Categories
Newsroom Uncategorised

Digital and data driven processes to increase charity donations

The past few years have been challenging for charities in many ways.

With increased cost of living driving increased demand for many charity organisations’ services, it’s also put donations under pressure as regular donors feel the pinch. At the same time, the COVID pandemic has dramatically reduced the number of cash transactions across the UK, reducing a vital revenue stream for many charities. 

With so much change, charities are looking to digital as a way of increasing donation levels to support their work post-pandemic. Many are introducing innovative new approaches to increase donations, helping them weather what’s likely to be a highly uncertain couple of years. 

While some charities are at the forefront of digital innovation, others are still catching up – the most recent Charity Digital Skills Report shows that 40% of charities still don’t have a digital strategy in place, and 17% don’t offer any online services. 

No matter what your charity’s level of digital maturity, there are simple steps you can take to leverage technology to improve donations. Here are a few areas to consider:

Contactless donation options

In 2017, debit card transactions overtook cash as the UK’s most popular payment method, and the pandemic has only accelerated this. It’s predicted that by 2027 only 16% of payments will be made with cash

With spare change donations worth as much as £320 million to charities annually, it’s vital that charitable organisations find alternatives to cash donations quickly. 

Contactless technology is a simple alternative to cash donations, allowing donors to give via a QR code or by tapping a card or smartphone. 

Direct bank payments

QR codes can even leverage Open Banking technologies, allowing people to donate direct from their bank accounts rather than using a debit or credit card. Where direct bank payments used to take time to confirm, many can now be authorised instantly with no need for charities to handle donors’ bank sort codes or account numbers. 

Direct bank payments also mean lower fees payable by the charity, so a greater percentage of donation revenue is retained. 

Micro-donations

While QR code and contactless donations mimic the convenience of a change collection box, they don’t replace the “every little helps” concept, where donors are giving loose change that means very little to them. 

Some technology providers are working to replicate this phenomenon – FundStar’s Percy prepaid card makes a micro-donation every time it’s used, allowing customers to give to your charity in tiny increments that they’ll barely even notice. 

Many online retailers also offer similar functionality at their checkouts – for example, Amazon Smile allows customers to set up a preferred charity and donate a percentage of their spend every time they shop. 

Automated gift aid

While encouraging donations is vital, it’s also important to ensure that your charity is maximising the value of every donation it receives. 

The UK government’s Gift Aid small donations scheme allows charities to claim back 25% tax on contactless card donations of £30 or less by activating PAR (Payment Account References), allowing Gift Aid claims for card payments to be automated. 

Streamline your payments with B4B

Whether it’s launching a prepaid card scheme for your donors or enabling direct Open Banking payments, B4B Payments can help you streamline your charity’s payment processes and get the most out of your funds. 

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

Categories
Newsroom Uncategorised

B4B Payments have won the PayTech Award 2022!

We are thrilled to announce that we have won for ‘Best Corporate Payments Initiative’ Category.

The results were announced on the 1st of July 2022 at the Merchant Taylor’s Hall, attended by the B4B Sales, Marketing and Accounts team and Banking Circle! We have won amongst many reputable finalists including Cal and Custodia, Natwest, National Australia Bank, Monneo and more!

B4B cards have supported charities for urgent expenses during the pandemic. Our corporate virtual expense cards have been one of the key measures put in place to help vulnerable people whom are homeless and at risk. They provide a method for paying for essentials like food, shelter or medical care but also give staff access to a digital management platform where they can track, spend hassle free, whilst being able monitor how much funds have been disbursed monthly and carefully choosing how best to utilize government contracts.

Categories
Newsroom Uncategorised

How reloadables are driving better CX and loyalty

One of the benefits of prepaid cards is that they don’t have to be a single-use item – they can be reloaded again and again.

While many incentives are one-off’s, there’s value to be had from using a prepaid card to build a longer-term relationship with your customers, driving an improved customer experience and building loyalty and engagement with your brand.

So how can reloadable pre-paid cards drive better customer experience and loyalty?

