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Unveiling the potential of BaaS: Insights from Brian Lawlor, our Group CCO

The show’s host, Rogier Rouppe van der Voort, explores Brian’s expertise in BaaS and how this breakthrough model is enabling companies to extend their services to provide customers and generate new revenue.

BaaS breaks the mould for the delivery of banking services. It gives non-financial institutions the ability to offer core banking services such as card issuance, payment acceptance and FX service. Thanks to BaaS, a business can launch its own banking services without having to go through the lengthy and costly process of attaining its own licence. They also avoid the need to build their own complex infrastructure for the delivery of those services.

Swedish startup Juni, which was listed as 2021’s fastest-growing fintech startup in Europe, is one of B4B’s most recent high-profile BaaS success stories.

‘BaaS has grown rapidly in recent years,’ explained Brian, ‘which has naturally attracted some new service providers into the market. With BaaS, organisations can quickly integrate banking functionalities into their existing products or services, eliminating the need for extensive development and regulatory hurdles.

‘BaaS is pushing innovation by allowing for the creation of tailored financial solutions that boost customer loyalty and engagement. Ultimately, it empowers businesses to scale efficiently, adapt to evolving market demands, and enter new markets with ease.’

The PCN podcast episode featuring Brian Lawlor is live, and you can catch it on all major platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Power your payments vision with B4B Payments as your
Banking as a Service Provider.
Meet the team at Money 20/20 Europe at stand 8A 300
.
Book a meeting here

 

 

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Tech People podcast welcomes B4B Payments’ Brian Lawlor

‘Why breaking up banking means better financial services’

Legacy banking services will be a hot topic when Brian Lawlor, Group Chief Commercial Officer, B4B Payments, is the special guest on the Tech People podcast in January.

B4B Payments offers Banking as a Service (BaaS) technology that enables businesses to provide the kind of financial services that previously only banks could offer.

‘We are helping to break apart the old model. Through BaaS, we allow organisations to offer new and improved access to those core banking services such as issuing cards, making payments, or FX – and it can be virtually any type of business that takes advantage of that. Not just banks or even financial service companies.’

Brian met the podcast’s host, Ken Coyne, at Money 20/20 USA in October last year, and Ken was interested in learning more about Brian and the ethics driving B4B Payments.

The podcast seeks to show ‘how diversity, creativity, and innovation, when nurtured in people, can lead to an unbeatable formula’. This series of interviews ‘share the experiences of some truly inspirational leaders on their journey to customer success.’

Brian joins a long list of previous guests from major organisations across different types of technology industries organisations. Recent podcasts have featured Diane Acevedo, SVP, Operations and Customer Experience at Gabb Wireless, speaking about how to overcome the negative impacts of technology on children. Owen Fitzpatrick spoke about leadership principles and the importance of what leaders believe rather than what they think. David Urban, CEO of Auctioneer, shared his views about AI and the future of coaching for founders.

Brian will be sharing stories and learnings from his professional journey, leadership insights and the principles driving B4B Payments today.

 

Brian’s journey to Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS)

As part of his 20-year career, Brian has played vital roles in launching key fintechs, including Soldo, Revolut, Wise, Monzo and Juni. In 2020, Brian joined Banking Circle, which eventually acquired B4B Payments, an EMI in the UK and Lithuania and a principal member of both Visa and Mastercard. Following the acquisition, Brian assumed the role of Group Chief Commercial Officer at B4B Payments.

The benefits of BaaS are most widely felt across the whole eCommerce sector especially travel. Buyers can now not only choose the goods or services they want to buy but also select other banking products that might help them make their current purchase, such as a loan or apply for a card that rewards their future loyalty to their favourite brands.

 

Examples of B4B Payments impact

B4B Payments have a long history of shaking up industries and cutting through red tape.

Migrant Help is an organisation that provides invaluable initial assistance to victims of modern slavery and trafficking.

Exploited individuals often don’t have the ability to open a typical bank account. So, physical cash handouts were given to migrants for immediate help. This presented obvious risk and security issues. A prepaid Mastercard was the perfect alternative – offering all the benefits of a cash-free system without requiring the paperwork and process of an individual bank account.

