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Expenses insights newsroom Payroll & Payouts Tools & Guides Uncategorised

The Pros (and cons) of being a cashless organisation.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to question whether they should adopt a cashless policy or not. Recent global events, such as the coronavirus pandemic, have led to an increase in credit and debit card payments. Digital wallet services like Apple Pay are also experiencing exponential growth, as increasing numbers of consumers and vendors embrace cashless payments.

However, in some industries – particularly in business-to-business environments such as wholesalers or supply merchants – cash is still commonplace. This article covers the pros and cons of switching to a cashless payments model and is designed to help you to determine whether going cashless is the right solution for you.

The pros of adapting a cashless policy

Save time – and money!

While businesses are expected to pay fees on credit card transactions, it’s worth noting that processing cash sales can take much longer. Ultimately, the time spent processing physical cash transactions could be better spent elsewhere. With cashless transactions, you’ll spend less time making trips to the bank, counting cash at the end of the day, and entering cash transactions into your accounting software.

Increased efficiency

A simple tap or swipe of a prepaid business card, credit card, debit card or mobile phone is much more efficient than giving out petty cash. If your business frequently experiences last minute or on-the-spot purchase needs, you may find that a cash-free solution helps to alleviate backlog in accounting.

Easier accounting and money management

If you’re frequently spending time poring over transactions while trying to determine why your expenses aren’t tallying correctly, it’s time to think about going cashless. With a cashless solution from B4B Payments, each transaction is tracked and receipt uploads are a breeze with the mobile app. This makes accounting more accurate and increases efficiency in the workplace.

Reduced risk

If your business keeps cash on the premises, you’ll always be vulnerable to theft. By switching to a cashless policy, you’ll improve the physical security of your staff and customers. Cashless transactions are also more hygienic – and your team and vendors will value this in a post-pandemic world.

Enhanced expense management

Going cashless isn’t all about finances coming in – it concerns your outgoings, too. Whether you’re purchasing from suppliers or covering the corporate expenses of field agents and reps, your expenses are easily tracked and managed when you go cashless.

Access valuable data

Cashless transactions generate a multitude of valuable consumer information. This data allows you to analyse the purchasing trends and spending habits of your card recipients and employees, which can be used to improve your financial strategy.

Cons of adopting a cashless policy

Increased card fees

One of the biggest bugbears for small-medium enterprises is the dreaded card transaction fee. To combat this, some companies factor card fees into their pricing structure, which could mean having to slightly increase the amount you charge your customers for your products.

*Pro tip- Read the fine print. Many prepaid card programmes offer cheaper rates from the outset, with hidden fees or margins on FX rates for transactions. Ω`

Some people prefer cash

For some organisations depending on who you’re distributing your cards to, cash is still king. In particular, older recipients of funds, are more accustomed to paying with cash and could feel alienated by your decision to adopt a totally cashless policy.

Is going cashless right for your business?

There are a lot of variables to consider before going cashless. Businesses in certain industries might benefit from going completely cashless, while others might still want to hold out before no longer utilising cash payments.

Whether you’re ready to take the plunge or not, having a cashless payment solution can certainly increase efficiency, provide you with better understanding of where your money is going, and streamline your accounting process. If you’d like more information, why not contact us to find out how B4B Payments could transform your fund disbursement today?

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Expenses insights newsroom Tools & Guides Uncategorised

How to cut business costs

No matter how established a business is, regularly looking for ways to cut and control costs and eliminate unnecessary expenditure is good business practice. In uncertain times, and when faced with an uncertain economy, every penny truly does count and even successful businesses should re-evaluate how they can cut costs.

1. Look for ways to be environmentally friendly

While swapping your bulbs for LEDs and installing solar panels may seem like unnecessary business expenses, in the long-term, they can help your business to save a significant amount of money. You can also encourage your employees to make better eco choices, such as switching off their computers rather than leaving them on stand-by and opting for digital documents rather than using paper. Buying reusable mugs and cups for your workplace is much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than constantly buying single-use supplies. In a post-covid workplace, we recommend ensuring each member of staff has their own supplies to ensure the safety and health of your team.

2. Negotiate supply expenses

It never hurts to try and negotiate a lower price with supply vendors to see if you could get a better deal. If you have been with a vendor for the long-term, you can ask them to reward your loyalty and retain your custom by offering you a lower, more affordable price. If they are unable to do this, shop around for another vendor, you may be surprised at the savings you could make by switching to another supplier or company.

3. Reduce overheads

Do you really need an office? Since lockdown measures were put into place due to the global pandemic, many businesses are re-evaluating having a physical presence at all. It’s clear employees are adapting and thriving in a remote working environment and surveys show that by continuing to give your employees the choice to work from home, you will not only have a safer, happier team, but can significantly reduce your overhead costs by moving into a smaller office space or none at all. If you choose to have a smaller office space with fewer employees working physically in the office, this will also help you to lower your energy bills and keep employee expenses low.

