Categories
Incentives & Perks Newsroom

How to incentivise remote employees with prepaid cards

Even as COVID restrictions are rolled back, the likelihood is that for many people, the future of the workplace is remote.

82% of employees who currently work from home want a hybrid approach in future, and increasing numbers of businesses are redesigning office spaces, or even shifting premises entirely, to adapt to a new normal where offices are collaborative spaces, not vast banks of workstations.

Outside of the physical implications of a hybrid or remote office working approach, there’s a HR challenge to be solved: if you’re not seeing your employees in person as often (or at all), how do you keep them engaged?

It goes without saying that good management, excellent communication and a strong employer brand are important no matter where your employees are based, and a lot of these things haven’t changed much in the wake of remote working. However, many of the tools that formed the basis of pre-pandemic employee wellbeing and engagement strategies – fridges full of snacks, office pool tables and in-person team building days – aren’t as effective when your team is spread across multiple locations and are rarely all in the same place at once.

Bringing in cake for a team member’s birthday just doesn’t have the same impact it once used to. So how do you help remote employees feel part of a team, and how do you keep them engaged from a distance?

Bring office treats to your employees wherever they are

A fridge full of drinks and snacks was a common site in pre-pandemic offices, and many companies found that going beyond the basic tea and coffee station was a great way of keeping their teams happy and engaged.

For remote workers, it’s harder – they’re responsible for buying their own tea bags, and while most wouldn’t complain (particularly if they no longer have to keep their oat milk under 24 hour surveillance), it’s difficult to find a direct replacement for such a simple office perk.

Prepaid cards can be a great way of treating your employees wherever they’re based – by loading a regular “tea kitty” budget onto a card for each team member, they can choose their favoured drinks and snacks on you. Go further by offering a monthly “staff lunch on us”, or whatever other perks you provide for office-based staff, safe in the knowledge that your cards can be limited to prevent funds being spent on inappropriate things like alcohol or gambling.

Put teams in control of their equipment

If your employees work remotely, you have a responsibility to ensure they have everything they need to do their job – from a comfortable desk and chair to the right computer equipment and accessories.

Kitting out an office is enough hassle, but arranging home deliveries of equipment for large teams can be an absolute nightmare. Not everybody’s working spaces are the same, and they might benefit from slightly different equipment to make their working days more productive and less stressful.

Instead of shipping out the same equipment to each employee’s address, or managing individual orders on behalf of every employee, consider giving them control over their own equipment. Giving them a technology budget on a virtual or physical prepaid card allows them to choose the equipment that’ll work best in their space, and ensure they’re happy and comfortable wherever they work. Best of all, it’s easy to set controls on a prepaid card to ensure they’re shopping with approved suppliers.

Send perfect gifts without the guesswork

Buying gifts for colleagues is a minefield – you can sit next to somebody for five years and still know next to nothing about their personal preferences. If you’re only seeing them a day per week or less, chances are you have no idea what to pick out for them, leading to disappointment or potentially even offence.

Even “universal” gift options like food and drink can fall flat if they don’t fit a team member’s dietary or religious preferences, not to mention the risk of selecting something based on what you know about their interests (or trying to guess their clothes size!).

Even vouchers can be difficult for remote employees – buying something that can only be used in a specific chain of shops or restaurants assumes they have one nearby, and even the broadest voucher schemes limit the recipient’s choices in a way that might make picking out a gift difficult.

Instead, consider a prepaid card – funds can be loaded onto a physical or virtual Mastercard that your employees can use in millions of locations online or in store. With no limitations, each member of your team can choose a gift that’s perfect for them, with no stress and next to no admin compared to wrapping and shipping physical presents.

Give amazing rewards and incentives

Incentivising your team members with the gift of choice means they can reward themselves with whatever is most important to them. A prepaid card makes it easy to reward your team members for meeting targets, completing training, referring in new clients, or just about any other achievement you can think of.

Your prepaid cards can be branded for the specific incentive you’re running, and employees can receive their rewards instantly to spend wherever they’d like.

For larger companies, partnering with specific retailers can also help land your employees a discount when they use their prepaid card in specific stores, giving them an extra bonus on top of the money they’ve received but if far less likely to be spent on mundane stuff, like groceries!