B4B Payments are helping to make businesses more competitive, as showcased by the services it provides to two Danish fintechs, OneMoneyWay (insert link) and Zento (insert link). They are using B4B technology to simplify corporate payments for SMEs, eliminating the lengthy processes and high costs typically associated with opening a corporate bank account in Denmark.

Where to find Tech People

The episode of the Tech People podcast featuring Brian Lawlor will be published on (the 28 February) and available from all popular aggregators, including Apple and Spotify.

 

 

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The big questions and hot topics from Money 20/20 USA

Money 20/20 is like Christmas in many ways. There’s a lot of hard work and preparation in the run-up, especially if you are hosting a stand. And then it’s all a bit of a blur for a few fantastic days. 

The B4B Payments team got together recently to unpack our observations, compare notes, and consolidate our learnings. Here are some of our key takeaways from Money 20/20 USA, held in Las Vegas.

Digital identity and a Snickers bar 

After just a few minutes of walking the event floor, you would have been struck by one thing. Digital identity was front and centre, both in terms of exhibitor stands and speaker sessions.

In one lively panel session, the topic of data access and identity governance was discussed. Digital identity expert Dave Birch questioned whether consumers really knew the value of their own data and speculated that most of them ‘would be happy to give away all their personal data to Facebook for a Snickers bar.’ This clearly indicates there needs to be some formal structure for identity and data access that is fair and equitable for all parties.

The Banking-as-a Service (BaaS) versus Embedded Finance debate

A big talking point on the B4B Payments stand was the confusion between BaaS and embedded finance among our U.S. visitors. 

Of those who had heard of BaaS, many did not really know the difference between it and embedded finance – or simply assumed they were the same thing.

By the end of the event, we had boiled down our explanation of the difference between the two into these three major areas:

  • Different functionality – BaaS gives you the ability to offer traditional banking services. These are usually provided by a bank or licensed fintech service provider via a single API.  Embedded finance, on the other hand, offers a much broader set of financial services via multiple API integrations.
  • Different use cases – BaaS is generally used by organisations for whom financial services are their core offering, such as Neobank. Embedded payments are often used by companies for whom financial services are not their core offering, such as a telecoms company. In this case, the telecoms provider could use embedded finance to help their customers buy more of their products by taking out a loan or offering a BNPL option.
  • Different supplier relationships and regulatory obligations – BaaS is usually provided through a single supplier (a bank or a more modern licensed fintech such as B4B Payments). The supplier takes on the bulk of the regulatory burden, and their clients are expected to adhere to specific regulations. These will be monitored by the BaaS provider. With embedded finance, the regulatory responsibilities are distributed between the different financial service providers and non-financial companies. 

Some topics that were not so hot

Similarly, the metaverse was not such a hot topic as we all await stronger case studies and more decisive evidence of customer adoption. 

The lack of open banking exhibitors or content highlighted the difference between the US and European markets. This is something that is likely to grow in the future as open banking gathers pace in the US.  

The technology gap exposed

The differences between the U.S. and Europe in terms of payment technology and experiences remain quite stark. One of the clearest examples of this was highlighted during the ‘Keeping Up with Expectations in Embedded Finance’ panel session at the start of Day 2.

Daniel Crisologo, Director of Payments from Nordstrom, stated that their business had only started offering contactless in response to the COVID outbreak in 2020. In the UK, the rollout of contactless payment acceptance by the largest organisations happened more than a decade ago. Contactless payments accounted for over 70 per cent of pay-as-you-go transactions at Transport for London (TfL) by 2022 – including paying for more than 2.5 billion TfL bus journeys in that time.  

Similarly, BNPL was discussed as an emerging payment option for U.S. consumers, but it is well-established in the UK and Europe. BNPL is predicted to grow at 25% each year in the UK from 2022 to 2028. This is partly due to its ability to help consumers through the current cost of living crisis. 

The customer experience

The panel discussed the importance of delivering a consistent customer experience. Whether you are serving consumers or business buyers, it is essential to make the same payment options available across all channels for a friction-free, high-converting buyer experience.

The trend towards digital wallets was a talking point, given predictions that their user base will grow strongly to exceed 5.2 billion globally by 2026, an increase of over 53% from 2022 levels. This is because of the potential for universal and merchant wallets to empower consumer purchasing and increase loyalty. 

