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Simplify corporate expenditures with B4B Payments

The complex process of serving customers, balancing corporate expenses, and delivering consistent payroll can be costly and resource intense for businesses.

The complex process of serving customers, balancing corporate expenses, and delivering consistent payroll can be costly and resource intense for businesses. With the UK alone predicted to become a cashless economy as early as 2026, developing other physical ways to manage and spend has become a top priority for many businesses across the globe.

At B4B payments, we specialise in providing tailored card services to help businesses achieve their payment goals by allowing complete customisation of branded, prepaid and virtual cards, incentives and rewards, and more.

Read on and discover how B4B Payments can help take your payments to the next level with our card services.

Corporate expenses solved

Keeping track of corporate expenses can be difficult for large-scale companies, whether you’re planning a corporate event or providing ongoing travel and work expenses for your employees.

At times, juggling your outgoings through multiple platforms can increase the chance of human error, and give birth to a variety of challenges that can impact your finances too. For example, missing out on opportunities to secure contracts for events, or even forcing your staff to temporarily cover their own expenses due to slow payments, or lack of processing resources, can be detrimental to your business, and even affect retention. To remedy these situations, B4B Payments offers corporate card and payment services, allowing clients to issue employees card and platform access to complete daily expenses across the globe.

B4B Payments hands you complete control through a streamlined, one-stop platform, allowing you the power to reload and deploy funds as you see fit to ensure that your executives are always covered for their travel and expenses. Our iOS and Android application lets employees track their expenditures and store photographic proof of purchase receipts at the click of a button.

What’s more, with built-in measurement and reporting capabilities, you have complete oversight over all outgoing expenditures and the power to identify leaking pipes within corporate expenses.

Branded, prepaid and virtual pay-out cards

Commercial card services are becoming increasingly beneficial in a cashless society, allowing customers and clients alike to make and receive payments instantly across the globe. At B4B Payments, we offer a variety of card solutions that tackle our client’s individual needs and the customers they may be serving.

Our virtual cards provide instant reimbursement or payment services, giving businesses the power to pay people overseas instantly, without the need for time-draining or unsecured delivery processes. Our prepaid cards are perfect for customers without established account information, particularly useful for retail cashback schemes, or helping charities and refugee communities in a cashless environment. But, of course, there are benefits for your business, too; with our branded cards, you can alleviate the stress of setting up regular or recurring payments and generating brand awareness through a customisable look and feel.

It’s easier than ever to deploy cards with B4B Payments through our unified platform, which gives your business complete control over the design, distribution, and loading. In addition, streamlining your card operations into one platform eliminates breaks in the process caused by multiple third-party communications and approvals, allowing you to create a method of payout or payment quickly and efficiently.

Rewards and incentives

Rewards and incentives are a time-tested tradition for retaining employees and customers, and maintaining partner relationships. While there is a place for gift-giving in smaller businesses and niche customer sets and industries, it’s hard to argue with the language of cash when it comes to the perfect reward or incentive.

For larger industries, using B4B Payments physical and virtual (closed and open loop) card services will eliminate the challenges of navigating sensitive areas of requirement like gender or religion for customers, employees and partners. Cardholders also get access to an easy-to-use application, which is downloadable on both iOS and Android devices, allowing them to view card balances, and keep track of their spends and rewards. 

Using these services, your business can seamlessly offer customer acquisition and employee retention schemes through prepaid card bonuses, cashback offers, and bespoke partner reward programmes.

To wrap up

Whether you’re looking for corporate solutions or payment services for B2B, B2B2C or B2C clients, we’ve got you covered at B4B Payments. With over 15 years of experience in innovations in the payments space, and unique card services that cover all bases, we make sure that our clients are ahead of the games with fast and efficient transactions around the globe.

Strengthening your payment and payout solutions through card services has never been easier. Discover more about B4B Payments and the transparent, quick and effective card services that we provide contact us today!

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Optimising payment processes with B4B Payments

Whether you’re looking to optimise your own B2B payments services or provide innovative fintech payment opportunities, B4B payments can help you achieve your goals quicker and more easily than ever before.

According to Gartner, 80% of business-to-business (B2B) transactions will be digital by 2025, which suggests that digital transformation is at the heart of modern industries. At B4B Payments, we offer a scalable and cost-effective payment solution which combines various services tailored to our clients’ unique challenges across industries.

Read on and discover how B4B Payments can provide fintechs and embedded payment facilitators with solutions to manage high volumes of domestic and international payments for B2B/B2B2C/B2C and internal payments through our tried-and-tested products.

Go big with mass bank payouts

There are many challenges when providing global payouts on a mass scale. Traditionally the process is long and cumbersome, especially when directing funds or recurring payments around the world, often leading to slow or even delayed payouts to customers.