Guarantee Faster Payouts

For businesses who regularly pay out gaming winnings, commission or expenses, chasing payments can be an unnecessary hassle. And for customers who are waiting to receive payments from a business, waiting can be stressful and affect their opinion of a company, even if the payment delay isn’t their fault.

Whether your business is paying out insurance settlements, gaming winnings, referral commissions, or anything else, a pre-paid card can take the stress and uncertainty out of payouts. Because the payments are instant, there’s no waiting for bank transfers to clear, and customers can even receive an SMS notification when their payment has been made.

Drive Repeat Customers

For companies who pay out gaming winnings, commission or other regular loyalty payments, a reloadable pre-paid card can be an efficient way of not only getting customers their funds faster, but of maximising repeat business, too.

Funds loaded onto a prepaid card are automatically “ring-fenced” from a customer’s main bank account, and are therefore less likely to be used on general expenses.

If winnings or loyalty earnings are stored on a separate, branded card, there’s a much greater chance they’ll be used to play again or to purchase a “treat” that’s over and above that customer’s usual spending habits.

Build your Brand

As well as the function of a card, simply having a branded pre-paid card in a customer’s wallet can act as incentive and reminder enough. Having a branded card is a nice, easily recognisable reminder for the customer of your brand.

As well as that though, business today is becoming more and more values-driven – we see customers making decisions on where they spend their money based on ethics, and a pre-paid card is an opportunity to harness this.

For example, offering your customers eco-friendly cards will demonstrate commitments to the environment. You could even partner with charities and offer a donation for every £1 spent on the prepaid card, giving your customers choice in how their spending can have a social impact.

The knowledge that their spending is bringing a benefit to a cause that they identify with can create an all-round better experience for the customer and encourage them to keep coming back.

Keep customers engaged

While a one-off incentive campaign can drive brand awareness and engagement in the short term, some of the most successful customer loyalty campaigns run over the long term – Boots’ Advantage Card scheme and Tesco’s Clubcard have both been around since the 1990’s, meaning some customers will have grown up with the brand as a constant presence in their wallet.

Reloadable cards make it easy to offer similar long-term loyalty schemes – offering cash back for a certain level of spend is a tried-and-tested method of keeping your customers coming back for more. Reloadable prepaid cards can be set to closed-loop, meaning a customer’s earnings can only be spent in your stores.

And with no loading fees on prepaid cards, making small payments is cost-effective, meaning customers can get their loyalty credits or winnings in smaller, more regular increments, keeping engagement levels high.

Gather customer insights

One of the key reasons major brands like Tesco and Boots invest so much in their loyalty schemes is that, as well as driving repeat purchase, their cards provide crucial data and insights into their customers’ shopping behaviours.

B4B’s prepaid cards allow you to view transaction data and understand your customers’ purchase patterns, providing vital insights to feed into your customer experience strategy.

Reloadable prepaid cards can help you build a long-term relationship with your customers, not only by encouraging loyalty and repeat purchase but by providing insights into their behaviour to improve your overall customer experience.

To find out how we can help you with your own prepaid card loyalty scheme, get in touch with B4B Payments today.

Categories
Newsroom Uncategorised

Why insurance firms should take advantage of fintech innovation

PwC found that 74% of insurance companies see fintech as a challenge for their industry.

But, with consumer behaviours already changing pre-COVID and becoming evermore geared towards digital in the post-COVID world, insurance is at risk of being left behind.

But why is it so important that insurance firms take advantage of the latest fintech innovation?

Reaching a younger audience

Younger audiences are an important target audiences for insurance firms. Getting young people to take out a policy now and making sure that your offer suits their needs means potential customers for life, so getting it right with young people is a must.

Typically, Millennial audiences and younger Generation X consumers prefer digital methods for payments and communications. The less direct interaction with a business, the more convenient it is for this demographic to use a service.

Not only that, but this demographic are far less likely to be loyal to financial companies, swapping and changing as their needs evolve. This means that flexible, digital options are absolutely vital.

But PwC’s fintech global report found that, until COVID-19, apps were seen as ‘nice to have’, which means that many insurance companies and financial institutions might not yet be meeting the needs of a younger demographic.