In a discussion that was relevant to both BaaS and embedded finance, the topic of commercial models was raised and the need to condense those across the virtual SaaS industry. Using a single service provider with one API integration is a good start. The need to simplify layers and connectivity in the payment orchestration process will also be key to preventing friction for buyers and impacting conversions.  

Staying ahead of the game

As B4B Payments continues to grow from its UK base to the U.S., it is interesting to note the differences and nuances between these two dynamic markets. Money 20/20 remains the industry barometer for payment conversations and trends. 

The interest in embedded payments is strong, and the U.S. market is beginning to understand the important differences and opportunities offered by Banking-as-a-Service. 

In difficult economic times for both business buyers and consumers, it is good to see the payments industry continuing to focus on how it can most effectively empower businesses and enhance profitability.

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B4B Payments is shortlisted as a finalist at The Card & Payments Awards in the Best Payments Industry Newcomer category!

B4B Payments, in partnership with Banking Circle, offers a full suite of payment solutions, bridging gaps in the fragmented B2B FinTech market. We empower Danish FinTech startups like OneMoneyWay and Zento, providing tailored financial solutions and ultimately supporting inclusive payment solutions in the underserved SME market.

Empowering the FinTechs to Provide Better Financial Service to the Unserved Market

OneMoneyWay and Zento are both Danish FinTech startups that partner with B4B, aiming to simplify corporate payments for SMEs, eliminating the lengthy processes and high costs typically associated with opening a corporate bank account in Denmark.

Zento’s CEO, Rashid Ahmad, shared the difficulties of opening a business account in Denmark at B4B’s Annual Client Forum.

Providing Tailored Financial Services with B4B’s technology

By utilising B4B’s Embedded Finance Services and API integration, OneMoneyWay and Zento can tailor their offerings to suit the specific needs of their clients, providing them with a simplified and user-friendly financial platform with DKK, SEK, EUR, USD and GBP accounts. Through these accounts, B4B has payment services in local market rails and 25+ currencies through SWIFT & NACHA.

Oliver Bentzen, CEO of OneMoneyWay, highlights the benefits of partnering with B4B.

“B4B Payments are especially skilled in the field of compliance, where they truly outpace their competition. For us, that means our clients get onboarded much faster than our competitors, and that makes us an attractive solution to end customers.”

OneMoneyWay’s CEOs, Oliver & Casper, met with B4B’s Account Director, Tim Robson, in our London Office.
Summary: B4B is the strongest support for inclusive payment

Together, OneMoneyWay & Zento have shortened the onboarding time for opening business payment accounts in Denmark from 3-6 months to 2-6 weeks. Underserved SME businesses are able to use this speed to reduce potential costs and grow their businesses faster, which, in turn, provides benefits to marginalised communities and the wider Danish economy.

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Elevating Commercial Banking: How Credit Unions Can Compete with Flexible Prepaid Technology

Credit unions represent a counterpart to conventional banks, and the banking industry’s recent shakeup has created an opportunity to gain new commercial business, especially the 29 million SMBs, with expanded business payment service offerings.

Speaking of opportunities, SMBs are shifting considerably away from large banks – which hold 45% of the market share, and 66% of business owners say their primary bank doesn’t get them. Additionally, B2B is the largest payment segment globally. In 2018, Goldman Sachs estimated B2B payments at $127 trillion. More recently, Credit Suisse pegged B2B payments at $125 trillion out of a $235 trillion total market. This outweighs the B2C payments market, estimated to be 52 trillion.

The demise of several banks in the spring has resulted in some SMBs reassessing their banking relationships beyond merely credit risks, and this is where credit unions can leverage their reputation for trustworthiness and commitment to community values to attract commercial clients. 

Additionally, the shift allows credit unions to offer access to cutting-edge, self-service commercial prepaid products as an embedded payment solution that can grow in tandem with their SMB clients and make it easier for businesses to conduct expense management and payouts.

Unlike large banks, credit unions can swiftly adapt to the evolving needs of businesses and tailor their prepaid card programs accordingly. This agility is a key selling point for credit unions positioning themselves as dynamic, commercial payment partners for businesses.

Personalized Service and Local Focus

One of the core strengths of credit unions is their commitment to personalized service and community focus. They can emphasize their local presence and understanding of the unique challenges facing businesses in their community. Commercial clients often appreciate the accessibility and personal touch that credit unions can provide, which may be lacking in larger, impersonal banks.