What’s more, navigating complex and high-cost Foreign Exchange (FX) processes and tax compliance is more strenuous than ever, especially for digital-only businesses in sectors like adtech, online marketplaces, affiliate marketing, and eCommerce. Add to this the constant introductions of new ways to pay (e.g Google, and Apple Pay!) it’s easy to see why businesses could be experiencing a higher churn rate as they struggle to pay quickly and keep up with ever-changing economic landscapes.

But how do you streamline your payment process on a mass scale? Using B4B Payments for your mass bank payouts, eliminates the risk of slow or late payments when paying out to over 25 countries across Europe, with low-cost and transparent global transaction fees and FX rates.

Utilising mass bank payouts through B4B Payments enables you to begin making consistent and quick payments through branded, prepaid, and virtual payout cards, or recognisable banking rails like SWIFT, Faster Payments, CHAPS, SEPA, local clearing in the USA (ACH) and DKK.

Rapid service set-up

Start-ups or businesses moving into new markets suffer a variety of pain points throughout their journey, including the setup or overhauling of their own payment services. As new businesses in B2B SaaS or Fintech, it’s even more critical to offer quick and effective digital solutions for other businesses to grow your partner and customer relationships, and stay ahead of the competition.

If you’re experiencing an increase in human error from disconnected and complex tech stacks or draining resources from a high volume of digital touchpoints in your process, it can easily create bottlenecks in your supply chain and customer or partner churn rates.

B4B Payments provides a one-stop fix for your B2B, B2B2C, or B2C woes, and offers a tried and tested infrastructure that allows you to manage your own payment services and permissions through our sleek and easy-to-use platform.

With our payment rails, your payment services are streamlined, removing unnecessary legacy processes and distilling your tech stack, alleviating the need for multiple touchpoints and helping you increase your speed-to-market for new ventures!

Plus, with over 15 years of experience in navigating payment solutions for start-ups and established businesses across multiple sectors, you can be sure that working with B4B Payments will keep you at the forefront of innovation as your business grows.

Collaborate through one tested platform

Managing payments, payouts, and card services can be messy, especially when you’re using multiple third-party providers. Traditional sectors like travel, transport, and payroll are succumbing to increased pressure to digitally transform since the COVID-19 pandemic. New digital-only businesses in areas like B2B SaaS are bursting onto the scene, creating the expectation of instant settlements and payouts from clients and customers alike.

At B4B Payments, we recognise that using separate services can drain resources and lead to delays in payment and payout processes, and we’ve solved that problem with the main hub of our enterprise: our one-stop platform.

Using our platform, we have combined all our products into an all-inclusive platform for businesses to manage their card and payment services.

Let us explain…

Our unique platform connects services under one single User Interface (UI), including prepaid, instant virtual, and branded card creation and management, as well as payout and payment processing across multiple countries. Not only this, we’ve integrated new and popular ways to pay into our platform, like Google and Apple Pay, with more on the horizon.

Going the extra mile, we’ve also included in-depth reporting and analysis tools into the platform that measure your expenditure and payment performance, as well as making the package accessible through our robust, customisable API and readily integrated for data exchange with your existing accounting software like XERO.

Offering your own services

Start-up or growing companies in the fintech sector require deeper levels of payment integration to meet regulatory requirements and stay ahead of the competition when it comes to handling customer and business transactions.

BIN-sponsorship is a great way to separate your start-up or fintech company from the crowd, allowing you to offer your own payment solutions to your unique customer base.

At B4B payments, we offer a rapid speed-to-market solution through a full BIN sponsorship and Settlement only package. Full BIN sponsorship allows unregulated Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) to partner up on their journey towards becoming fully regulated issuers and scheme members. The BIN sponsorship offers total support with compliance and implementation of payment solutions while including fully-managed card services from settlements and reconciliation to Anti-money Laundering (AML) and fraud monitoring.

We offer a settlement-only product, too, allowing regulated EMIs the opportunity to tap into B4B Payments expertise as a global payment provider, leveraging our issuing capabilities while allowing them to build their own customer interface through APIs.

To wrap up

At this time of year, strengthening your payment services is more important than ever.. With the peak holiday season and accelerated festive spending on the horizon, we can expect businesses to be in high demand when making and receiving payments.

Not only this, Christmas is the time for giving, and B4B Payments is the perfect platform to manage your customers and even your company’s all-important festive bonuses through prepaid cards and the universally accepted language of cash whilst eliminating the faux pas associated with customised gift giving.

Discover more about B4B Payments and the services we provide to stabilise your end-to-end cash flow over the Christmas period, contact us today!

