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Everything you want to know about… Virtual (digital-only) prepaid cards for business

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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Incentives & Perks Insights Newsroom Uncategorised

A new study finds that loyalty programmes are an important factor for customers

Every business knows that customer loyalty is one of the most important factors of any successful business. No matter the product or service you offer, keeping your clients happy is the best way to ensure that they will remain loyal to you for years to come.

When it comes to finding new customers and keeping loyal clients happy, a new study1 has revealed that loyalty programmes are an important factor when it comes to making purchasing decisions. In fact, an astonishing 86% of respondents said that loyalty programmes play a big role in their buying decisions.

This study also highlighted that there is a continued want for instant payment methods as well as a growing preference for loyalty programmes. Here are some of the top findings from the report.

Top findings and trends

One of the most interesting findings of this study is that contactless payments are becoming increasingly popular. The study also found that payment apps and mobile wallets have been rising in popularity. Here are some of the key statistics:

Over 50% of consumers in the UK say that at least 75% of their payments are made through contactless.

The use of virtual and digital cards continues to rise in popularity, with more than 50% of participants saying that they have used this sort of technology in the last 6 months.

The study also highlighted how, nowadays, more people care about rewards and instant payments.

52% of respondents favour receiving a virtual card to a physical one delivered to their home.
40% of participants favour receiving instant payments.
56% would opt for a virtual pre-paid card over a physical card.

Finally, the study has highlighted that there are huge benefits to giving customers prepaid cards that offer incentives and rewards (such as loyalty programmes).

Consumers in the study overwhelmingly preferred getting a prepaid card that can be used anywhere to convert loyalty points to payments over receiving a specific gift card for a retailer.

What does this mean for my business?

The study conducted highlights how important loyalty programmes are when it comes to enticing customers to make purchases and continue as loyal customers for your business.

Moreover, the study also shows that customers are starting to use contactless and virtual payments more frequently (and are preferring to pay like this).

Data like this, demonstrates how important it is that your business moves with the times and, if you want new customers and want to keep your current customers loyal, one of the best ways to do this is to offer loyalty programs using prepaid cards.

How do I get this technology?

One of the best ways to simplify your business payments and offer incentives to employees and regular customers is to use B4B payments. Go cashless! Manage your business expenses and loyalty programmes on your company’s prepaid cards. Contact them directly today to learn more about how they can help you grow your business.

1Study conducted by Syncapay

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Incentives & Perks Insights Newsroom Uncategorised

Introducing the best consumer incentive

Your customers are the backbone of your organisation. Whatever product or service you offer, reaching the right consumer is vital to your success, and loyal consumers are an important part of that. Getting in new business is great, but those consumers who keep coming back, again and again, are the ones who will be with you for years to come.

So it’s worth asking, do you offer an incentive programme to your consumers? This is an excellent way of encouraging them to either buy a certain product or service, or make a certain amount of purchases.

If you want to discover the best way to provide consumers with the incentives that will keep them excited about your company, read on.

Why use incentives?

Consumer incentives are not essential for the successful running of your organisation – however, it is an added bonus for consumers, and gives them an extra reason to come to you over and above your competition.

No matter how good you are in your own niche, in an often flooded market you can tend to disappear and struggle to beat the competition. The best way to foster long-term success is to create a loyal consumer base who have more than one reason to return to you.

The best incentive

Incentive programmes provide consumers with an extra feeling of being valued, and of getting something they would not otherwise have gained. However, it is important to note that this only works if the incentive is something they truly want.

If you are in the habit of using an incentive such as vouchers for a local restaurant, that might not be the best plan in the current climate. And should you use Amazon gift cards, you may find that some consumers take an ethical stand against larger companies.

Cashback on a prepaid gift card will suit a range of different people with differing tastes – no one will end up with something they cannot use.

Going virtual

Giving your consumers cashback on prepaid cards is great for use in a range of promotions and giveaways, whether it is a regular occurrence or something you only offer rarely.

Because of its broad appeal, it will encourage a wider range of people to become loyal consumers of your product or service, so you can enjoy a strong consumer base going forward.

Virtual gift cards have the added bonus of appealing to an increasingly digital marketplace. Not having to use the cards in a physical store is a bonus for those who do most of their shopping online and still like to use diverse online stories.