Make office processes a breeze

While we all love a good office perk, sometimes the most effective way of engaging your teams is by making their day-to-day lives easier. This means giving them the autonomy to control how they work, supported by well-designed, efficient processes where they’re needed.

If an employee’s job requires them to make purchases on behalf of the business, convoluted procurement processes can cause unnecessary stress and hassle and reduce the mental energy they have to focus on more important projects. Similarly, staff who incur expenses when they travel for work shouldn’t have to struggle with claiming back their funds before their credit card bill is due.

A prepaid card scheme can give your teams control over their own spending whilst ensuring that your finance team remains on top of overall company spending – cards can be activated or frozen, loaded or unloaded with the click of a button.

Departmental budgets can be loaded onto a pre-paid card, either virtual or physical, so teams can handle their own specialist software subscriptions or equipment purchases, with the ability to restrict them to only using approved suppliers if required.

For employees who need travel and subsistence expenses, pre-paid cards can be loaded to a predefined top-up limit automatically, so they’ve always got available funds for fuel, food and other necessities while they’re on the road. Better still, they can upload receipts instantly through a cardholder app, so keeping on top of reconciliation is a breeze.

Launch your own company card scheme with B4B Payments

Launching your own branded prepaid card scheme is easier than you think – B4B Payments offer everything you need to get started in weeks, with a powerful management platform, physical or virtual branded cards and a user-friendly cardholder app.

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

Categories
Incentives & Perks Newsroom

How embedded finance can help drive business growth and bring benefits to your organisation

In recent years, embedded finance has been making waves in the business world, allowing organisations to offer their customers additional services, simplify transactions, and improve customer loyalty.

The new possibilities brought about by embedded finance even led Andreessen Horowitz’s Angela Strange to remark in 2019 that “every company will be a fintech”.

While that prediction may or may not come to pass, the emerging truth is that embedded finance in businesses of all sectors is providing opportunities for growth.

What is embedded finance?

Embedded finance is the integration of banking systems into non-banking organisations – for example, when a business offers ‘buy now pay later’ options on purchases, offers loans, or uses branded debit cards. The likelihood is that these businesses are not registered banks, as acquiring a banking license entails adherence to strict regulations and meeting significant capital requirements.

Instead, to offer these services to customers, businesses partner with a Banking-as-a-Service provider who lease their licensed online banking services to non-banking organisations.

This is all facilitated through the use of an API (application programming interface) which is essentially a type of code which allows a business’s system to speak more easily to a bank’s, allowing businesses to ‘plug in’ to a bank’s specific financial service and pick and choose which parts of the overall banking provision they want to opt into.

This means that when, for instance, a customer chooses to pay for a sofa on finance, it’s not the furniture company they’re borrowing from, but the bank that is providing the furniture company’s financial services.

What are the benefits of embedded finance?

It leads to happier customers

The pain point of needing to seek credit elsewhere can be eliminated with embedded finance options, which leads to a more streamlined purchasing experience. Customers don’t need to interact with multiple organisations to make a purchase, and are therefore less likely to abandon carts at checkout.

This improved overall experience means that customers are more satisfied with your business, are more likely to return in future, and have a higher likelihood of developing brand loyalty.

It can be used to offer incentive schemes to customers

Using reward and incentive schemes is a sure-fire way to build brand loyalty among customers. With embedded financial options, brands can go beyond the tried and tested “stamp card” by offering valuable and meaningful services to customers that also propagate loyalty.

An example of this is the Tesco Clubcard Pay+; a Tesco branded debit card which earns Clubcard points whenever it’s used, and extra when used in a Tesco store. It allows customers to ringfence their grocery budget on a Tesco debit card, and integrates the Tesco brand and the loyalty scheme into the customer’s daily purchasing habits.

This is what customers want

Embedded finance schemes and services have seen huge take-up from customers in all sectors, proving that they are answering problems and providing value to consumers and clients.

One example is the Starbucks App and card system, which allows customers to transfer money to their Starbuck’s account so that they can quickly pre-order coffee. In the US, it was reported that Starbuck’s had more money loaded onto Starbucks cards and their app in 2016 than many banks had in deposits. 41% of their custom was carried out through the app/ Starbucks card.