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B4B are proud finalists for The Banking Tech Awards 2022

We are delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist for the Best FinTech Partnership and COVID-19 Response by Financial Inst The Banking Tech Awards 2022, hosted by FinTech Futures.

The Banking Tech Awards recognise excellence and innovation in the use of IT in financial services worldwide, and the people who make it happen. 2022 will be the 23rd year for these prestigious awards.

For the COVID-19 Response by Financial Institutions category, B4B played an important role in supporting Patient Primary, a division of the mdgroup, in their clinical trials journey helping to drive improved participation levels and maintaining smoother and more efficient processes.

For the Best Fintech Partnership category, B4B’s next-gen BIN sponsorship solution supported Juni through all the stages in bringing their business to the next level. You can find out more about this partnership here.

Best of luck to all the finalists! We look forward to the awards ceremony on the 1st of December at the 5-star Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

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B4B Payments named the best end-to-end issuing and payment solutions company in the UK

We are proud to have won the Best end-to-end issuing and payment solutions UK category from the World Business Outlook Awards. The application was supported and substantiated by our partner, Voly.

Voly is an award-winning fintech provider specialising in financial management for the yacht and multi-assets industry. Recently the Voly offering has been successfully adapted to support the music, TV and film industry.

They were looking for a card issuing and payment platform to help streamline and scale their yachting and music business more quickly, and B4B was able to support them through this journey.

B4B and Voly partnership

Our partnership with Voly has successfully developed over many years. Although the financial services landscape has changed significantly during that time, both companies were committed to innovating to stay at the forefront of their industries. We have understood the ever-changing needs of Voly’s business and have worked hard to adapt and evolve our offerings, to ensure they have the best solution available in the market.

Talking about the partnership with B4B, Ian Flanagan, Found and CEO of Voly Group says:

Voly’s collaboration with B4B has been a great success. B4B understands our product and the industries in which we provide financial management services. In working with B4B, we have built a relationship that provides a market-leading treasury management solution for the yachting and music space. It was definitely a learning experience for both parties to begin with, but one which has gone from strength to strength over the years and we look forward to continued growth and collaboration with B4B

Next-gen solutions for future businesses

B4B Payments’ next-gen solutions are designed to scale flexibly over time to support fintech companies like Voly. From direct payments to client branded cards, B4B’s offering is designed to be either embedded within a client’s infrastructure or as a stand-alone product.

Our commercial model is streamlined, and uncomplicated, technical requirements are minimal and significant control is placed within our client’s hands. We believe these attributes are fundamentally important to corporates who wish to save time, money, and hassle.

Paul Swinton, CEO of B4B Payments says:

We value our partnerships and our relationship with Voly has lasted many years and will continue building together a leading-edge solution for the yachting, music,  TV and film industry. We’re committed to providing innovative solutions that make a difference to our clients and being recognised for this is a big honour

Partnering with B4B Payments allowed Voly to provide more value for their demanding customers and helped the company to scale quickly while also giving them an edge over the competition.

To find out how our solutions can help you, contact us today!

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Digital Payments Bringing Value to Travel and Tourism Rebound

Travel and tourism are rebounding in the U.S. and abroad, and digital payments are being used to support renewed growth, offer added value, and streamline payments to vendors and suppliers.

After the exceptional drop in 2020 and 2021, international tourism continues its gradual recovery in 2022 due to the easing of travel restrictions. According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), international tourist arrivals more than doubled (+130%) compared to January 2021, growing by 18 million. According to the organization, the increase in the number of arrivals is the same as in the whole of 2021 over 2020. Meanwhile, the WTO reported that a rapid rise in domestic travel and tourism, especially in the U.S., is driving the recovery.

Despite the hard impact Covid has had on the industry, the pandemic has created a new category of domestic and international travelers deemed the “untethered worker” or “laptop lugger” that seeks to mix work and vacation. This growing group tends to be younger, aims to take longer trips, and is a higher-income group, according to a recently published study by Delloite. Additionally, this group is highly digital and actively seeks the ease and convenience of digital payments.

Another bright spot for travel and tourism is that travelers plan to spend more this year on longer trips and more expensive accommodations, according to a Sky Scanner travel agency survey of 4000 travelers in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Germany.

Specialty segments are also on the rise, such as student, health and wellness, cultural and medical tourism, which includes patients traveling domestically and beyond international borders for surgeries and medical treatments. A recent analysis by Market Data Forecast indicates the U.S. medical tourism market alone will grow from the current (2022) $8.3 billion to $19.96 billion by 2027. This U.S. segment may also experience a significant increase due to the recent overturn of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion and legalized it nationwide. A growing number of companies are offering financial support (‘Abortion Access’) to aide women employees in states banning abortion rights and are left with the only option of traveling to abortion-permissive states.

