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.


Optimizing Payment: The Key to Clinical Trial Participant Satisfaction and Retention

Clinical trials are an essential cornerstone of medical research, enabling the development of new treatments and therapies that can revolutionize healthcare. However, Clinical Research Organizations (CROs), sponsors, and independent trial sites often face significant challenges in recruiting and retaining participants, leading to delays and increased costs.

One crucial factor that can address these bottlenecks is the optimization of participant payment processes. By providing timely and seamless compensation,  researchers can incentivize participants to enroll and ensure their commitment throughout the trial.

The Importance of Participant Recruitment and Retention

Participant recruitment and retention are notorious hurdles in the world of clinical trials. Lengthy recruitment processes and high dropout rates can lead to delayed trial completion, increased expenses, and compromised data accuracy.

The reasons for these challenges are multifaceted, ranging from stringent eligibility criteria to the burden of participation. One effective strategy to address these issues lies in optimizing the payment experience for participants.

Seamless Compensation as an Incentive

One of the primary reasons individuals consider participating in clinical trials is the compensation offered for their time, effort, and potential health risks. In one survey, 39% of participants reported compensation as their primary motive for participating in clinical trials.

This percentage can go up to 90% for healthy volunteers. Optimizing payment processes is an effective way to incentivize participants to enroll and actively engage in the trial. The amount of payment for participation should not be overlooked, as this recent headline points out: Paying research participants — a lot — may be a key to increasing diversity in studies.

Timely, reliable, and hassle-free compensation fosters a sense of value and appreciation, boosting participants’ motivation to actively engage in the trial, follow protocols, attend appointments, and provide accurate data.

Source: TrialFacts

An Easy Way to Streamline Payment Processes

Efficient payment solutions, such as B4BPayments’ prepaid cards, are pivotal in streamlining payment processes for clinical trial participants. Prepaid cards offer a convenient and secure way to deliver compensation promptly, eliminating manual processes and the delays associated with traditional payment methods like checks or bank transfers.

The global prepaid card market, projected to reach $4.1 trillion in transaction value by 2026, according to Juniper Research, attests to the increasing demand for this convenient form of payment. This growth is primarily driven by emerging markets, where the reach of traditional banking systems may not be as extensive.

We have made it easy to overcome the burdens of administrative tasks, empowering sites to have more time to focus on research. B4B Payments’ all-in-one, intuitive management platform gives administrators full control and the power to instantly issue or schedule and automate the issuance of reloadable Visa prepaid physical and virtual cards globally with the agreed-upon compensation amount, for single or multiple trials and set milestones.

Administrators gain a new level of transparency in tracking each account and payment made, B4B Payments is a technology-first company, and we have designed an easy-to-use platform that flawlessly integrates into existing accounting and program management software.

Moreover, prepaid cards reduce the necessity for trial participants to have a bank account, use currency exchanges, or wait to receive checks in the mail. Trial participants can receive funds immediately for incentives, completion of milestones, and reimbursements. With increased consumer adoption of digital payments, cardholders can use a friendly mobile application to easily add their cards to highly used Apple or Google wallets for seamless mobile payments and manage their cards.

By adopting a simple, digital prepaid approach to participant compensation, operators can foster inclusion and diversity and ensure that participants receive their compensation without unnecessary friction, which can significantly impact their overall trial experience.

Impact on Retention Rates

The goal of optimizing payment processes is to improve participant retention rates. When participants have a positive payment experience and feel well compensated for their time and efforts, they are more likely to stay enrolled in the trial until completion. Studies have shown that participants who are paid promptly and without inconvenience are 2.5 times more likely to complete the required clinical trial steps than those who face payment-related challenges.

Higher retention rates translate to more accurate and comprehensive data collection, which is vital for drawing reliable conclusions from the trial. Reliable data is essential for gaining regulatory approval, advancing medical knowledge, and bringing new treatments to market. By prioritizing payment optimization, researchers can significantly contribute to their clinical trials’ success and healthcare’s overall advancement.