You can gather additional data on how your customers behave

With embedded finance options, new opportunities to better serve your customers can become apparent via the additional data that can be harnessed.

Embedded finance services offer many ways for your customers to interact with your brand, and offer insights into how your customers behave, how they spend their money, and how they interact with your services, depending on the financial service they’re using.

This data can be leveraged to uncover trends, offer more personalised deals and marketing, and inform business operations at a decision-making level.

The solution you choose depends on your business and your goals. At B4B, we have a range of embedded financial services that can drive growth and bring benefits to your organisation. Get in touch with our advisors to discuss your needs.

Categories
Incentives & Perks Newsroom

How branded payments solutions can help you boost customer loyalty and drive growth

Providing customers with a compelling reason to stay engaged with your brand is crucial to driving growth through 2022 and beyond

While some industries have thrived and others struggled through the pandemic, all companies have one thing in common as we move into 2022: the need to redefine their relationships with consumers and keep up with rapidly-changing expectations.

While a Ranstad study found that 1 in 4 UK employees expect to change jobs in the next year, consumers are just as ready to shake things up. Having spent two years enduring pandemic-related disruptions from queues and one-way systems to extended call centre waiting times, customers are rapidly growing impatient with brands who aren’t delivering the level of experience they expect.

Customer loyalty has never been so important, and providing customers with a compelling reason to stay engaged with your brand is crucial to driving growth through 2022 and beyond.

Loyalty schemes for 2022: what’s changed?

Customer loyalty schemes are nothing new – from collecting Betty Crocker box tops in the 1930’s to collecting miles as a member of American Airlines’ Frequent Flyer program in the 1980’s to the meteoritic rise of Tesco’s Clubcard in the 90’s, brands have been incentivising repeat business from their customers for decades.

These days, paper vouchers or points schemes can feel a little old hat, however. A new wave of loyalty schemes based around branded payment cards is offering customers more flexibility and better value, and in return driving increased loyalty and growth for the brands who are using them. Not only is a branded card a convenient reminder of your company, every time a customer opens their wallet it can be used in a myriad of ways to suit your specific business goals.

So how can brands use branded payment cards to cut through the noise and create a loyalty scheme that really stands out?

Emotional connections

More than ever, consumers are seeking emotional connection with brands. In the early days of the pandemic, brands scrambled to accommodate and support their customers through a frightening and stressful period, and learned the value of adding a human touch to their interactions with customers.

Branded payment cards can help you keep track of your customers’ spending habits, and understand what they value. They can also be a useful method of supporting customers’ overall financial security and making their lives easier. For example, Tesco Clubcard Pay+ allows customers to ringfence their grocery budgets by transferring funds to their Tesco Debit Card. In return they get extra Clubcard points – and therefore more incentive to spend at Tesco.

Sustainability

Your company’s green credentials have never been so important. According to McKinsey, the use of sustainable materials is a key purchasing factor for 67% of consumers, and Forrester research states that 47% of consumers regularly buy from brands who share their values.

Offering an eco-friendly plastic, or even fully virtual, loyalty card can help your brand demonstrate its CSR credentials. Loyalty schemes could also be structured to benefit the causes that matter to your business rather than customers directly – for example, making a donation to a charity or food bank every time a customer spends with you. Providing ethical incentives to shop with you can be just as powerful as providing direct financial incentives for doing so.

Flexibility

Another COVID-led shift in behaviour that’s unlikely to go anywhere is the increased expectation for flexibility. Mid-pandemic, brands introduced more flexibility into their offerings than ever before – extending deadlines on loyalty points, adding no-fee cancellation and change facilities to bookings, and expanding their support for contactless payment and varied delivery or click-and-collect options. Having seen the value of these offerings, consumers are unlikely to want to give them up post-pandemic.

Branded payment cards are a fantastic method of managing the extra flexibility that customers have grown to expect. Refunds and credits can quickly be applied to a branded card, which offer far more flexibility and convenience than vouchers or points.