Delivering additional value to travelers and tourists

With a rebound underway, digital payments, including prepaid cards and digital wallets, offer a powerful and highly flexible solution that travel and tourism businesses can use to be competitive and improve efficiencies for paying vendors and suppliers.

The increased cost of travel due to rising fuel prices makes travelers more concerned with budgeting than other challenges, according to Delloite. Businesses can offer prepaid cards to provide additional value to budget-minded travelers who want to save and manage their money. Using B4B Payment’s prepaid travel cards and mobile/online application, cardholders can quickly load funds onto their cards, track spending, and even upload receipts. B4B Payments makes it simple for cardholders to add a physical or virtual card to a mobile wallet.

Offering prepaid cards also ensures travelers avoid the hassle of carrying cash. A prepaid card is much safer than carrying cash when traveling. Should a physical card be lost or stolen, B4B Payments enables cardholders to quickly deactivate their card and have funds painlessly moved to a new virtual or physical card.

Additionally, businesses can offer prepaid cards for particular use cases, such as stranded passengers or emergency payments, and offer travelers an incentive or reward program.

An improved service provider experience

The value prepaid cards and digital payments offer travel and tourism businesses value beyond supporting clients. Travel and tourism operators are reliant on vendor and supplier relationships. It is no secret that prompt payment helps companies be preferred customers and retain high-performing service providers. Ultimately this can translate to a better customer experience and a more significant opportunity to scale your business.

B4B Payments eliminate the need for traditional banking processes such as wire transfers and checks or cash. Our versatile prepaid product can easily be set up for making real-time payments 24/7 to providers anywhere in the world. This highly efficient form of making payments helps businesses optimize cash flow, manage peak volumes, and prevents the need to exceed credit limits.

Additionally, savvy businesses can easily use digital payments to enhance vendor relationships by offering channel incentives and rewards.


To find out more about how B4B works with travel and tourism companies, get in touch with us.


References:

SkyScanner 2022 Travel Survey

World Tourism Organization

Deloitte 2022 Summer Travel Survey:

Market Data Forecast:

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Safeguarding funds to help manage risk in the travel industry

COVID led many tour operators to offer additional flexibility for bookings.

While this won’t continue in all cases (British Airways recently announced the end of their flexible booking policy), consumers affected by COVID cancellations are still likely to remain wary, and are more likely to ask questions about a tour operator’s processes if things do go wrong.  

This means it’s more important than ever to be transparent with customers about the ways you’re protecting them. Funds safeguarding is an important part of that process, giving your customers the confidence that, should the worst happen and your firm goes out of business, their funds are protected. There are also broader benefits to your business and your brand from doing so. 

Legal requirements for funds safeguarding

Legally, tour operators must arrange financial security to protect funds paid for package holidays sold in the UK in the case that they go out of business, as well as legal protection to ensure that customers receive the services they paid for. Arrangers of “linked travel arrangements”, where multiple travel services are purchased separately by the same supplier, must also arrange financial protection in the event they go bust, although passengers booking via this method don’t receive the same level of legal protection as those booking package holidays. 

Outside of those two situations, there are no legal requirements to offer safeguarding of your customers’ funds. However, having a clear policy on how your customers are protected in the case of unexpected problems is likely to remain a strong trust factor, increasing conversion and improving the way customers perceive your brand. 

Methods of safeguarding

Tour operators and other travel providers can arrange financial protection for their customers’ funds in a number of ways. The one customers are most familiar with is through membership of a financial protection scheme such as ABTA or ABTOT. Bookings including a  flight are also covered by the ATOL scheme, administered by the Civil Aviation Authority. 

Travel companies can also take out insurance to cover them in the case of financial failure. Alternatively, they can choose to deposit customer funds into a safeguarding account.

How does a safeguarding account work?

A safeguarding account separates customers’ payments towards non-completed bookings from the rest of a travel company’s finances, holding the funds securely until a customer’s trip has been completed. At this point, they’re released to the travel company and become part of their regular cashflow.

It’s not enough for travel companies to simply set up a separate account for customer funds. A trust account needs to be managed independently to guarantee to consumers that the funds won’t be used by the business before they’ve fully discharged their contractual obligations, preventing pending funds being lost if a firm finds itself in financial difficulties. 

Why choose a safeguarding account over insurance?

When big shifts happen in the travel industry, insurers feel the pinch. Since Thomas Cook’s collapse in 2019 followed by the pandemic, many insurers have left the market, causing an increase in insurance premiums and making it harder for travel companies to access appropriate insurance products. 

Depending on a company’s circumstances, holding customer funds in a safeguarding account could be a more cost-effective method of keeping funds secure, as the cost of maintaining the account could be cheaper than rising insurance premiums.  