Optimizing payment processes is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of ensuring the success of clinical trials. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, prioritizing payment optimization can be a game-changer in achieving successful clinical trials that drive meaningful progress. Contact B4B Payments to learn how we can help optimize the trial experience.

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The Benefits of Card Services for Employee Payroll

Employee payments are a crucial aspect of any business, but managing payments can be particularly challenging for companies with a global workforce. In such situations, traditional payment methods may not be practical or cost-effective, leading to delays in payments and unhappy employees.

That’s where prepaid cards come in, providing an innovative solution to enable businesses to streamline their global payment operations. Available in both physical and virtual forms, these cards can be preloaded with the desired amount and distributed to employees regardless of their location. This offers employees immediate access to their funds, enhancing their financial flexibility.

Interested in finding out more? Join us as we explore the challenges and benefits of using virtual, physical, and prepaid cards for employee payments around the globe.

Uncovering the Convenience of Virtual and Physical Prepaid Card Services

To streamline payroll management, businesses worldwide are turning to card services. In many regions, traditional banking systems make it difficult for employees to open bank accounts. Prepaid cards offer a practical and efficient solution, allowing employees to receive their payments directly onto a card that can be used for purchases or cash withdrawals.

The introduction of virtual prepaid cards has further increased the level of convenience in accessing funds. Platforms like B4B Payments empower businesses to instantly generate virtual cards, effectively eliminating the waiting periods associated with the delivery of physical cards. This feature is particularly beneficial for employees requiring quick access to funds, such as those on business trips or working remotely.

Moreover, prepaid cards reduce the necessity for employees to carry large sums of cash or depend on expensive wire transfer services. This approach not only saves time and effort but also proves more cost-effective for both employees and employers.

The global prepaid card market, projected to reach $4.1 trillion in transaction value by 2026, according to Juniper Research, attests to the increasing demand for this convenient form of payment. This growth is primarily driven by emerging markets, where the reach of traditional banking systems may not be as extensive.

B4B Payments’ prepaid cards serve as a more permanent solution, available in the form of virtual and physical branded cards. They can be easily topped up via an intuitive platform, making prepaid cards an accessible solution for companies aiming to streamline their employee payments.

Boost Your Payroll Security with Card Services

Virtual, physical, and prepaid card services offer unparalleled security for global payments, thanks to features like fraud protection and real-time card locking. It’s worth exploring these security features in the context of international transactions, where unique security challenges often arise.

The Role of Security Features in International Transactions

Businesses conducting international transactions face unique security challenges, such as potential fraud and unauthorised use. Some common security issues include payment card data breaches, phishing attacks, and unauthorised access to payment systems. Here, card security features play a crucial role in mitigating these concerns.

Card Services Security Features: A Detailed Look

Card services, including virtual, physical, and prepaid cards, offer a secure payment option for businesses and employees alike. They come equipped with multiple security features to guard against fraud and unauthorised transactions.

One of the primary advantages of these card services is their built-in fraud protection measures. Many card providers offer round-the-clock fraud monitoring and protection, ensuring that any suspicious activity is promptly detected and addressed.

Additionally, the ability to lock and unlock cards in real-time serves as a key security feature. If an employee loses their card or suspects unauthorised use, they can instantly lock the card, preventing further transactions. Once the card is found or the issue is resolved, it can be quickly unlocked for continued use.

Virtual cards offer enhanced safety as they eliminate the risk of physical loss or theft. These cards typically have unique card numbers and security codes, providing an additional layer of protection against unauthorised use.

Benefits of Global Payments with Card Services

Adopting card services for global payments provides several benefits to businesses. Not only does it ease the

payroll process, but it also helps foster a sense of trust and satisfaction among employees. Moreover, it simplifies international transactions by bypassing the need for multiple currency conversions and mitigating exchange rate risks.

In a world where remote work is becoming the norm, global payments through card services are more relevant than ever. These services make it possible for companies to pay their employees promptly, irrespective of their location. Plus, employees can access their funds instantly and use them according to their needs.