Buy now, pay later

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) has boomed in recent years and the trend shows no sign of slowing. With the continued rise of fintech and alternative payment methods and shift to a subscription-led approach across many brands, the option to buy and return items quickly and flexibly, and split payments on items you do choose to purchase, is proving increasingly popular, with Adobe data suggesting that instalment payment spending increased by 422% in the last quarter of 2021 compared to 2019.

Offering a branded payment card attached to a credit line is an easy method of offering your own BNPL scheme – and with data suggesting that more than 49% of people spend more when using BNPL than they would on a credit card, BNPL can provide a much-needed boost to your bottom line.

Not just customers

Branded payment cards are a versatile method of building customer loyalty, with an option for almost every brand. They’re not just for customers, though – remember the 1 in 4 employees who are likely to make the leap into a new job this year? Employee experience is also under the spotlight in 2022, and a branded card scheme could also help to build trust and connection between your company and your staff, helping to improve employee loyalty and retention too.

Using prepaid cards to manage expenses and departmental spending gives staff more control and autonomy in their roles, helping improve motivation and morale and helping day-to-day processes run more smoothly, reducing stress. Branded cards as a method of paying out gifts, incentives and benefits is also perennially popular – cash looks good on everybody, and there’s no risk of potentially alienating employees with a gift that conflicts with their personal preferences or religious beliefs.

How could branded payment cards work for you?

Consumers now expect more from your brand than ever – flexibility, sustainability, transparency, and an emotional connection. While customer experience is a constant focus, branded payment cards are a great way of building loyalty and demonstrating some of those values to your customers.

There are so many innovative ways you could use prepaid cards to drive customer loyalty and business growth. To find out more about how a branded card scheme could work for your business, call us on 020 3137 3420 or email us at sales@b4bpayments.com.

My Booking Rewards – https://www.mybookingrewards.com/

Medihelp – https://www.medihelp.ro/

Categories
Incentives & Perks Newsroom

B4B prepaid cards are the perfect choice for your tenant reward schemes

The pandemic has shaken economies around the world and communities across the UK

People have lost their jobs, housing association spend per home has declined and both tenants and landlords have faced extreme financial hardship. According to Inside Housing, rent arrears in the social housing sector peaked £1bn at the end of 2021. The rising cost of living has also been a contributing factor to these statistics. 

Landlords are facing increased operating costs against a backdrop of complex challenges. We are working closely with our members and the wider sector to contextualise the impact of the pandemic and provide the on-time insight and forecasts they need to take mitigating action with confidence.

Chief Executive of HouseMark, Laurice Ponting

These financial challenges have contributed to broken rental agreements and in some cases less upkeep of property, ultimately costing Housing Associations extra time and money.

Give a little back

One solution that can ease this problem is by introducing a reward scheme using our prepaid card, simply to give back and say thanks. The scheme can help encourage good behaviour and loyalty, boost community involvement and more. It’s up to you how and why you want to reward your tenants, maybe they are up to date with rent payments, keep their property clean and tidy or have been a good neighbour.  

Our prepaid cards are suitable for any type of rewards and can be topped up at any time and every penny will be recorded. With the ability to issue cards as closed-loop or open-loop, you can tailor your offering to suit your tenants needs.

Our offering

Depending on your minimum order, we can add your branding to our cards. Tenants can keep this card in their wallet/purse, and each time they make a payment it will create a positive association with your company.

There are also many other features to our cards including:

  • Load money on cards in bulk or individually on your management platform
  • View real-time float statements and transactions
  • B4B app features real-time SMS notifications

To learn more about the benefits of our products, click HERE.

Categories
Insights Newsroom Payroll & Payouts Uncategorised

Lithuania’s new B4B legislative changes: Why prepaid cards are the future

In April 2021, the Seimas approved draft amendments to Lithuania’s Labour Code, which will forever change the way Lithuanians will be paid by their employers. As of 1 January 2022, employers will no longer be allowed to pay their employees with cash, but via payment transfer to a digital account. Ideally, this will prevent unauthorised payments from being made in a ‘shadow industry’ and move Lithuania towards a cashless society.

An ideal solution moving forward would be for employers to take advantage of B4B’s prepaid payment cards for their payroll needs.