Today, customers expect a great deal of flexibility, and insurtech offers this. Free from legacy products and processes, they use emerging technologies to build brand new systems and are much more targeted, rather than the old-fashioned end-to-end solutions that don’t meet everyone’s needs.

US insurance firm Metromile is a great example of this: by offering customers pay-per-mile insurance, particularly for those who live in urban areas and don’t drive very often, Metromile can offer customers flexible, bespoke insurance policies that meet their unique needs.

Another good example of a flexible, bespoke approach to insurance policies is life insurance firm Vantis Life. By making use of artificial intelligence, Vantis Life were able to underwrite life insurance policies in the US based on public records and third-party data, which meant that many customers didn’t need to undergo medical tests. Again, this minimal contact between customer and insurer will help to attract younger customers.

And AI isn’t just beneficial for the customer – in early 2017, home insurer Lemonade (also based in the US) reported that its AI-powered technology managed to process and settle a theft claim in just three seconds, without paperwork from the customer. It’s estimated that long claim processes can inflate a claim value by up to 30%, so speeding up the payment process can save insurers a great deal of money.

So making insurance processes simpler, more flexible and – most importantly – digital can work wonders for reaching a younger audience. Do it right, and you’ve got a customer for life, so investment in fintech and insurtech can have immense long-term returns for your business.

Build trust between you and your customers

IBM reported in 2020 that 42% of customers don’t trust their insurer. However, a Salesforce study found that 84% of customers globally say that the experience a company provides is just as important as its product or services.

This means that insurance has a long way to go to meet customers’ expectations. But, through fintech, that trust can be built and the customers’ needs can be placed front and centre.

At the time of a claim, customers might be experiencing loss or trauma, through theft or injury, so the interaction between insurer and policy-holder is delicate. No business wants to contribute to a customer’s difficult experiences but some insurers may be inadvertently doing so.

The last thing that customers want when getting back on their feet is a complex and lengthy process – they want efficiency, understanding and, importantly, speed. The quicker the payout, the sooner the customer can get back to their day-to-day life.

Fintech can make this happen. Solutions like virtual cards can offer a simple method of paying a claim that works for everyone. By issuing these cards when a policy is taken out, insurers can be sure that money is being sent to the right place within minutes of a claim being assessed, making for a much simpler and convenient process for customers than old-fashioned methods like bank transfer or – even worse – cheque.

As well as this, customers who receive regular recurring payments, like disability or annuity, can access funds immediately through a prepaid card.

Understand and build loyalty with your customers

Fintech also provides you with opportunities to provide personalised incentives and rewards for your customers in a way that legacy processes simply can’t, whilst also bringing in new revenue streams for your business.

By forming partnerships with other businesses, you can harness fintech to provide bespoke offers. For example, pet insurance claimants can receive discounts at pet shops or health insurance policy-holders could receive discounted gym memberships, when paid for through their prepaid card issued when taking out a policy.

What’s more, by providing this payment option to policy-holders, you can gather useful data on their spending habits to offer tailored products and services that meet their individual needs. This means you can understand your customers better, provide them with a better service, and keep them coming back.

Fintech is opening doors in insurance – don’t be left behind.

With fintech providing opportunities to reach younger customers and, more significantly, keep them coming back, the importance of insurance firms embracing and investing in fintech in a post-COVID world has never been more clear.

To find out how we can help you embed fintech into your insurance firm, contact B4B Payments today.

Categories
Newsroom Uncategorised

E-money leading the digital revolution for Fintechs

Last year, EY found that three out of four consumers across 27 global markets had used an e-money or fintech payment service.

The branch-based model of banking has been on the way out for a long time now – with banking available at customers’ fingertips, demand for digital has grown in huge amounts over the past decade.

In fact, in the UK, e-money and fintech are currently one of the strongest start up sectors. From 2019 to 2020, investment into the sector increased by 35% from £2.44 billion to £3.29 billion – and this was pre-COVID-19!