Furthermore, card services also offer transparency in transactions, allowing companies to monitor and control spending more effectively. This helps in budgeting and financial planning, leading to more informed business decisions.

In summary, card services for global payments offer an efficient, secure, and convenient solution for businesses and their employees.

The Future of Employee Payroll is B4B Payments

As businesses grow and expand globally, the need for an efficient and secure payroll system becomes more apparent. Prepaid cards present an innovative solution, simplifying the payment process while ensuring enhanced security. 

At B4B Payments, we offer a variety of prepaid card solutions that are accepted globally that have been built on our 15 years’ experience in the business, perfect for managing payroll, employee expenses, travel expenses, incentives, and rewards.

Learn more about B4B Payments and how our card services can streamline your employee payment process, saving your business time and resources. The future of employee payroll is here; embrace the change and enjoy the benefits.

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Maximising Efficiency for Regulated EMIs with Scheme Permissions

Firstly, congratulations on navigating the complex process of acquiring your Electronic Money Institution(EMI)-regulated status and scheme permissions. It is a significant achievement in the FinTech sector, where many startups in the $245 billion industry are still struggling to reach. But what’s next?

You may feel overwhelmed at the thought of transitioning from using a BIN Sponsor to managing your own scheme memberships. New settlement processes and increasing demands on your resources can seem like a daunting challenge. Embracing your new status requires strategic planning and partnership. You’re poised to redefine your customer experience, increase autonomy, and drive growth. Yet, you must also consider the operational complexities this transition entails. How do you maintain continuity of service during the switch? How do you deal with new compliance requirements? These are critical questions to answer.

B4B Payments’ BIN Sponsorship 2.0 can seamlessly address these challenges. Our service can facilitate this transition, providing comprehensive support, industry expertise, and innovative solutions to set you on the path to success. Let’s explore how we can help your FinTech venture thrive.

Benefits of an EMI with Scheme Permissions

Your new status as a regulated EMI with scheme permissions brings several benefits, including enhanced security, increased compliance, and bolstered customer trust. 

Let’s take a look at those benefits in a little more detail

1. Increased security and compliance

As a regulated EMI, you’re under the strict supervision of financial authorities, which necessitates adherence to high standards of security and compliance. This brings a host of benefits, particularly in terms of corporate payments. For instance, under the regulation of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) allows you to issue e-money and provide associated payment services, such as transfers and foreign currency payments.

Your new status also fortifies your defence against fraudulent activities and reduces the likelihood of compliance violations. Thereby, it fosters a safer and more trustworthy business environment. It’s like having a shield that protects your business while enhancing its reputation in the market.

Additionally, as a FinTech startup, you’re now in a position to extend partnerships as a regulated EMI. This means you can help other businesses benefit from your expertise in maintaining secure and compliant payment infrastructures, further solidifying your standing in the industry.

2. Enhanced customer confidence and trust

As an EMI-regulated FinTech with scheme permissions, you’re in a position to enhance customer confidence and trust. By partnering with major issuers such as Mastercard and Visa, you can issue your own unique card numbers to cardholders. Coupled with branded cards, this strategy can supercharge customer loyalty and attract new business.

At B4B Payments, for instance, we offer our customers the ability to send payments via various channels like SWIFT, Faster Payments, CHAPS, SEPA, and local clearing in the USA (ACH) and DKK to over 20 different countries. This wide range of services offers freedom for businesses dealing overseas, or looking to grow overseas, to ensure that their needs are met efficiently and effectively.

We also leverage state-of-the-art security measures to protect cardholder information and transactions, ensuring peace of mind for users. Furthermore, our dynamic business model allows for scalable solutions that can adapt to your evolving business needs. We also provide customised reporting and analytics, offering insights into spending patterns that could optimise business operations. With B4B, businesses can not only streamline their payment procedures but also transform them into strategic tools for growth and development.

Leveraging B4B Payments to Stay Efficient

Whether you’ve used B4B’ BIN Sponsorship 2.0 to reach this point in your journey or are looking for additional support, we have a range of services that can offer significant benefits.

