense Management Insights Non Profit Uncategorised

Church Service: Finding solutions with B4B Payments

Connect Church took control of spending and increased the effectiveness of their multiple programmes by using prepaid business cards from B4B Payments.

Connect Church was founded 80 years ago in Birmingham and has grown to become a vibrant church for the modern age. It is multigenerational and multinational drawing people from across the city, and around the world, through its online services on Facebook and YouTube. It is run by a small staff who work hard to coordinate the work of more than 100 volunteers.

Until recently, the work of the church was facilitated using petty cash, or by people paying from their own pockets and claiming reimbursement. These methods were difficult to administer across so many activities and volunteers. Paperwork was not always submitted correctly, and the system was continually at risk. When staff made online purchases from their own pockets, there was often unavoidable delays before the money was reimbursed, which affected their family budget. Vital activities and services were delayed or adversely affected as a result. Connect Church needed a corporate expense management system that would work for them.

Finding payments solution that worked

As a way of facilitating the online payments, Connect Church first considered debit and credit cards, linked to the church’s main account. However, they quickly recognised that this would still be difficult to administer as well as being a security risk.

Using corporate expense cards through B4B payments turned out to be the ideal solution.

Now, funds are loaded onto the cards by the administrator, according to an approved budget. The process is simple, and fast so that even emergency payments can be quickly handled 24/7 and the cards can be topped up as needed.

Users can then make purchases anywhere that accepts MasterCard® payments, in-store, or online. Receipts are uploaded online, so keeping track is secure and straightforward. Because the administrator can view all transactions in real-time on the secure B4B interface, users are not able to make large purchases or be tempted by a large credit balance.

Set up was simple, and support was available at every stage. The church staff found that working with the B4B team was a pleasure throughout the process.

“From day one, our interactions with the B4B team have been warm and helpful. They have always been quick to respond to our enquiries for support, and even though we are a relatively small concern, we have always been treated well as their clients.”

– Tracee McAtear, Executive Pastor

The proof is in the pudding

The church immediately saw an increase in the number of services and programmes they were able to offer. The staff and volunteers no longer held back by slow, cumbersome claim processes could focus on running the activities of the church. Staff and key volunteers felt empowered to make their activities happen without delay and without the risk of being personally out of pocket. The church, which is also a registered charity, is run by trustees who can now rest assured that funds are responsibly utilised and accounted for according to fiduciary regulations.

Categories
Case studies Insights Payroll & Payouts Uncategorised

Alpha Contract Solutions simplify and streamline payouts to their temporary and unbanked workers

Alpha Contract Solutions is a dynamic HR company, supplying civil engineering consultants and contractors to prestigious projects across Europe. They needed a smart, flexible and secure payment system to manage their payroll of UK contractors, many of whom are working on temporary projects in other countries, without local bank accounts. The innovative and award-winning prepaid Mastercard solution from B4B Payments turned out to be a great fit for their business.

The next level in employee satisfaction

Prior to turning to B4B Payments, ACS used the legacy banking system of international transfers across borders, but found that the process was difficult and time-consuming for both management and the contractors out in the field.

Managing director Sefton Hanley said: “The service we received from banks was slow and expensive with payments sometimes taking days. We need to look after our people, and delays like that are unacceptable.”

With prepaid cards, the process is fast and easy. ACS contractors are issued with an ACS branded card, which can be loaded with funds quickly and securely. There is no requirement from the employee to fill in any paperwork and recipients receive an SMS notification once the payment has been made. They can then use the card to pay for goods and services anywhere a Mastercard® payment is accepted, online or in-store. The funds are immediately available, and the card can be used worldwide 24/7.

Secure, efficient and fraud-proof

The B4B Payment system eliminates the complicated accounting processes involved when handling cash and expense forms. ACS management found the process, with its clear audit trail, an ideal way to streamline their payroll system. If a card is lost, it can be easily replaced, with no risk to the business. The card is sent directly to the employee and usually arrives within 24 hours. If there is an emergency, top-up funds can be loaded onto the card quickly and securely and the system is fully controllable. Incentives, expense costs and rewards are also all easily incorporated and managed.

Outstanding service and support

The management of ACS is dedicated to being hands-on and detail-oriented, with a commitment to supporting complex projects that operate around the clock, in multiple time-zones. This means that they require very high standards of support from all of their suppliers. They found the team at B4B Payments more than equal to the task. From initial meetings to the system going live, the process was smooth and effective.

“The service we’ve received from the team is great – the whole thing has worked well right from day one,” added Sefton Hanley.

For ACS, partnering with B4B Payments has clearly proved to be a winning strategy in managing their payroll efficiently and cost-effectively, with maximum benefit and satisfaction to their employees.

Categories
Case studies Expense Management Incentives & Perks Insights Uncategorised

B4B Payments partners with UK full-service channel agency, Outbound for prepaid solution.

Recognising the need for efficient, secure, and cost-effective incentives and rewards programmes to deliver to their clients – as well as better way to manage company expenditure, Outbound turned to B4B Payments for a solution which ticked all the boxes.

Outbound is a full-service channel agency, specialising in Sales, Marketing and Management. They help vendors deliver maximum influence, using their long-standing expertise in the IT sector. Their clients include major brands such as HP and Lexmark, with dedicated teams to deliver channel engagement strategies, channel marketing, partner management, demand generation and programme administration with proven results.

B4B Payments partners with many of the UK’s foremost marketing agencies to provide prepaid payment solutions to their clients; encompassing corporate expense management and employee rewards. In a fast-paced world where rewards are needed quickly but must comply with all applicable financial services legislations, we work with agencies to understand their brief and select the best solution.

A complete solution

Outbound, like many organisations, previously used gift vouchers for company reward schemes resulting in an unwanted variation of gift based on country. Needing a solution which allowed them to standardise perks, so that individuals within countries didn’t feel they were getting a better or worse deal and wary of sending out gift vouchers in the post, as there was the chance that they could get lost was a major priority. At the same time, Outbound were using personal and company credit cards for trips and expenditure, so being able to combine a cashless solution which fits both needs meant that the B4B solution was the best option.

Claire King, Programme Manager at Outbound, explained that the solution had added value on a number of fronts. She said: “We have used B4B Payments across many projects with different clients – for example HP or Lexmark. The ability to create personalised cards is a useful way of creating brand awareness for the client. The B4B system is easy to use and send rewards and expenses to clients.”

Outbound chose B4B Payments to provide a solution that offered more choice. By providing personalised, prepaid cards which covered both incentives and expenses in one, made it much easier to provide a standardised reward, more control over company expenses, and saved time in accounting.

A great advantage for Outbound was the ability to send B4B cards with zero value, and then top them up with funds when the recipient confirms safe receipt, giving them peace of mind about funds going astray.

The result was a robust solution which allowed Outbound to deliver more value for their clients, offering them the ability to add personalised branding to the cards, enhanced security features, and full use of the B4B Payments platform, making their switch from gift vouchers, and personal payments to B4B prepaid cards all the more rewarding.