And, given that UK ATM withdrawals fell by £37 billion from March 2020 to March 2021, COVID has only sped up the move to digital payment.

So how has e-money led the digital revolution?

A major innovation of the past decade has been the development of neobanks.

Neobanks are similar to your regular bank but, instead of operating under the traditional branch-based model, neobanks are exclusively online, accessed predominantly via an app.

There are two type of neobank to consider: real, fully licensed banks, like Monzo, that can do everything a traditional bank can but is purely digital; and E-money instututions (EMIs), like Revolut. An authorised EMI is similar to a bank in that it provides services for customers to make payments and store their money digitally but has some key differences.

Unlike a bank, EMIs often can’t store customers’ money themselves. Instead, money is held by a licensed bank (such as Lloyd’s or Barclay’s) and the EMI provides payment services only. While this means that an EMI can’t give interest on accounts, customers money is kept separate from that of the EMI, which means that it will be protected should the EMI go bust.

Now, banks have been offering online services for years, so the concept of accessing money digitally isn’t new. And it’s true that, unlike a bank, an EMI couldn’t typically offer investment, deposit or credit services, unless they got additional authorisation. However, despite being subject to strict licensing, regulation and oversight, they can be set up much more quickly and efficiently.

This does of course mean that the services an EMI can offer their customers are more limited than those of a bank but what makes an EMI so revolutionary is that, they can be more agile and therefore more easily adapt to emerging trends, as well as integrate new innovations. This means that, as fintech evolves to meet customer demand, an EMI can evolve with it, where a bank wouldn’t be able to quite so easily.

So why are neobanks so popular? 41% of people who opened a digital-only bank account did so in 2020 because it’s more convenient, 39% because they offer better rates, and 28% because transaction fees abroad are cheaper.

What’s more, neobanks and EMIs have plugged a gap and made complex processes simple and easy. PayPal was the first online international money transfer company to provide a simple solution to complicated and expensive fund transfers that historically only a bank could facilitate.

So, with EMIs able to develop this fintech that customers are demanding without the same red tape as a bank, e-money and digital payment services can slot very easily into other sectors.

As Angela Strange, general partner at a16z, once said, ‘Every company will be a fintech’.

Through e-money and digital banking, businesses can now offer simpler and more convenient products and services to their customers – and it’s not just about simpler payments but the whole customer experience.

Look at transport – the days of handing over loose change for a bus fare or scrambling coins together for a taxi are on the decline. Customers can now get from A to B digitally through pre-paid travel cards, and can even track their transport and split their fare through taxi apps like Uber. E-money isn’t just making the payment simpler but the customer experience too.

E-money has also revolutionised retail and hospitality. Loyalty cards, like Nectar and Clubcard, give customers e-money in return for repeat custom to gain discounts on future purchases. You’ve even got Starbucks and Greggs letting customers order food in advance and skip the queue to collect, meaning that the little pleasures can fit seamlessly into customers’ day-to-day lives. Again, e-money hasn’t just made it easier to pay but has made the whole shopping experience simpler and more flexible.

And it’s not just customer spending that’s been revolutionised but the spending of businesses themselves. Where previously, internal finance teams had to keep hundreds of even thousands of pounds worth of petty cash on site and complete lengthy and complicated expense and approval processes, now departments and individual staff members can have e-money transferred to prepaid cards within minutes, and spend can be tracked through a central, digital system.

The digital revolution is in full swing – with fintech now taking top spot in the UK’s strongest start-ups, businesses are flocking to take full advantage.

So don’t be left behind: contact B4B Payments today to see how we can help you be part of e-money’s digital revolution.

Categories
Newsroom Uncategorised

Overcoming legacy payment processes in universities

Universities can have enormous incomes, with larger universities bringing in millions and, in a couple of the more prestigious ones, billions.

But with universities typically operating as not-for-profits, there’s just as much going out as there is coming in, which means that internal finance teams have a heavy workload.

With so much to keep track of though, we understand that modernising and streamlining some of your processes can be a massive undertaking in itself. But at B4B Payments, we can help.

So how can universities transform their legacy payment processes?