As an entity authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and holding an EMI licence, B4B is well-positioned to offer further support with compliance, security, settlement, and platform integration.

Our compliance and security measures are enable to protect businesses and their employees’ data and funds. As a regulated EMI with scheme permissions, you can continue (or begin to) offload your safeguarding requirements to us. It frees up internal time to concentrate on scalability and business growth. With 17 years of industry experience, we ensure that customer funds are held separately from your company’s other funds, and that you’re covered by the appropriate insurance policies that meet industry standards.

Our platform is also designed with compliance in mind. It ensures all transactions comply with regulations such as Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML).

Furthermore, we offer a ‘Settlement Only’ package that allows you to leverage our issuing capabilities while you develop your own customer interface to manage client accounts.

B4B Payments – Your Partner in the Payments Journey

No matter where you are in your payments journey, B4B can help you strengthen your proposition. With our expertise and customer-centric services, we can optimise your operations and make the most of your new status as a regulated EMI with scheme permissions.

Explore more about B4B’s BIN Sponsorship 2.0 service, and our other payment services, including embedded cards, FX, and more. By partnering with us, you can maximise efficiency, ensure compliance, and bolster your business’ growth in the rapidly evolving FinTech landscape.

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We’ve made the PayTech Awards Finalist

At B4B Payments, we are delighted to be the finalists in two categories at the PayTech Awards 2023. The recognition acknowledges our efforts and is a testament to our team’s dedication to revolutionising the payment experience. The two categories in which we have made it to the finals are “Best Cards Initiative” and “PayTech for Good.” Above all, we have always aimed to impact society positively, and we are proud that our work is gaining recognition.

Best Cards Initiative – B4B Payments provides support with prepaid Higher Education Travel Cards.

Being a finalist in the “Best Cards Initiative” category is another milestone in our journey. Our aim has always been to provide our clients with the best solutions and services that improve the payment experience. Therefore, we are proud that our Prepaid Card Solutions is making a difference in Higher Education, helping staff & students travel safely and efficiently. Besides, we help universities manage their funds, allowing easy access to expenses, and giving organisations, like Next Steps South West and Plymouth University, having better control over their finances.

PayTech for Good – B4B Payments – No one left behind

As a company, we are responsible for giving back to society and positively impacting it. We have partnered with Migrant Help & Thames Reach and collaborated to provide access for struggling people. In short, we commit ourselves to innovating our PayTech services to help those in need and make a real difference in their lives. Receiving the “PayTech for Good” distinction is a great honour, and we will continue to put our best efforts into positively impacting society.

We are immensely honoured to have been recognised by PayTech Awards 2023. We will continue to innovate and invest in cutting-edge technologies to provide the most efficient, reliable, and secure payment methods.

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Optimising Payments and FX through your EMI journey

Discover how to increase your fintech speed-to-market with a BIN Sponsorship solution that supports you during regulation and beyond.

For fintech startups or businesses with financial services, starting a payments and FX journey can come with unique challenges. With an EU market valued at over €430 billion alone, becoming operational in the fintech space is crucial to building a strong customer base.

One of the more laborious processes that is essential for any fintech or financial service business in the digital space is the establishment of the company as a regulated Electronic Money Institution (EMI).

Establishing a business as an EMI is critical to allow companies to issue and receive electronic payments (e-payments) from consumers or businesses, in addition to becoming an independent facilitator for Payments and FX. With a process that is often drawn out over several months, businesses are vulnerable to missing valuable trading time.

But is there a way to start trading without EMI-regulated status? B4B Payments can get your Payments and FX services to market ahead of the competition, as well as the advantage of adding embedded cards to your business plan.

Payments and FX – the tools for scalability

Speed-to-market is critical for all businesses to accelerate revenue. But it’s just as important for fintech companies in their infancy if they want to build a platform for scalable growth. The quickest route to market is leveraging Payments and FX from third-party companies, like B4B Payments, allowing companies to trade quickly and efficiently.

Securing investment is critical for business growth. While investors may believe in an idea in principle, seeing it in action and being able to analyse performance data can be the key to determining the pen-to-paper investment that fintechs need to grow.