A safeguarding account also removes the need to go through the process of claiming against an insurance policy if things go wrong – the money is already there, ready to refund to customers. This gives a strong level of consumer protection as there’s no risk that an insurer chooses not to pay out (or goes bust themselves and is unable to). It also means that travel firms can choose to offer protection for a wider range of circumstances if they wish – insurance typically only refunds customers in the event that the tour operator they’ve booked with goes bust. 

Why use safeguarding over bonding?

Most customers are familiar with the idea of a bonded tour operator – somebody who, as a member of a scheme like ABTA or ABTOT, has financial protection in place in case of their failure. However, claiming funds back via these schemes can be time-consuming and stressful, and again, schemes can come under pressure when there are large-scale issues within the travel industry. 

Safeguarding funds directly can offer an extra benefit that sets a travel company apart from its competition – going the extra mile to protect customers’ funds not only boosts your brand’s trust and increases conversion in the short term, but it can help you to protect your reputation in crisis situations, allowing you to refund customers quickly and efficiently. 

Boost your financial stability by safeguarding funds

While insurance or membership of a scheme like ABTA can fulfil your legal obligations as a tour operator and keep your company safe if things go wrong, safeguarding funds directly can actually help to ensure that your company is more financially stable in the long term. 

By actively segregating pending funds from actual profit, you can maintain a clearer picture of your business’s finances and avoid inadvertently getting into a situation where you’re using customer funds as working capital. This means that if the worst does happen in the form of a future travel crisis, your business is on solid financial footing, and is as well-placed as it can be to weather the storm. 

Secure safeguarding accounts with B4B

As part of the Banking Circle group of companies, B4B Payments’ corporate payment accounts give you everything you need to manage your travel company’s payments effectively. From accepting payments in multiple currencies to making fast, cost-effective cross-border payments to suppliers or tour guides, our accounts help you streamline your payment processes and reduce costs. 

Our safeguarding account functionality also offers a secure method of storing customer funds ahead of their trips, offering them full confidence that their payments are being held securely and independently, and that they’ll receive a refund if anything goes wrong. With full transparency and oversight and support from our team of payments experts, we can support you to ensure that customer funds are held safely and compliantly. 

To find out more about B4B Payments’ safeguarding accounts, get in touch today. 

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How fintech can streamline processes in freight logistics

Freight logistics is an exercise in extreme process optimisation, in search of the most efficient and effective approach to maximise reliability and profit.

Payments and account processes can add a significant amount of time to your processes, but many freight firms still rely on paper invoices and old-fashioned expense management. Streamlining your internal payment processes can help your operations run quickly and seamlessly, saving time for your drivers and your accounts team whilst helping you to present a professional image to your clients.  

Simplify lumper fees with virtual prepaid cards

An unpredictable element of freight logistics is the payment of “lumper fees” – payments made to casual workers for helping to load or unload vehicles. Often, paying lumper fees is left down to truck drivers themselves, who need to carry cash and front the payments themselves before claiming them back as expenses. Not only does this add pressure to your drivers’ finances, it could leave them open to financial loss – carrying cash can be risky. 

Instead of requiring drivers to find their own solutions to pay lumper fees, virtual prepaid cards could offer a fast and secure alternative. Cards can be loaded with funds instantly and delivered to an individual’s email address, giving them the option to spend their funds in millions of locations worldwide. This saves your drivers the stress of making payments themselves, and gives you full transparency and control over lumper fee payments. 

Streamline driver expenses

While most logistics firms use a fuel card scheme to make savings on fuel costs, truck drivers incur a wide range of other expenses as part of their job, and they’re often expected to cover these costs themselves and claim them back as expenses later. From food and accommodation to vehicle repairs and consumables, these costs can add up, and could put pressure on your team’s finances, reducing their engagement and risking increased turnover of hard-to-find professional drivers, as well as causing significant issues and delays if a driver is unable to meet an unexpected expense themselves. 

Broadening your payment card system to incorporate a wider range of expenses than just fuel could make your drivers’ lives significantly easier, and help your day-to-day operations run more smoothly. With prepaid expense cards auto-topped up to a predefined limit, your drivers will never find themselves struggling to pay for essentials when on the road. With the ability to instantly upload photo receipts via a cardholder app, they’ll also save time processing lengthy expense claims, and make your finance team’s reconciliation considerably easier too. 

Make fast, seamless international payments

If you’re in the process of scaling your freight logistics firm, you’ll know just how important trust is in the industry. Your clients need to believe that you’ll do what you say you will, and communicating that trustworthy appearance means being reliable not only in the execution of your contracts but in all the services and interactions that surround it. 