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees can make up 80% of a university’s income but processing these payments can sometimes be old-fashioned. Some universities still request cash, card or cheque payments, meaning that the act of paying tuition fees is not quite as simple as tech savvy students would hope for.

With students paying as much as £9,250 in tuition to universities, it’s understandable that they expect a high quality service, however in 2018 the Higher Education Policy Institute found that over one third of students didn’t feel that their university was value for money.

As a minimum, payment processes should be seamless and require minimum effort. Parting with this amount of money needs to be done transparently and efficiently.

For many students, payments have to be made via Student Finance England and there’s no way around that, but a significant number of students will be paying tuition directly to the university, either in part or in full. This is particularly the case for international students.

One third of international students come to the UK from China, where almost half of the population use mobile payments. Add into that; currency conversion rates, old fashioned methods of payment, such as cash and cheque, and the fact that international fees can be as much as triple the UK fees cap, payments become much more complicated. So it’s important that paying tuition fees takes a step towards digital to make it simpler and more intuitive for the students who are paying.

B4B Payments’ flexible payment solutions allow for the creation of virtual IBAN accounts, giving you the power to receive payments in 25 currencies with great-value FX rates and no hidden fees. With the option to receive international payments via Faster Payments, CHAPS, SEPA, ACH and more, students have a range of reliable, fast options for making their tuition fee payments in their local currencies.

Departmental Spending

With a staff team of thousand and dozens of departments, expenses and departmental spending can be massively complicated. The internal finance team have a huge weight of responsibility on their shoulders to keep the university running smoothly and, with lengthy processes and complex budgets to keep track of, this is no easy feat.

A great way of getting on top of and monitoring departmental spending is by rolling out prepaid cards for staff or departments.

Using these cards, the finance team can immediately respond to financial requests, transfer funds onto cards and keep tabs on what’s been spent in one integrated system. Staff can also upload images of receipts, essentially automating the reporting process and taking a huge burden off internal finance teams.

What’s more, staff can have control over their own budgets. By scheduling transfers onto the cards monthly or even weekly, staff can spend from their budgets with less back and forth. This means they can purchase their own resources and book their own venues without needing to ask finance to do it for them, spreading the admin more evenly across the university – another burden off the finance team.

Not only that, the staff expenses process will run much more smoothly too. By having access to their budgets on a prepaid card, staff can purchase train tickets or lunch expenses straight from the pot. This means that the lengthy process of buying out of their own pockets, filling in an expenses form, scanning receipts, having it processed by the finance team and receiving reimbursement up to a month later will be a thing of the past.

And, for special requests that may fall outside of usual departmental spending, finance can approve and transfer funds to the right person in a matter of minutes.

This streamlines processes significantly and also means there’s much less need for staff across the university to handle cash. Prepaid cards mean that, if staff need petty cash, they can withdraw this and manage it themselves – finance will not necessarily be required to keep large amounts of cash on campus.

Taking it a step further, prepaid cards could also be issued to students for use in campus shops and canteens, which means that even retail on campus can be cashless so there’s no need for totting up money to pay into the bank. Everything is already digitally transferred at the point of contact.  Universities could even work with individual suppliers to incentivise “on campus” spend where appropriate.

Payments to Students

As well as tuition fees and departmental spending, another key benefit of prepaid is the ability to transfer funds to students. This might sometimes take the form of a scholarship or bursary, or it might be the transference of a hardship fund.

Historically, this may have been done via bank transfer or even cheque, but both incur risks – a bank transfer is open to fraud and a cheque can always get lost. But by issuing students with a prepaid card at enrolment, the university can get money to students’ pockets immediately and without the risks incurred by the more old-fashioned methods. Prepaid cards are inclusive for those without bank accounts, provide instant access to funds for foreign students and can used for standalone projects such as research and trials.

From implementing digital systems to allow for straightforward tuition fee payments to rolling out prepaid cards, there’s a whole range of options available to streamline your processes and take some of the burden off your finance team – and we’re here to help.

To find out how we can help you overcome your legacy payments issues, get in touch with B4B Payments today.

