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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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case studies Education insights Payroll & Payouts Uncategorised

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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case studies insights Payroll & Payouts Uncategorised

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

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

The next level in employee satisfaction

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

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

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

Secure, efficient and fraud-proof

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

Outstanding service and support

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

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

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

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case studies Education insights Payroll & Payouts Travel

Education First chooses B4B for simplified travel payment process.

Education First, (EF) is a world leader in educational travel and has been opening up the world through education for over 50 years. Founded in 1965, the team continues to inspire young people through immersive cultural experiences, helping teachers and students to study abroad, explore historical sites and access academic degree programs. With 612 offices and 52,000 employees, EF offers experiences in 114 countries across Europe, Asia and North and South America.

As a group tour operator offering immersive learning experiences, EF needs to be able to quickly and easily send funds from its headquarters in Zurich to tour directors out in the field. These tour directors are at the heart of the cultural experience, expertly guiding groups around exciting destinations and local landmarks. Easy access to a payment solution is vital.

EF and B4B Payments have worked together since 2017 to provide an efficient but flexible solution to ensure funds are easily sent around the globe to the right tour director at the right time.

Prepaid expense cards mean less admin and more time; Time to do the things that matter most.

As a result of our partnership, EF is making use of our round-the-clock corporate expense management system across the world, from London and Lima to Tokyo and Krakow, ensuring greater efficiency throughout the entire company.

“We worked with B4B Payments to install a payments solution that is efficient for the central back-office as well as our global tour needs. We’re very happy with the B4B product and the service we’ve received from the team in London. Not only the initial product we procured in 2017 but also the incremental services they have brought to us based on our changing needs and feedback. B4B understands that we’re not a static business and is happy to grow with us as we move forward.”

Steve Clark, Education First Finance Director

EF uses B4B corporate expense cards to distribute funds to its tour directors all over the world. Our prepaid expense cards are simple to use, which allows tour directors to easily cover on-the-road expenses freeing them up to focus on their number one priority, the travellers.

Mitigating risk and a clear audit trail of funds was a primary goal of EF’s brief to B4B when the programme was set up. It was just as important that the back-office users could find the system easy to use and reduce admin tasks along with the associated stress and pressure these bring. EF uses the B4B’s system ability to bring ‘four-eyes’ onto financial transactions, set differing authorisation and budget levels depending on the tour. Overall, these benefits lead to greater efficiency and optimal performance as our premier expense management platform cuts business costs and excels at a global level.

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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.

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case studies Facilities Management insights Payroll & Payouts

Payout by B4B Payments crucial for HPS Services

HPS Services are specialists in high-end cleaning led facility services in the residential property and student accommodation sectors. Their goal is to create fantastic communal living environments for their clients across the UK. HPS believe that everyone deserves a fantastic place to live. B4B Payments has partnered with HPS for many years to provide a payroll solution for their highly professional cleaners who employed to service client properties.

As many of the staff are unbanked within the UK, they are given a prepaid card on the arrival.

“We really appreciate how easy the B4B system is to use,” says Carmen, Head of Administration at HPS Services. “Our staff get paid on time with the minimum of fuss straight onto a Mastercard. Their funds are available to use immediately. We highly recommend B4B Payments to anyone who needs to efficiently pay seasonal or unbanked workers.”

“We’ve been working with HPS for many years now,” says B4B Account Director Tim Robson. “What’s more important than paying your workforce? We’re glad we can help HPS with this important process and allow them to concentrate on running their business.”

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

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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 Education insights Payroll & Payouts

UWL use B4B Payments cards to tackle student hardship

The University of West London is known as The Careers University. The University has several campus’ including sites in Ealing, Brentford and Reading.

The University offers a wide variety of courses, ranging from business to nursing. 98% of UWL graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. UWL has the highest satisfaction rating of all London universities according to the National Student Survey (NSS).

UWL takes its duty of care for its students very seriously. B4B Payments cards are used as a convenient way to support students who are facing financial hardship whilst pursuing their studies. After qualifying for a hardship payment, students are issued with a B4B card which is instantaneously loaded with the requisite money.

“We find the B4B system really easy to use,” says Helen Prince, Senior Finance Officer. “We often have to make payments quickly or out of hours. B4B Payments allows us to meet students’ needs as they arise, whenever that may be.”

“I’m pleased we could partner with The University of West London to support their students,” says B4B Director of Accounts, Tim Robson. “B4B works with many higher education institutions in the UK to assist them with their expenses, research payments, bursaries or open-day travel payments.”

To find out how B4B can help with payments for your educational establishment, please contact us here.