4. Control expenditure

If you’re looking for an easy and efficient way to control employee expenditure, you may wish to consider B4B Payments. Having spent the last 14 years developing a robust prepaid card solutions that allows businesses to view and control their employee expenditure in real-time, ensures your organisation has total control and transparency over their employee expenses.

5. Reduce travel

Encourage all meetings to take place via video call or conference call, rather than allowing employees to travel frequently. This not only saves a company transport costs, but it also reduces the time employees spend and waste travelling from location to location. If it is essential departments or employees meet in person, use to ensure tracking your employees’ transport expenses is easy and you can factor this expense into your monthly or quarterly budget.

To learn more about the prepaid business card solutions that can help businesses of all sizes cut costs, contact B4B Payments today. From payroll to employee expenses and employee incentive management, we can help you manage your finances in one, convenient platform. Get in touch today to learn more about our effective solutions.

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case studies Expenses 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 Expenses 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 Expenses 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 Expenses insights Travel

B4B simplifies payment for Italian tour operator IPV

Based in Rome, Idee Per Viaggiare (IPV) is a leading Italian Tour Operator. Since 1995 it has specialized in realising tailor-made itineraries to a wide number of long haul destinations.

Cooperating with the world best airlines, the most prestigious hotels & resorts and the most important tourism boards of the world, IPV is recognized as a key partner for Italian outgoing leisure tourism market.

In 2016 they won Best Tourism Catalogue at the Italian Travel Awards again. This success was repeated in 2017 and 2018 when they won both the Best Emerging Tour Operator as well as the Best Facebook Page awards, a recognition that fully captures the development and growth trend over the years of Idee per Viaggiare.

IPV have been working with B4B Payments since 2017. “We are very happy to be working with B4B,” says CFO Roberto Viola. “We count on our partners to support our client offering. B4B makes the payment process very easy.”

B4B Payments works with travel companies both in the UK in Europe but also in the US too.

“We are very pleased to partner with IPV. It’s a pleasure to provide a payment solution to their customers”, says B4B Director of Accounts, Tim Robson. “B4B works with many travel companies both in Europe but increasingly in the US too. Our prepaid solution is ideal to support the industry where security and convenience are key.”

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case studies Expenses insights Payroll & Payouts Sports & Leisure

B4B provides payment support for ICC Cricket World Cup

On the 30th May to 14th July 2019, cricket fans around the globe had their eyes firmly fixed on Lord’s as the thrilling 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup took place. As the top ten cricket teams in the world came together to battle it out for the world cup title, B4B Payments offered their services to the cup’s hosts, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), to provide elite payment solutions to the cricket teams, their management and key CWC staff.

B4B Payments’ prepaid business cards allowed teams from around the world to easily distribute funds to their players and staff. As B4B Payments’ prepaid business cards can be used anywhere in the world that accepts Mastercard payments, they can be monitored closely to ensure funds are being used in the correct way. This ensures corporate expense management is effortless and receipts can be managed through B4B Payments’ digital tools.

“I was very pleased with the solution B4B Payments provided to help support the players, officials and staff during the CWC19. The B4B team’s professionalism when rolling out the solution and the support provided to ensure the teams and officials could concentrate on their on-field performance, providing the best World Cup experience for the fans around the world.”

Sam de Terte, Financial Controller for the ECB

When trying to execute such a prestigious event, or travelling around the world to compete in a sports event, the last thing you want on your mind is obtaining, carrying and storing a large amount of cash. For the ECB and the teams taking part in the event, B4B Payments eliminated this problem with their prepaid business cards.

B4B Payments is privileged to work with many sporting events to provide payment solutions, for example, the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The Greater London Authority and B4B Payments also supported the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.

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case studies Expenses insights

GLA Renews ambassador card programme

B4B Payments has extended its relationship with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Team London to provide prepaid cards for its London Ambassador Programme.

For the past five years the volunteering programme, driven by the Mayor of London, has welcomed nearly one million visitors to the capital every summer. The Ambassadors are the friendly face of London welcoming and assisting visitors at some of the capital’s top tourist hotspots and major sporting or cultural events.

The Ambassadors give their time freely but receive a prepaid card to use for the small expenses that enable them to carry out their duties.

Tim Robson, B4B Payments Account Director, said: “We are delighted to be renewing our relationship with the GLA to support this valuable service and the tourism industry here in London. These voluntary Ambassadors do a great job and we make life easier for both the volunteers and the GLA by streamlining their expenses process.”

The B4B solution was named Best Prepaid Product Of The Year 2019 at the prestigious Card and Payments Awards earlier this year.