Categories
Newsroom Uncategorised

Using prepaid cards to motivate an online workforce

Online working has taken off big time over the past couple of years, for obvious reasons.

Although the pandemic necessitated remote-working, businesses across the globe have seen the benefits, from the ability to recruit a more diverse staff team without geographical restraints to cost savings from not powering an office at full capacity.

However, remote working isn’t without its drawbacks. Without frequent face-to-face interaction with colleagues, some people may feel isolated, and some processes, like handing over cash for work purposes, might now feel like a nightmare.

So what can you do to motivate your online workforce?

Monthly lunch on the house

Before lockdown, it might have been a regular motivational strategy to treat your team to lunch every now and then. It’s a great way of getting the team away from their desks, chatting to each other and getting a little reward at the same time.

Obviously though, where teams are working remotely, this isn’t possible quite so regularly. Of course, you can go down the ‘Zoom or Teams lunch’ route to maintain the social aspect but there’s no reason you can’t provide the food from afar too!

By issuing your team with prepaid company cards, you can schedule cash transfers as frequently as you choose to pay for lunch as a thank you for hard work. And to make sure it’s going where you want it to go, you can specify which retailers that money can be spent with.

Presents

The old method of discreetly emailing the team and keeping an envelope of cash contributions in a drawer for birthday presents, leaving gifts or special occasions is on the decline. With people working remotely, the practicalities of slipping a few quid to the birthday pot every few weeks is tricky. And, as teams grow, knowing what to get someone from the team can be just as difficult.

But collections can still happen remotely!

Giving prepaid cards as presents for your team, whether they’re expecting a child, getting married or celebrating a birthday, can still be a personalised gift. By specifying a type of retailer – or even leaving it open as a simple cash present – you can show your employees how much they are appreciated by their employer and their wider team.

And the process of getting contributions from the team doesn’t need to be complicated either. Your team can transfer money directly onto the gift card from their own, rendering the old, complicated envelope in the drawer method null and void!

Entertainment passes

A happy employee gives more at work and leisure time is just as important for keeping your team refreshed and motivated as the time spent at work. So why not give your team some entertainment to help them wind down and to show them that they’re appreciated?

Cinema tickets are a typical perk that many organisations gift their employees, so that’s always an option – every month, transfer funds to their branded prepaid cards and specify which retailers that the money can be spent on to give your team the opportunity to see a film after work.

Or, moving into the modern age, why not pay for a streaming service, such as Netflix, Now TV or Disney+? You could even provide entertainment for while your staff are working. Studies have shown that listening to music can make workers not only more efficient but also feel happier as they work, so why not pay for a music subscription, such as Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon Music?

Pay expenses and give your team control

Using a prepaid company card, you can speed up the expenses claims or even pay expenses in advance. Through a simple app, your team can upload receipts to your finance team and have payment reimbursed as quickly as you choose!

This means that staff are spending less time out of pocket for work and, if they’re heading to a meeting at month end and need a train fare, money doesn’t have to be a factor in whether or not they can attend.

What’s more, petty cash doesn’t have to be complicated. Some staff, particularly charity workers who need to reimburse beneficiaries their travel and meal deal expenses, need daily access to cash – but this is messy for all involved. It’s difficult to get that cash to the employee in the first place if they work predominantly online and keeping hundreds or thousands of pounds worth of cash on site is risky.

By issuing your team with prepaid cards, all of this can be done virtually and, importantly, safely. Staff can request and receive the money they need with a fast turnaround and without the need to travel to the office to collect it. On top of that, they can take control of the change that they need – no longer do finance have to keep a store of 10 and 20p coins! The whole process is faster, simpler and safer, and it gives staff control over their own budgets – this can only help to motivate your team.

Interested in using prepaid to motivate your own workforce or have your own ideas? Get in touch with B4B Payments to see how we can help!

Categories
Newsroom Uncategorised

Global and innovative solutions for decentralised trials

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on clinical trials. As many people globally were unable or unwilling to leave their homes for a large portion of 2020, researchers had to develop new and innovative ways of gathering information for life-saving treatments.