Seamless Integration with Business Services

To compete effectively, credit unions can integrate prepaid cards seamlessly with other business services they offer. This includes aligning prepaid cards with business loans, lines of credit, and merchant services. By offering a comprehensive suite of financial solutions, credit unions become one-stop destinations for all of a business’s financial needs.

The first step towards success lies in recognizing that businesses have unique financial requirements. Credit unions can craft prepaid card solutions that cater specifically to these demands. Whether it’s facilitating employee expenses, managing petty cash, or optimizing cash flow, prepaid cards can be customized to align with the varied financial goals of commercial clients.

Seamless Expense Management

Managing expenses is a critical aspect of any business’s financial health. By offering prepaid cards equipped with integrated expense management tools, credit unions empower commercial clients to effortlessly track and categorize their spending. This streamlined process not only reduces administrative burdens but also provides invaluable insights into financial management.

Flexible Funding for Businesses

Flexibility is the name of the game in the commercial world, where cash flow can make or break a business. Credit unions can provide prepaid cards that allow businesses to load funds as needed, ensuring access to working capital whenever required. This flexibility enhances financial stability and bolsters businesses’ confidence in their credit union partner.

The Loyalty and Rewards Advantage

Introducing loyalty or rewards programs tied to prepaid cards can be a game-changer for businesses. Small businesses can easily develop employee, channel partner, vendor, and customer incentives and reward schemes that enable them to strengthen their relationships. In return, this not only incentivizes continued usage but also deepens the loyalty between the credit union and its commercial clients.

Risk Management and Informed Decision-Making

Prepaid cards offer a window into a business’s financial activity. Credit unions can use this data to assess the financial health and stability of their commercial members, informing lending decisions and risk assessment. This proactive approach to risk management safeguards both the credit union and its clients.

Collaborative Teamwork

Credit unions can explore collaborative partnerships with fintech companies like B4B Payments. These partnerships can help credit unions launch and optimize their prepaid card offerings with advanced technology and innovative features. By staying on the cutting edge of fintech, credit unions can compete with banks on the technological front.

B4B Payments can help credit unions quickly and easily launch and enhance their prepaid commercial card programs and compete with banks offering embedded payment solutions. Our end-to-end flexible and scalable prepaid commercial card issuing platform offers easy set-up and onboarding so commercial divisions can quickly enable businesses to self-manage the instant issue of physical and virtual Visa® cards for travel, entertainment, supplies, internal department and project spending, incentives and rewards.

We’ve Made It Simple 

Our robust APIs integrate seamlessly into existing bank systems and make it easy for your institution to offer a simple method for your credit unions to deliver businesses a valuable payment solution that also streamlines payments and gains them greater transparency and reporting capabilities.

With easy set-up and onboarding, commercial operations will not need additional staff or deal with lengthy and burdensome training and processes to begin enabling companies to self-manage the instant issue of physical and virtual Visa® cards for travel, entertainment, supplies, internal department and project spending, incentives, and rewards.

Credit unions have a competitive edge in the commercial banking space when armed with well-designed prepaid card programs. By capitalizing on their flexibility, commitment to personalized service, competitive pricing, and strategic partnerships, credit unions can effectively compete with banks for commercial clients. The key lies in understanding businesses’ unique needs, providing innovative solutions, and showcasing the distinct advantages credit unions offer as financial partners.

For more information, visit B4B Payments Credit Union Information Page.

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Breaking Barriers: How Digital Payment Solutions Increase Diversity in Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are the backbone of medical research, providing crucial insights into the efficacy and safety of new treatments and therapies. However, one persistent challenge that plagues the field is the under-representation of diverse populations in these trials. This lack of diversity not only hampers the validity of study results but also limits the applicability of findings to broader communities.

Vulnerable populations, including those who are rural, poor, unbanked, under-educated, or chronically ill, often face barriers to participation due to concerns about payment methods or a lack of trust in the system. The solution to these challenges might be embracing modern and efficient digital payment solutions.

The Impact of Under-Representation

Under-representation in clinical trials has far-reaching consequences that extend beyond research. When certain demographic groups are left out, study results may not accurately reflect how a treatment will perform in the real world.
There are even cases where sample sizes are often too small to permit assessment of treatment efficacy within particular subgroups.