There’s nothing worse than starting out on a contract with a new client only to have the relationship tarnished by payment issues. Even though payment delays can happen and they’re often not your fault, the added stress can make it harder to establish trust and project a professional image, particularly if you’re a new entrant to the market. 

It makes sense, then, to ensure that your payment processes are as robust and reliable as possible, particularly if you’re transferring funds internationally. While high street banks can charge high fees for payments which can take days to go through, a specialist payment provider can give you access to a range of different payment protocols, with faster settlement times and no hidden fees. A specialist provider can also offer easier management of bulk payments, minimising the risk of slip-ups within your payment team, too.

Offer instant bank payment options

If you’re receiving large payments regularly, card fees can start to add up and over time can be a significant drag on your bottom line. It’s tempting to encourage clients to make bank transfer payments instead, but these can be harder to keep track of, not to mention slower. If an urgent job is in the offing, waiting for a bank transfer to be confirmed could cause unacceptable delays, leaving card fees as the only option.

New technology based on Open Banking could help your company to accept bank transfers even when time is of the essence. A new breed of fintech companies, called PISPS (payment initiation service providers), offer direct bank transfer as a payment option alongside card payments. Your clients go through a checkout process similar to making a card payment except that the payment is taken directly from their bank account. You’ll get instant confirmation as soon as the transfer is confirmed, meaning you can get on with the job in the full confidence that your payment has been received. 

Transform your freight logistics payments with B4B

Whatever stage of growth your freight firm is at, B4B Payments’ advanced corporate payment solutions can help you make your payment processes faster and cheaper. From flexible prepaid cards to make expense management a breeze through to advanced corporate payment accounts offering fast, affordable international payments, we can support your business to build a global presence with cutting-edge technology and expert guidance. 

To find out more about how we can help, contact us today.   

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How fintech is transforming the insurance industry

Insurance technology attracted a record $15bn in funding in 2021, cementing itself as a big player in the fintech space.

Insuretech is set to transform almost every aspect of the industry, from quotes through to claims handling, with immense potential to offer customers a more flexible, tailored experience. Better still, insuretech tools can also help to streamline internal processes for insurers, minimising time-consuming admin and maximising profit margins. 

Flexible and on-demand cover

The digitalisation of the insurance industry is most apparent in the increased flexibility available in insurance products. As well as purchasing cover online, customers can quickly make changes to their policies on-demand, reducing strain on call centres as well as providing a better overall customer experience. 

Another fertile path for insuretech is on-demand insurance, allowing learner drivers to purchase coverage on a car owned by themselves or somebody else for just a few hours – perfect for those who only need to drive once or twice a week to practice, and for whom a full annual policy might be prohibitively expensive. 

Artificial intelligence

AI technology is transforming a huge variety of industries, offering the potential to streamline laborious manual processes and complete simple tasks without the need for human intervention.

While in some areas the use of AI is controversial – recruitment, for example, where AI CV screening services are under scrutiny for potentially introducing bias into the process – there are other areas where machine learning technologies can outperform even the most skilled human brains. 

Insurance underwriting is one such area. With the ability to analyse huge datasets to identify trends and uncover new insights, AI is supporting insurers to increase efficiency and assess risk levels more effectively.

AI is also rapidly finding a home in other areas of insurance too, for example AI chatbots to answer simple customer queries and escalate more complex ones to the right team.

Embedded insurance

Embedded finance is the integration of banking systems into non-banking organisations – for example, the addition of “buy now pay later” or instant finance options on purchases, built directly into a retailer’s checkout process. Similarly, embedded insurance is on the rise, and is predicted to be worth over $700bn by 2030

Embedded insurance can be highly visible, for example, offering cancellation coverage during event ticket purchases for an additional fee. However, the greatest potential for embedded insurance lies in more subtle applications. For example, insurance which is automatically bundled with short-term car hire or e-scooter rental means that consumers can simply rent their vehicle without the hassle of arranging separate coverage. 

Instant payouts

The insurance claims process can be a lengthy one, causing stress for customers as well as a drain on insurance companies’ profits through the large amount of manual work involved. It’s no surprise, then, that insuretech companies are targeting this part of the insurance process to make it more streamlined and efficient.

Claims processing is another area where artificial intelligence is coming to the fore. For simple claims, an AI-driven process can scrape data from documentation provided by a customer and, if it meets the required standard, process an instant payout. 

This process not only saves significant resource time, freeing up claims assessors to focus on more complex cases, but can reduce instances of payouts being challenged or rejected. The faster an insurance claim is settled, the lower the likelihood that a customer will challenge the payout, and this can reduce the overall value of claims paid out, significantly increasing profit margins.