“This is a pivotal point for many organisations in Lithuania, and we believe our solution will be very helpful for transport and construction companies and accounting agencies providing payroll solutions”

Vladimiras Kolesovas- General Manager, B4B Payments Europe

Prepaid B4B Payment Cards

B4B Payments provides a pragmatic approach to payment processing solutions, which can enable any size organisation to simplify their payroll and reimbursements and manage their expenses while at the same time offer an employee incentives and rewards program. When you choose B4B to handle your payroll affairs, you can streamline your entire payroll arrangement by distributing employee compensation through a prepaid mastercard®.

B4B has created an adaptable prepaid card solution that will save your organisation money on fees and costs associated with the traditional payroll processes. These cards can be used for a variety of currencies: GBP, EUR, or USD. Our ground-breaking approach is especially useful for businesses with short term or temporary staff, so that you, the business owner, can meet the ever-changing demands of your workforce and not be constrained by limited means.

“We really appreciate how easy the B4B system is to use. Our staff get paid on time with minimum fuss, straight onto a Mastercard®, and their funds are available to use immediately. We highly recommend B4B Payments to anyone who needs to efficiently pay seasonal or unbanked workers.”

Carmen Chicea, Head of Administration, HPS Services


By using prepaid cards for payroll, businesses can benefit from low running fees. Processing costs associated with conventional paper payment methods can be costly, so B4B has ensured that businesses are free from these costs by eliminating load fees from our prepaid cards.
You can choose to have the cards delivered to your office or have the cards delivered directly to the cardholders’ homes. You also have the option to bulk order cards so that you can issue them at the time of your choosing. You’re in complete control when using our secure online management platform.


A Successful Case

The dynamic HR firm, Alpha Contract Solutions, provides civil engineering consultants and contractors to prominent projects throughout Europe. They required an intuitive, adaptable and secure payment system to help manage their payroll of UK contractors, many of whom were working abroad on temporary projects in other countries without local bank accounts. The award-winning and innovative prepaid Mastercard solution from B4B Payments ended up being the perfect fit for their business.

Before signing up with B4B Payments, ACS used traditional banking systems of international transfers across borders, but soon found that the process was time-consuming and tricky for both management and contractors in situ.

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.”

Sefton Hanley, Managing Director of ACS

In ACS’s case, the process became simplified. ACS contractors were issued with a prepaid card specially branded with the company logo and specially chosen colour scheme. No requirements were put upon the employee to fill out any extra paperwork, and each employee received an SMS notification whenever a payment had been made. Funds were loaded quickly and securely without issue. Employees could then use the card to purchase services and goods at wherever they chose, as payment is accepted both online and in-store alike.

Another advantage of branded prepaid B4B card

You always want to seek out ways to gain exposure for your company, and prepaid payment cards from B4B are a great way to advertise your brand. As you have full control over the colours and logo, you can design an eye-catching prepaid Mastercard that will surely get noticed when one of your employees is making a purchase in the wider world. This is a wonderful way of getting your branding seen by a larger audience without putting in a great deal of effort.



Categories
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.

Categories
Incentives & Perks Insights Newsroom Uncategorised

RIP inter-departmental ping-pong. Swanky office perks are dead.

Say hello to a new era in employee perks.

Gone are the days of enticing office employee perks. Today’s employers must think of innovative methods to reward employees, whether they’re based in the office and or at home. Whereas before staff could look to employers to provide perks, ranging from everything from extra paid time off to ping pong tables in the break room and beer in the fridge, the landscape for employee incentives has now changed thanks to the significant rise in remote working. According to Anouk Agussol in the Financial Times, “Companies that don’t have flexibility benefits as standard will really lose out. It’s no longer an advantage to have it, it’s a disadvantage not to.”

Prepaid cash cards, the perk for everyone

Where once it might have been enticing to have fun office perks – think extra holidays, free food in the breakroom, wellness days, on-site gyms, laundry centres and much more – according to the Financial Times’ Perk Popularity Index, employees are now shifting towards matters of physical and mental wellness as well as financial freedom.