This can lead to less effective or unsafe treatments, ultimately perpetuating health disparities. Additionally, the lack of diversity in clinical trials can hinder the development of personalized medicine, where treatments are tailored to individual genetic and environmental factors.

Here are some recent informative headlines that point to the issue:

Barriers to Participation

Vulnerable populations often face unique barriers that discourage their participation in clinical trials. Payment methods are one such barrier. Many individuals, particularly those from underserved communities, may not have traditional bank accounts, making it difficult to receive compensation for their participation. A World Bank 2021 report stated more than 1.4 billion people worldwide remained unbanked. This is especially true for rural or remote populations with limited banking infrastructure. Moreover, concerns about the security and transparency of payment systems can deter potential participants who fear their personal information might be compromised.

Figure: Accessibility to clinical industry clinical trials, calculated as number of clinical trial sites per 1 million in population relative to the U.S. levels (U.S. = 100%). LongTaal Clinical Trials Landscape dashboard/clinical Trials Indices. Source VIARES Academy for Clinical Research. Source ClinicalLeader

Building Trust and Accessibility with Digital Payments

Digital payment solutions can transform the landscape of clinical trial participation by addressing some of these barriers head-on. One of the key advantages of digital payments is their accessibility. Mobile phones are increasingly prevalent, even in low-income or rural areas, providing participants with a secure platform to receive compensation. Digital wallets or prepaid cards can be quickly loaded with the agreed-upon compensation amount, ensuring participants can access their funds without needing a traditional bank account.

Reloadable, prepaid debit cards are convenient, allowing for instant processing and automated differentiation between taxable and tax-exempt expenditures. These digital solutions also foster trust through their transparency.  Participants can track their payments in real-time via mobile or desktop devices, alleviating concerns about the legitimacy of the payment process. The use of secure encryption protocols and stringent data protection measures further bolster the security of these payment methods, assuaging fears about personal information being compromised.

Driving Inclusivity Through Efficiency

Efficiency is another hallmark of digital payment solutions. Traditional payment methods, such as checks, can be time-consuming and subject to delays. This is especially problematic for individuals who may be living paycheck to paycheck or facing financial instability. Digital payments eliminate these delays, ensuring that participants receive compensation promptly. This demonstrates respect for participants’ time and contribution and removes a significant logistical barrier that might otherwise discourage participation.

A Shift Towards Inclusivity

Adopting digital payment solutions represents a crucial shift towards inclusivity in clinical trials. By removing the barriers posed by payment methods and enhancing transparency and efficiency, these solutions can make trials more appealing and accessible to a broader spectrum of participants. Vulnerable populations can now participate without worrying about payment delays or security breaches, contributing to a more diverse and representative participant pool.

In the pursuit of medical advancements, clinical trials must reflect the diversity of the populations they aim to serve. Under-representations can compromise the validity and applicability of study results, perpetuating health disparities. Digital payment solutions like prepaid debit cards have the potential to break down barriers and increase diversity by providing accessible, transparent, and efficient methods of compensation. As the field of medical research continues to evolve, embracing these solutions could be the key to fostering inclusivity and driving forward healthcare breakthroughs that benefit everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances.

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Rewarding Employees with Cash-Christmas

It might be too early to talk about Christmas, but it’s not too early to think about rewards and incentives for your employees.

Christmas is the perfect time to express your appreciation for your team’s hard work throughout the year. This festive season, B4B Payments offers a simple yet meaningful way to spread cheer among your employees – our prepaid gift cards

These cards provide your employees with the freedom to choose their own reward and are a testament to our 17 years of expertise in payments and our global recognition as a trusted provider of card issuing and embedded payment services, now as part of the Banking Circle group of companies.

The pain points of Christmas rewards

Selecting the perfect gift can often be a challenging and complex process. It’s a delicate balance of aligning the recipient’s preferences, interests, and needs with your budget constraints. You might also need to consider the uniqueness of the gift, its relevance to the recipient, and its potential longevity. Moreover, organisational considerations such as budget, ease of distribution, and the message the gift conveys must also be taken into account.

Even after putting careful thought into these factors, there’s no guarantee that the chosen gift will hit the mark. It could be the wrong size, colour, or simply not to the recipient’s taste. This uncertainty can turn the joyful act of giving into a stressful endeavour.