Make faster, easier insurance payouts with B4B Payments

With such a wide range of potential benefits, it’s easy to see why insurance firms are turning to technology to fuel their business growth. With B4B Payments’ end-to-end payment offering, we offer everything you need to build your own embedded finance offering, from flexible payment accounts through to instant payments on easy-to-use prepaid cards.

To find out more about B4B Payments’ services for insurers, get in touch today. 

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The new rules of customer loyalty: how to keep your customers engaged

The past couple of years have accelerated digital adoption at breakneck speed, and changed customer behaviour and expectations like never before.

McKinsey described the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer behaviour as like covering “a decade in days”, with a rapid shift away from cash to contactless, from in-person to online, and from single-channel to seamless digital integration.

While not all the changes brought about by the pandemic are expected to stick, in some areas there’s no going back. In particular, customers have become accustomed to slick digital experiences, flexibility and personalisation as default, and as always, they’re comparing your brand against a benchmark made up of industry leaders. 

This shift in expectations is as true of loyalty programmes as any other area of your business. 70% of customers now say retailers should use technology to make their rewards programmes more effective. 

So how can brands upgrade their loyalty and rewards programmes to keep customers engaged?

Offer flexibility

Click and collect, fast free delivery, a full mobile experience – customers have never expected more from your brand. During the pandemic, many brands chose to offer more generous terms on loyalty points, extending their expiry dates or expanding their utility. 

While this was a short-term response to the pandemic, either to cover a period during which services were unavailable for air miles schemes, or to encourage alternative options like click and collect compared to redeeming points in-store, it’s likely to stick in customers’ minds. Points which expire too quickly or discounts with too many conditions attached could lose their shine, so consider ways to shake up your scheme and offer your customers more flexibility in how they redeem their rewards. 

Respect customer privacy

Third party data collected via cookies is on the out, with a steady stream of legislation making it harder for brands to gather insights without customers’ express consent. 

While many brands are struggling to imagine a future without their Analytics data, others see it as an opportunity to build stronger relationships with their best customers, choosing instead to focus on collecting “zero party data”, provided directly by customers. 

A loyalty or rewards programme can be an amazing way of building relationships with your customers, giving them a reason to share their data with you in the form of a reward or a clear benefit. Being fully transparent about how you use this data and how it benefits your customers is key – if you use previous purchase data to remind customers when they might be about to run out of a product, or ask for information about their interests and background to make sure you’re offering them discounts on things they could actually use, chances are they’ll be happy to participate. 

Move to tech-enabled schemes

While the benefits offered are a key factor in the success of your loyalty or reward programme, it’s also vital to make sure that customers are able to redeem their rewards in a way that works for them. Increasingly, consumers are turning towards digital payment methods over physical cards. 

Although a real-life card can still serve as a great reminder of your brand every time your customer opens their wallet), 54% of consumers expect to be able to make payments with digital wallets, so ensuring your incentive or reward cards which are compatible with Google or Apple Pay could make it easier for your customers to keep them to hand. 

Similarly, apps can be a valuable method of staying front-of-mind with your customers – 61% would download a retailer’s app to receive better loyalty rewards, and 57% would be more likely to shop if the loyalty programme linked automatically with their payment card. 

Focus on emotional engagement

The buzzword for customer experience during the pandemic was empathy – understanding that both customers and brands were going through a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and working together to get through the associated challenges. While the stakes today aren’t quite as high, empathy is likely to remain high on the agenda as customers struggle with a cost of living crisis and have to make hard decisions about their day-to-day spending. 

For brands, presenting a sympathetic ear to customers is the best way of building loyalty and weathering what’s likely to be yet another challenging period for retailers. 81% of consumers want a relationship with the brands they buy from, and loyalty programmes are a perfect way of establishing and strengthening that. By building a picture of your customers with first-party data and offering personalised content and rewards, your brand can connect with them on an individual level and help move their view of you from disposable to indispensable. 

Build personalised loyalty schemes with B4B Payments

Whatever your customers value, our prepaid cards can help you design a loyalty scheme that’ll keep them engaged with your brand.

Our fully-branded prepaid cards can be delivered physically or virtually, for a physical reminder of your brand they can carry in their wallets or an effortless addition to their Google or Apple Pay. 

Set your cards for use in your own stores, a range of partner stores, or leave them fully open to use in millions of locations worldwide. Offer instant loading of rewards so customers get their incentives immediately, and top up funds over and over again to keep them coming back for more. 

To find out more about how our payment cards can help you build the perfect customer loyalty scheme, contact us and book your demo today.

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How to incentivise Gen Z employees

Gen Z is rapidly expanding their presence and influence in the workforce. The proportion of Gen Z – born between 1995 and 2012 – will increase to 27% by 2025, and like millennials, they’ll bring a different perspective to organisations across the globe.