Marketing magic

Should you choose to offer this incredible incentive to your consumers, it can fit into whatever existing incentive programme you have currently and strengthen your company branding. However, you can be sure that when you choose a virtual gift card as an incentive, your consumers both old and new will be more likely to promote your organisation for you by word of mouth – and that is untapped marketing potential that money can’t buy!

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Incentives & Perks Insights Newsroom Uncategorised

Christmas gifting isn’t cancelled with E-gift cards

Let them eat cake.

Christmas 2020 is going to be unlike any other Christmas in most of our lifetimes. With the Covid-19 pandemic still seeing many countries facing a ‘lockdown’ or at least doing their best to control the spread of the virus, there is going to be limited opportunity for companies to celebrate with employees. So how can you go about rewarding your hardworking staff?

We have the perfect solution: give the gift of choice. If they want to spend their prepaid money on food for their family, so be it. If John from IT said his husband didn’t have time to make a Christmas cake this year, let him be the hero. If Kath from accounts looks like she’s worn a hole in her favourite slogan tee, she can order a new one, of her choosing.

Treat them. As equals.

It’s great, after such a tough year, to want to treat your staff. So well done you for even reading this! Everyone could do with a little cheering up. Remember how in our teens nothing anyone could get would be what we really wanted? And how your Mum would tell you off for saying, “I’d rather just have the money”? This year, it is more than likely that your team will be feeling like this. So our prepaid e-gift cards mean you have the privilege of giving them what they really want – the chance to choose it themselves. It means each team member gets the same thing, yes. This means greater equality and greater choice.

Taking the secret out of Santa

Despite the pandemic being described as a great leveller, the effects of it have been devastating for some individuals. Internally, your teams might view Nadia’s year as successful: Her comms team have written an award-winning pandemic-response plan. However, whichever member of the team gets her in a secret Santa could be blissfully unaware that her partner’s restaurant was forced to close, resulting in redundancies. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing to get her an insensitive gift, in this harshest of years? Orchestrating a virtual secret Santa means protecting your staff from transmitting the virus. Issue them all with a virtual gift card and they can purchase their own silly gift. We think toilet roll companies will – pardon the pun – clean up!

Good, clean fun

The Christmas party is notoriously a place for drunk colleagues to make embarrassing confessions, for things to get messy. But this year, mess is the last thing people want. What they want is respect, autonomy and reassurance. We can send out your gift as a virtual card, so nothing has actually touched any physical hands. Your staff can be reassured that their health and safety is paramount and you are listening.

Positive brand sentiment

Giving a gift basket for two when someone’s relationship has broken down due to the pandemic stress could leave a bitter taste in someone’s mouth, in what has been an unprecedented year. However, a branded, pre-paid card allowing them to spend a designated sum on something they want or need will have the opposite effect. When they see your logo as they select their spend, it will increase positive sentiment and loyalty. You could be getting them out of a tight spot, or helping them to feed the family. And, as the marketing message from old says – that is priceless!
Speak to our team about a personalised festive email campaign with e-gift cards we are certain your staff will love.

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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.

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Case studies Incentives & Perks Insights

How Bunzl used B4B Payments to reward loyal staff

B4B Payments are happy to partner with global logistics and distribution group Bunzl plc. Bunzl is the hidden giant behind many businesses taking care of non-core processes from packaging to hygiene products, from cleaning services to catering infrastructure.

“We were looking for a solution that allows our employees the freedom to spend their reward where they wish,” says Krystle Siaw, HR Business Partner. “Working with B4B Payments we came up with the My Bunzl Rewards branded Mastercard.”

The cards have been distributed across the many Bunzl divisions in UK and Ireland. The B4B system allows companies to set up their account to mirror the structure of their business units. This is important in a large company such as Bunzl with many subsidiary companies who all demand different accesses and separate reporting.

“The feedback from the business divisions and Bunzl employees themselves has been really positive,” says Krystle. “We wanted the reward process to be as easy as possible for everyone and we’re very pleased to be working with B4B Payments to make this happen.”

To discuss how B4B Payments can help your company reward its employees, please get in touch here