That’s where B4B Payments card services step in as the ultimate solution. They are universally appreciated because they offer the gift of choice. Using prepaid cards as a form of reward, the recipient has the freedom to select something that truly resonates with them, something they genuinely need or have been eyeing for a while. It’s an empowering gift that respects individual tastes and preferences. 

B4B Payments – offering unrivalled rewards and incentives

Let’s delve into some of the benefits of choosing B4B Payments for your corporate gifting this festive season:

1. Simplify management with our Cardholder app

Our user-friendly Cardholder app allows employees to manage their card balances and more easily. Plus, our dedicated support team is always on hand to assist with any queries.

2. Spend at millions of locations worldwide

Whether you’re rewarding a workforce that’s working from home, back in the office, or never stopped throughout lockdown, B4B Payments has got you covered. Our prepaid cards can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, including in their Google Pay or Apple Pay wallet!

3. Flexible, sustainable, and globally accepted

B4B Gift Cards offer the flexibility of being single-use or reloadable for incentives, payroll, payout, or expenses. They are made from 75% recycled plastic materials, offering a sustainable choice.

4. Expert team, advanced products, trusted global provider

Our expert team boasts a market-leading level of experience in setting up successful card programs, and we offer advanced end-to-end payment solutions to help you grow your business. As an FCA and Bank of Lithuania Authorised E-money institution, a Principal Member of Mastercard, and a partner provider to Mastercard Fintech Express Program, we are a trusted global provider of card issuing and payment services.

A gift from B4B Payments this Christmas

It’s not all about your employees this Christmas. There’s something for you, too. At B4B Payments, we’re offering FREE delivery on our cards to make your gift-giving that bit easier (and cheaper).

The minimum order value for our gift cards is £1,000, and this applies only to non-branded cards. The offer is limited to a single bulk order to a UK office address, with each card carrying a minimum load of £10. This special offer is available until October 31st, 2023.

Want to know more about rewards and incentives

Rewards and incentives can be offered all year round to improve employee retention. Take a look in more detail into how B4B payments use 17 years of experience in the payments industry to offer seamless rewards and incentives for businesses around the globe.

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Winning the GCVA Hall of Fame Awards for best gift card B2B product/service!

We’re thrilled to announce our win at the GCVA Hall of Fame Awards for Best Gift Card B2B Product/Service! This achievement underscores our commitment to excellence in payment solutions and is a recognition from the industry that B4B is a major player in the corporate loading gift space.

B4B’s expertise in Product Recall Support

Over the last year, B4B provided the distribution mechanism to support a major manufacturer in managing its recall programme throughout Europe. Specifically, B4B provided affected consumers with a virtual, branded Mastercard® badged open-loop prepaid card across Europe to support the targeted recall programme. 

This was a major undertaking, with upwards of 75,000 cards issued and nearly £20M in refunds over a short period of time. Activation rates topped 90%. This award recognises B4B’s ability to launch and run large incentive or recall compensation programmes.

B4B has supported hundreds of companies to digitalise their old legacy processes and cash or voucher systems. Our disbursement solutions have proven to drive customer loyalty and repeat purchases or, when things go wrong, to quickly compensate affected customers.

Here are three key aspects that highlight the value and optimisation of our services:

1. Easy Distribution: Instant virtual card issuance via email ensures global accessibility and branding options for a seamless experience.

2. Instant & Transparent Payments under regulation: Our EMI status allows rapid payments while navigating regulations, fostering trust.

3. Effortless Redemption: Fast and secure contactless payments through popular digital wallets, available for both plastic and virtual cards.

We are pleased to receive the recognition from the GCVA Hall of Fame Awards. It inspires us to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation, serving our clients promptly and efficiently, and shaping the future of payment solutions.

Pictured are our CCO, Craig Simpson, and Director of Accounts, Tim Robson.

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Innovative Payments Solutions Streamline the Administrative Burden of Clinical Trial Participant Compensation

Clinical trials are crucial in advancing medical knowledge and improving patient care. However, the administrative tasks associated with managing participant compensation are often a significant burden for researchers and site personnel. According to recent studies, 44% of site personnel engaged in accounting also juggle other study-related responsibilities. This administrative workload can detract from the scientific focus of the research process. Fortunately, there are innovative solutions to address these challenges and streamline the compensation process.