While decentralised trials weren’t exactly new before the pandemic, only 34% of developers used them and they were mainly for rare diseases, where subjects were difficult to source, for paediatric trials, and for lower level chronic diseases like asthma and dermatology.

Now, though, the global clinical trials market is expected to grow at a rate of 5.7% per year until 2028, and with good reason. Decentralised trials have been proven to be effective and desirable for a number of reasons, a key benefit being the removal of barriers for patients. By bringing the trial to the patient, rather than asking patients to come to you, researchers have found not only a greater number of people willing to participate, but that it’s reduced costs as well.

There’s a whole range of tech out there to make decentralised trials run smoothly, so what does some of that look like?

Wearable devices

The usage and popularity of wearable devices like Fitbits, Garmins and Apple watches have grown massively over the past decade. In fact, the total number of wearable devices in use globally has more than doubled over the past three years and is expected to exceed one billion this year.

While the devices used recreationally to monitor heart rate, sleeping patterns and activity levels aren’t accurate enough for clinical trials, more sophisticated wearable tech, such as skin patches and smart pills, has huge potential. Sensors that track constant, real-time physiological data with necessary precision provide a great opportunity to gather patient data from a distance, without the need to travel to a trial site.

What’s more, the data captured is taken from a real-life setting, with patients going about day-to-day activities as normal, which means that data can be understood and interpreted in context.

And, with similar, commercial devices already very popular, wearable sensors make for a widely understood and accessible method of engaging trial subjects, removing a potential barrier for volunteers and empowering them to understand their own health.

Fluid communications

A key benefit of decentralised trials is the ability to communicate with patients regularly. Without the need to travel to test sites, communication can be much more flexible, fluid and, importantly, accurate.

The use of apps allows patients to make diary entries, complete questionnaires and speak to healthcare professionals from the comfort of their own home or even on the move. Results of trials can be uploaded and analysed in real-time, without the risk of human error in inputting. On top of that, with a virtual distance between patient and healthcare professional, subjects are more likely to be honest and less likely to omit information that they’d rather not discuss face-to-face.

What’s more, virtual communications allow for scheduled updates and reminders to be sent to patients on their mobile devices, meaning that information can be reliably gathered and submitted on time, with minimal fuss.

As well as this, the use of virtual communications tools allows trials to be accessible to multiple languages, meaning that patients can be recruited from a much more diverse, global pool.

And let’s not forget that apps allow for full audit trails and functions for capturing e-consent, meaning that security and protection of patient data can be top-notch.

Incentivising with Fintech

An important aspect of clinical trials is keeping participants engaged and often volunteers are compensated financially for their contributions.

In the context of decentralised trials, fintech innovation can play an important role in keeping patients on board and compliant throughout the trial but also in future trials. Card-based reward schemes can offer participants immediate return on their contributions – for every diary entry submitted or questionnaire completed, patients can immediately access their financial reward through a branded card.

With the ability to reward immediately and virtually, patients can take part in a trial and get immediate return from anywhere in the world. And, with a branded card already in their wallet, participating in future trials will be at the forefront of patients’ minds.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought decentralised trials front and centre, proven to increase the number and engagement of volunteers. There are a wealth of digital methods out there to help the development of pharmaceuticals run smoothly and effectively – from wearable tech to communication and fintech, global decentralised trials have a range of opportunities available for better data collection and valuable clinical trial results.

To find out how we can help with your decentralisation of clinical trials, talk to B4B Payments today.

Categories
Newsroom Uncategorised

CEO of B4B Payments shortlisted for Director of the Year

We are thrilled to announce our Co-Founder and CEO has been shortlisted in the UK FinTech Awards 2022 for ‘Director of the Year’.

We are thrilled to announce our Co-Founder and CEO has been shortlisted in the UK FinTech Awards 2022 for ‘Director of the Year’.

The UK FinTech Awards were developed to celebrate the incredible financial technology market, and the achievements and successes of the best and brightest of all four nations.