B4B Payments offers an ideal product with our prepaid cards for business. The employer creates a specialised prepaid business card complete with the company’s own branding and logo. The card can then be distributed to employees, who then choose how, when and where to spend it. B4B payment cards allow money to be spent at multiple vendors, unlike single-use store cards. By providing them with a prepaid B4B payment card, you could be helping them to repay student loans. In areas where the economy has been hit harder by Covid, your B4B payment card might be assisting with something as fundamental as groceries. Employees once enjoyed free sushi in the break room; today’s needs might be something more essential. Crucially, though, you’re leaving the spending power in the hands of the employee.

“We were looking for a solution that allows our employees the freedom to spend their reward where they wish. Working with B4B Payments, we came up with the My Bunzl Rewards branded Mastercard. We wanted the rewards process to be as easy as possible for everyone and we’re very pleased to be working with B4B Payments to make this happen. The feedback from the business divisions and Bunzl employees themselves has been really positive.”

Krystle Siaw, Bunzl plc.

The benefits of a branded prepaid B4B card

Gaining exposure for your brand is always a huge benefit to any organisation, and prepaid payment cards are no exception to this rule. For instance, if your employees were to go to a corporate event such as a conference and need to cover their expenses, they could always reach down into their wallet and grab their prepaid B4B payment card, showing off your company’s brand whilst they pay for their item of choice. This is a quick and easy way of getting seen by more people within your own industry, while putting minimal effort into getting this publicity. With a colourful and vibrant company prepaid B4B payment card, your business will stand out from the crowd.


B4B Payments provides modern payment processing solutions that enable any size organisation to simplify payroll and reimbursements, manage expenses and offer valuable employee incentives and rewards. By working with B4B Payments, your corporate expense management team no longer needs to worry about overextending itself on business payments and payouts. You decide how much money will be topped up on your prepaid B4B payment cards and keep yourself well within your own working budget.

If you’re interested in a prepaid B4B payment card to reward your employees and get your brand out there, get in touch with B4B Payments today. Our friendly team of experts will help to explain all the available options to you and find you a personalised way forward.

Categories
Company News Expense Management Incentives & Perks Insights Newsroom Payroll & Payouts Tools & Guides Uncategorised

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.

Categories
Company News Insights Newsroom Tools & Guides Uncategorised

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

Categories
Expense Management Insights Newsroom Payroll & Payouts Uncategorised

It is time to move on from petty cash

The petty cash box used to be an essential part of an office environment. A shared box of money that can be used for employees to make payments for small company-related expenses; it sounds fine, right? Simple enough. Addresses a need. Wrong! Petty cash is an antiquated headache, and now is the perfect time to go cashless, by exchanging your petty cash box for a smarter way to make payouts.

Why is petty cash so problematic?

Petty cash has significant security risks

So why move on from a physical petty cash box? There are many reasons, but the most pressing is the security risks associated with it. It is all too easy for a thief to take money from the petty cash box, or steal the box itself. Depending on how much money you keep there, it could be quite a blow to your ability to provide employee incentives such as that Friday team breakfast paid for from the petty cash box.

It’s hard to keep track of petty cash

Another reason to trade in the old petty cash box is that it is very difficult to keep an accurate record of the incoming and outgoing cash, and what each withdrawal is for. Keeping on top of this requires a high level of detail, but is often nobody’s official “job”, which results in wasted employee time and often inaccurate accounts.

Okay, petty cash is dead. What’s the alternative?

There is a way to move on from the petty cash box seamlessly, while still providing employees with a way to use company money for those small expenses. A prepaid virtual card is a perfect way to create an easily traceable and audible “petty cash” account that is entirely based on a digital card.

Why are virtual (digital) cards better?

A prepaid digital card is a far more secure way to provide employee incentives. Since the money is all loaded onto a card, it is not easy pickings for thieves; it is both harder to steal and easier to keep safe. It can simply be kept in a secure place by a team leader, or in a locked drawer, but it is not as bulky and visible as a traditional petty cash box.

Your card will allow you to load money on quickly and easily so that you can provide employees with the convenience that they want without having to count every penny when they pay for a working lunch.

Ready to move on and ditch the petty cash box of yesterday? Replace it with prepaid cards for your business payments and enjoy headache-free accounting, improved security, and simplified payments.