Leveraging Digital Payment Methods

Adopting digital payment platforms is one of the most promising advancements in simplifying clinical trial participant compensation. Traditional methods of compensation disbursement often involve manual paperwork, which is not only time-consuming but also prone to human errors. By embracing digital payment platforms, researchers can automate the compensation disbursement process, reducing the need for extensive paperwork. Digital payment platforms offer secure and seamless compensation transfers, ensuring that participants receive their compensation in a timely manner. This enhances participant satisfaction and frees up valuable time for researchers and site personnel. Instead of allocating significant hours to processing payments, these individuals can redirect their efforts towards more critical aspects of the trial.

Moreover, prepaid debit cards have become a convenient and flexible payment method for clinical trial participants. These cards can be loaded with compensation funds and used just like regular debit cards, issued instantly as either a virtual or physical card, and provide participants with a hassle-free way to access their funds. Prepaid debit cards offer participants the freedom to choose how and when to use their compensation. This flexibility enhances participant satisfaction and encourages continued engagement and participation in the trial.

Time and Cost Savings

One of the most compelling advantages of digital payment platforms is the potential for significant time and cost savings. Research indicates that implementing such platforms can save up to 15 minutes per participant, considerably reducing administrative burden. These time savings compound as the number of participants in a clinical trial increase.

Researchers can devote more attention to study design, data analysis, and patient care by reallocating these saved hours. Furthermore, the cost savings associated with transitioning to digital payment platforms should not be overlooked.

By digitizing payments, administrators can significantly reduce manual paperwork, printing, and postage costs, leading to considerable financial benefits throughout a clinical trial. These cost savings can be reinvested into other research areas, contributing to the overall success of the study.

Automated Payment Tracking Systems

Automated payment tracking systems have gained traction further to improve the transparency and efficiency of the compensation process. By automating payment tracking, researchers can identify and promptly address discrepancies or issues. This proactive approach prevents potential delays in compensation disbursement and maintains participant trust throughout the trial.

These payment systems provide real-time monitoring of compensation disbursement, allowing researchers and site personnel to have a clear overview of payment statuses. Real-time tracking minimizes the risk of errors and ensures accurate record-keeping, thus enhancing transparency and compliance.

The administrative burden of managing participant compensation in clinical trials has long been a challenge for researchers and site personnel. However, the landscape is changing with the emergence of innovative payment solutions, such as digital payment platforms, prepaid debit cards, and automated payment tracking systems.

Solutions like B4B Payments’ instant prepaid card issuing platform streamline the compensation process, offer substantial time and cost savings, enhance participant satisfaction, and improve trial transparency. Advanced, easy-to-use payment platforms allow researchers to focus more on their work’s scientific aspects, drive progress in medical research, and ultimately improve patient care.

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Understanding BaaS: A Guide to Banking-as-a-Service

Innovation and digitisation continue to break down barriers, and the lines between traditional ways of serving customers are being redefined. Businesses are keen to ride this wave of change and enhance their services and customer experiences. Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) is one of the most compelling examples of how the tide is turning and delivering flexibility, efficiency, and heightened customer engagement.

In this blog, we dive into the basics of BaaS, explain why it’s captured the imagination of businesses worldwide and provide some key examples of BaaS in action.

What is BaaS?

Changes to financial services rules and regulations mean that banks have lost their monopoly on providing financial services. Today, you don’t need to be a bank to offer banking services. You just need to work with a service provider that adheres to strict regulations and has the proper permissions.

Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) is therefore a significant shift in the way banking functions are delivered and consumed. It enables businesses to integrate banking services directly into their own systems, making transactions and other banking activities more efficient and user-friendly.

BaaS operates on a digital infrastructure where a licensed financial services provider offers financial products or services on a modular basis to other businesses.

It removes the barrier to entry in the financial world by providing businesses with a framework they can use to offer banking services without having to build them from scratch, which would be a considerable investment of time and money.

The components of BaaS range from payments and deposits to lending and compliance services, all delivered through a digital interface. It allows non-bank organisations to integrate all financial components into their operations.

The adoption of BaaS solutions brings benefits such as reduced operational costs, improved customer experience, quicker time-to-market, and increased revenue streams.

How BaaS Works: Unravelling the Mechanics

BaaS operates primarily through API integrations.

APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are software intermediaries that allow different applications to communicate with each other.