While Gen Z are fundamentally still people, valuing much the same things as their older peers, they represent a continuation of an accelerating trend towards digitalisation, personalisation and flexibility. While all employees and consumers are expecting more, Gen Z have never known anything different, and this means that they’re less willing to make do with processes and approaches they see as outdated. 

Keeping up with Gen Z employees means embracing the best of what digital has to offer. Here are some ways to keep them engaged: 

Use digital as standard

While a lot of millennials are digital natives – they grew up using digital technology and don’t see it as anything new or exciting – Gen Z take this to a whole new level. While older millennials will remember a time before digital was widespread, and most will remember using clunky older systems or brick-shaped mobile phones, Gen Z has never known a time when technology wasn’t ever-present, fast and seamless. 

This means they have a whole new level of expectation when it comes to how your business uses technology, and very little patience for outdated computer systems or physical processes. While millennial employees can adapt, Gen Z are digital by default, and will think less of your company if you’re not able to meet their expectations. 

For firms who are bringing in Gen Z employees for the first time, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity. Your younger team members won’t tolerate inefficient or non-user-friendly processes – and really, why should they, or any of your other employees? While older employees might have been willing to make do, Gen Z could be the push your organisation needs to redesign its processes and move to modern, digital systems across the board, with wide-ranging benefits to your entire business. 

Offer flexible payment options

Raised in the era of fast delivery options, easy subscription services and on-demand access to everything from TV to taxis, Gen Z are hard-wired to prefer flexibility. This extends to their financial behaviour too – 42% of Gen Z members used a buy-now-pay-later payment option in 2021, with 20% of those preferring to use a BNPL option over their existing credit card. 

With a more flexible approach to their finances across the board, Gen Z value getting what they want as soon as possible. This even extends to their salaries – 61% of Gen Z survey respondents said that they’d like their employer to offer a daily wage payment option, giving them the ability to manage their finances in a more agile manner. 

Full disclosure – it’s likely that a big reason for this is that Gen Z are still relatively new to the workforce, with many working casual or gig economy jobs and struggling to build a base of financial stability (daily payments make it easier to pay down overdrafts and loans earlier, saving interest). There’s no guarantee this preference will remain when they’ve moved into more established careers. However, offering on-demand wage payment via a prepaid card could be a great way of incentivising casual workers, allowing them to see the fruits of their labours as quickly as possible.

Offer community and connection

Gen Z’s entrance to the workforce has been anything but routine. With a global pandemic interrupting their early years in work, many have found themselves working remotely or under strict social distancing protocols. While remote working is here to stay, many younger employees are feeling the lack of social interaction with their colleagues, and surveys are showing that increasing numbers of them would prefer at least some in-person interaction at work. 

Even if your company does work fully remotely, building a sense of community and connection at work is vital for all your employees, but likely to have the most profound impact amongst those who are new to the world of work. By giving your younger team members a chance to interact with and learn from more established employees, you’ll not only help to boost their experience and skillset more quickly, but to keep them engaged and focussed on their work. Whether that’s through regular virtual catch-ups, hybrid working models or even enforced in-person working days for some teams, helping Gen Z to establish themselves in their careers is likely to require a careful balance of the benefits of remote working and in-person collaboration. 

Deliver personalised rewards

It’s no secret that Gen Z are champions of diversity and inclusion, with the most inclusive and accepting views of any generation yet. While this obviously means your company will need to be on top of its diversity policies, there’s a more subtle point here – a generation who are more open and accepting of individual expression is likely to be far more diverse in their preferences when it comes to rewards and incentives – and more outspoken when their expectations aren’t met. 

While earlier generations might shrug off a poorly-chosen gift with “it’s the thought that counts”, Gen Z have far higher expectations when it comes to personalisation. Gen Z’s priority is manifesting their individuality, and they value employers who respect this. 

This means that when it comes to incentives or rewards, it’s far better to offer the ability to choose than to take a risk at guessing, or even worse, offering up a one-size-fits-most option. With flexibility high on the agenda for Gen Z, open choice options like prepaid cards give all employees the opportunity to choose a reward that’s right for them, without being limited to a store which might not suit them. 

Offer employee flexibility with B4B Payments

The watchword for Gen Z is flexibility, and with B4B Payments you can make your payment, incentive and rewards processes more flexible than ever, keeping all your employees more engaged and happy. From exciting reward schemes based off our flexible virtual or physical prepaid cards to advanced payment processes that make it possible to pay your team daily if they prefer, our end-to-end payment solutions can help you deliver more for your team members.

To find out more about how we can help you incentivise your team, contact us today.