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Case studies Non Profit Payroll & Payouts Uncategorised

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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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.

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Case studies Expense Management Insights Non Profit Uncategorised

B4B corporate expense cards are the answer for leading charity, London Youth

This top charity finds that B4B’s prepaid business card platform is the perfect support for the running of its many programmes.

Paying expenses through petty cash was a time-consuming headache for UK charity London Youth. Switching to corporate expense management through B4B Payments was a fantastic solution for this busy organisation.

Important work

London Youth is a charity whose purpose is to improve the lives of young people in our nation’s capital. Last year, working through a multitude of different youth organisations, they supported more than 27 000 young people, giving new hope and opening up opportunities to grow and thrive. The project management challenges and the administrative load of this vital work can be overwhelming. So when the organisation found there was a better way to handle expense payments, they were immediately interested. B4B Payments’ corporate expense cards helped London Youth in three main ways:

Quick and convenient

Because the cards are preloaded with funds, the administrators can easily control and account for the amounts allocated, and the users do not have to use their own cash or juggle receipts and expense claims. Users can pay for goods and services, online or store-based, that accept Mastercard® payments. Shazia Mert, Programmes Support Officer for London Youth said,

“Paying funds by petty cash meant there were more likely errors in calculation, and we were unable to provide funds in advance when needed.”

With the new system, there is positive buy-in from users, and participation in events and programmes by members of the charity’s Youth Board is now fully supported.

Security is key

The cards can be loaded with any amounts from 300 to 4,000 euros a month. Cardholders can check balances online using a PIN and topping up funds in an emergency is fast and straightforward. Lost cards are not a problem, with replacement cards issued within 24 hours. For London Youth, a further benefit was reducing the risk of losing money through uncontrolled spending, errors, or potential fraud. Furthermore, the system ensured policy and regulatory compliance – a critical factor in the management and accounting practices of any charity.

Great customer support

“Right from the start, the B4B team has been clear and helpful and friendly. Having one account manager who I can go to is so helpful. Having had the opportunity to build a rapport with my account manager, I know I can always trust her to deal with any problems or questions I may have. She already knows how my organisation uses the account, and so she can advise me accordingly.”

Shazia Mert, Programmes Support Officer for London Youth
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Case studies Insights Non Profit Payroll & Payouts

Migrant Help chooses prepaid B4B payout solution

Using specially designed prepaid cards, Migrant Help has been able to support and protect hundreds of people.

For Migrant Help, finding a cash solution that suited their organisational mission and practical limitations was a must. In their work, assisting victims of modern slavery and human trafficking, being able to provide ways to aid recovery is paramount. Money was one of the biggest hurdles in the process since displaced or exploited individuals often don’t have the facilities to open a typical bank account.

With that problem in mind, B4B Payments was the ideal partner. Though in the past the charity was required to make hand-to-hand payments of cash, this was high-risk and not appropriate in all circumstances. As such, a prepaid MasterCard was the perfect alternative – offering all the benefits of a cash-free system without requiring the paperwork and process of an individual bank account.

Using specially designed prepaid cards, Migrant Help has been able to support and protect hundreds of people looking to better their lives through the charity. Helping those that need it the most means providing that additional degree of independence over their own lives. B4B Payments offers that perfect middle ground between formal financial support and cash-in-hand, helping at-risk individuals to get on with their lives and reach more positive outcomes.

What made B4B Payments the ideal option for Migrant Help?

“We have found this payment solution very simple and easy to use, the system is user friendly and we’ve found the B4B staff to be very supportive and responsive whenever we’ve had to escalate an issue. This has made a real resource and efficiency saving for our organisation. The Solution has been empowering for our clients who are able to manage their own money for the first time, made the process significantly quicker and less time consuming for staff.” Rabiya Ravat, Deputy Director of National Operations

Now, Migrant Help uses B4B prepaid cards as their primary payment method across the broad spectrum of individuals they support. As a far more suitable alternative to cash, prepaid cards have reduced administrative strain and cost overall – which is a must for running a charity long-term as efficiently as possible. An unexpected, but welcome positive has been the reduction in travel time and transport cost involved in face-to-face payments.

Once an individual working with the charity is set up with their own B4B card, supplied by the charity, there’s no need for any additional meetings for top-ups or allotted money. Instead, the whole process can be fulfilled digitally – benefitting both workers within the Migrant Help offices and the people they serve. By reducing risk, streamlining processes and modernising the support they offer, the charity is better placed than ever to increase the number of people they can help each year.

What has become recently apparent is how effective the use of B4B Payment’s prepaid cards are in the current world climate. At the height of COVID-19, the use of cards of cash handling meant the additional protection needed to keep staff and clients safe was already in place. No need to search for a quick and easy solution, thanks to B4B’s prepaid cards already being firmly established into Migrant Help’s ongoing processes.

Ease of use, Practicality, and Functionality

Migrant Help have now achieved the best possible system for supporting victims of exploitation and modern slavery. By choosing to work with the B4B Payments team, they’ve created a solution that not only works – but benefits both recipients and staff at the same time. Modernisation is vital for any charity to continue to succeed, and Migrant Help has undoubtedly got that box ticked by making a move from a cash-only process to one that can be done with far less face-to-face time.

At B4B Payments, we’ve designed our payment solution to be as straightforward as it is innovative. That means reduced risk, enhanced payment processes and visible results every time. For charities like Migrant Help, our prepaid cards offer a particular solution – but the benefit of choosing such a versatile platform is the fact it can be expanded to many other areas, from payroll to rewards, general payments to charitable exercises.