In BaaS, APIs are used to link businesses’ systems with the services provided by banks or financial institutions. This enables businesses to offer modular banking solutions such as account creation, payments, or card issuance without the need for extensive banking infrastructure.

The Role of BIN Sponsorship

BIN Sponsorship plays a critical role in BaaS.

BIN stands for Bank Identification Number and is the first four to six numbers that appear on payment cards.

BIN Sponsorship allows non-bank entities to issue payment cards under their own brand. A BIN Sponsor is a bank or financial institution that is part of a card network and can facilitate payment card transactions.

By leveraging BIN Sponsorships, businesses can process seamless payments without having to directly interface with card networks or financial institutions.

BIN Sponsorships simplify regulatory compliance, as the sponsor bank handles all compliance-related matters, including anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.

The Need for BaaS: Addressing 6 Key Challenges

Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) addresses six key challenges that have been prevalent in traditional banking systems:

1. Access to Banking for Non-Banks

BaaS lowers the barriers to entry for non-banking businesses that want to offer financial services. Through partnerships with BaaS providers, companies that do not have a banking license can still offer their customers banking services.

2. Agility and Speed

Traditional banking systems are often characterised by their slow and cumbersome processes. BaaS, with its digital infrastructure, allows for much faster and more agile operations. The API integrations allow businesses to quickly implement banking services and adapt to market changes with minimal delay.

3. Customer Experience

The traditional banking experience is often less than ideal for customers, who now expect seamless and instant services. BaaS enhances the customer experience by integrating banking services directly into the platforms they already use, making banking more accessible and convenient.

4. Cost Reduction

Establishing and maintaining a traditional banking infrastructure is expensive. BaaS allows businesses to leverage the infrastructures of existing banks alongside the automation and digitisation of services which reduces operational costs.

5. Scalability

Traditional banking systems are not easily scalable. BaaS, with its modular approach, allows businesses to scale their operations efficiently. They can select and integrate the services they need, and easily add or remove services as their requirements change.

6. Regulatory Compliance

Complying with the complex regulatory requirements in banking is a significant challenge. BaaS providers often handle compliance, reducing the burden on businesses and ensuring that services are provided within the regulatory framework.

Key Examples of BaaS in Action

The implementation of BaaS has transformed various industries.

1. Fintech

The implementation of BaaS in Fintech has given rise to fully digital banks without physical branches. These digital banks leverage BaaS to offer banking services that are often more flexible and customer-centric than traditional banks. They usually offer features like fee-free accounts, real-time transaction notifications, and automated savings tools.

2. eCommerce

In e-commerce, businesses use BaaS to simplify payments, making checkouts smoother and improving the overall shopping experience. In the gig economy, companies use BaaS to provide faster payouts to their workforce, enabling real-time payments.

3. Telecommunications

Telecom companies can enable their customers to perform transactions, such as mobile money transfers, paying bills, and purchasing airtime, seamlessly through their mobile phones. This integration is particularly beneficial in developing regions where banking infrastructure is limited, but mobile phone usage is widespread.

4. Healthcare

Hospitals and clinics can integrate BaaS solutions to enable easy and secure payment options, reducing administrative workload and enhancing the patient’s experience. Healthcare providers can leverage BaaS platforms to offer tailored financial products such as health savings accounts or payment plans.

5. Travel and Hospitality

Hotels and travel agencies can integrate BaaS to offer seamless booking and payment processes. They can create loyalty programs that reward customers with points that can be converted into financial benefits. This not only increases customer satisfaction but also builds brand loyalty.

Stay close to customers with BaaS

Banking-as-a-Service is more than just a solution for today’s banking challenges – it’s a forward-looking approach that’s set to redefine the financial landscape of tomorrow.

As businesses recognise the benefits of BaaS, from operational efficiency and agility to enhanced customer experiences, its adoption is only poised to grow.

In this new era of banking, the adoption of BaaS isn’t just an option; it’s a strategic necessity for businesses wanting to stay competitive and relevant.

With the added capability of providing real-time payments, personalised experiences, and facilitating digital transformation across sectors, BaaS unlocks a strategic advantage in an increasingly competitive market. 

Embracing BaaS means embracing a future of seamless, customer-centric, and cost-effective banking solutions that work for the ever-evolving requirements of your business.