The year 2020 was one of the most tumultuous years in recent history. However, a strong leader provides direction, inspiration, and guidance during both the calmest and stormiest of times.  Built on decisive action taken during the pandemic to secure the future of our business, B4B Payments has gone on to have an incredible year in 2021.

Paul’s strong vision has helped create a great place to work for staff who have committed wholeheartedly to supporting the needs of our clients and cardholders.  It is wonderful to receive this recognition as B4B begins an exciting new chapter with expanded payment capability and new products.

The awards ceremony is taking place on 20 April 2022 at Leonardo Royal London St Paul’s and promises to be a must-attend event.

Categories
Newsroom Uncategorised

How to incentivise charity volunteers with prepaid cards

In 2020/21, around 28 million people In 2020/21, volunteered in England, 19 million of whom volunteered at least once a month.

Volunteers can take many forms, from on the ground support working directly with beneficiaries, through back-office, front-of-house, creative media, 10k runs, to corporate relationships and ambassadorial roles. And let’s not forget trustees!

In 2020, there were around 163,000 voluntary organisations in the UK, most of whom relied on volunteers. But, with so many people volunteering their time and skills for so many different reasons, and with volunteers playing such a vital role for charities in the UK, how can we keep them coming back?

Give rewards

Many charities rely heavily on volunteers because funding in the sector can be, at times, tricky to come by and even trickier to sustain. With charity employees often taking on multiple roles and spinning multiple plates at once, volunteers are a great way of easing the burden on the team and reducing staff costs, meaning more money can go towards the charitable purpose of the organisation.

However, while volunteers are essential, they are just that – volunteers – so it’s important to still find ways of showing appreciation even when they’re not being paid. Reward schemes can be a great way of doing that.

Offering prepaid ‘thank you’ cards to volunteers, either for one-off jobs or on a milestone basis, are a great way of showing them just how much you value them. They’re not in it for the money but a token of thanks goes a long way to showing that their time and skills are appreciated and will make them all the happier to volunteer again and again.

On top of that, a branded card in a volunteer’s wallet will keep your charity and your cause at the forefront of their minds, meaning they’ll be more inclined to offer support again in the future.

Form partnerships

All charities know the importance of corporate partnerships as a way of bringing in a diverse, unrestricted income stream but there are many different forms that these partnerships can take.

Developing relationships with local businesses can bring great opportunities to your charity – and it can go a long way in not only incentivising your existing volunteers, but bringing in new ones too.

Corporate businesses are often crying out for opportunities for their staff to volunteer as part of their corporate social responsibility strategies, so creating a package to help them hit their volunteering quotas can be very well received.

Consider team challenges for different departments. Which team can raise the most in a bucket collection, bag pack or 10k run? Which team can deliver the most exciting youth work activity? Incentivise them with a prepaid card to spend on a team meal out and watch them come back to volunteer again.

You could also consider partnerships with local retailers to gain discounts for your staff and volunteers. When paying with a branded prepaid card, staff can gain exclusive discounts and retailers can benefit from increased custom so it’s a win-win all round.

Make it easy

Another key consideration in incentivising volunteers making sure that they’re able to offer their time, skills and services in a straightforward way. Volunteers don’t typically get anything in return so, if they think it’s a hassle, they’re not likely to come back again.

There are lots of ways you can make their time with you easy, from seamless sign up and induction processes to effective line management and a solid feedback loop. And finance is just as important.

Offering volunteers a branded prepaid expenses card to cover lunch and travel is a great way of not only making sure that they don’t have to spend any of their own money or go through a lengthy expense claim form for an afternoon’s work, but it’s also a great way of empowering them, making their volunteering experience smooth, and showing them that their needs have been considered too.

Volunteers are an absolutely vital part of many charities in the UK, offering their time, skills and expertise with no expectation of anything in return, other than the knowledge that they’ve done a good thing and gained some experience along the way. With such kind-hearted and wonderful people keeping the charity sector ticking over, making sure that they know they’re fully appreciated is of the utmost importance!

To find out how we can support you in incentivising your volunteers, contact B4B Payments today.