Investment in the fintech space peaked in recent years, and decreased by 30% in 2022 from $130 billion to $96 billion. With this decline, we are starting to see signs of impending economic difficulties. With a crisis on the horizon, having a serviceable and active product in the market could be a huge differentiator as the investment gatekeepers become more critical of their spending.

B4B Payments offer competitive payment and FX services, offering companies the chance to make a head start on the competition. With B4B Payments, companies are able to make and receive high volumes of transactions in 25 currencies through SEPA, Faster Payments, CHAPS, USD ACH, DKK Intraday, and SWIFT.

The key to successful scalability is the preparedness of a company to adapt to changing consumer needs and market conditions. To facilitate this it’s crucial that products and services are made available cross border as soon as possible.

Using B4B Payments low-cost FX, companies looking to make the jump overseas can do so for a reduced up-front cost. With transparent rates for incoming and outgoing payments, companies can offer their services in up to 25 currencies at a competitive FX rate.

The Challenges of EMI Licensing and Regulation

Whether a business is applying to become a small EMI (not generating more than €5 million) before registration or a fully authorised EMI (over €5 million), they are required to comply with specific regulations.

One of the biggest barriers to product entry into the market is the process of becoming a licensed e-money issuer through EMI Regulation. Registering as an EMI allows fintech companies to issue e-payments legally, often followed by acquiring a card scheme membership. This, sometimes laborious process, stalls the potential for fintech and financial services to push their product to market quickly in both domestic and international markets.

Regulations such as Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017, as well as providing a level of detail on a businesses’ operations, such as place of business, central management and control, balance sheets, forecasts, and more.

While this process is necessary for fintech and financial service companies that want to grow, there is a way to get to market while applying to become a regulated EMI: BIN Sponsorship.

BIN Sponsorship 2.0 and embedded cards as a solution

BIN Sponsorship is a solution that has been on the market for a short time. It helps fintechs and financial services leverage EMI-regulated businesses to offer their services faster.

B4B Payments offers payment services to businesses across sectors, and we have taken BIN Sponsorship to the next level, helping non-regulated EMIs to get their products to market as quickly as possible, as well as offering support and solutions to companies that are at later stages of their business journey.

For non-regulated EMI’s, BIN Sponsorship 2.0 offers authorisation by the FCA and the Bank of Lithuania, allowing businesses to provide payment and card services across the UK and the EU, as well as the opportunity to leverage our licences and Mastercard Principal Member status.

Using B4B Payments as a BIN Sponsor, businesses have the ability to trade in that all-important test-and-learn phase of early business. What’s more, once an e-money licence or regulated EMI status has been acquired, businesses can continue to outsource their scheme management, settlement, and collateral requirements to us. Once a full card scheme membership is obtained, we can continue to support it by safeguarding accounts and payments. 

With virtual payment critical on fintech services – like online trading platforms – embedding them into bespoke platforms is the logical next step in scalability. Embedded services can help enhance customer experience with directly integrated services, drive growth through customer engagement and retention, and are easily set up through merchant accounts and instant payment confirmation.

At B4B Payments, we also offer embedded financial services to enrich business propositions post-regulation. With these services, businesses can integrate payments, cards and virtual account solutions directly into their platform through a single API.

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Here at B4B Payments, we have over 18 years of experience in payment innovations.

Our goal is to keep our clients one step ahead of their competitors and to ensure that they can keep their teams happy by facilitating fast and transparent global transactions.

Book a demo with us now to learn more about payments, FX and BIN Sponsorship, and discover whether B4B Payments can help optimise your business journey.

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Making Payments & Payouts Secure for Merchants and PISPs

Fast and secure payments & payouts are a must-have for B2B and B2C businesses alike – discover how B4B can supercharge your business or PISP.

There are two common challenges throughout industries across the globe: payments and payouts. From businesses in tourism looking for quick payments, payout services to customers, or Payment Initiation Service Providers (PISPs) looking to facilitate fast payments for their partners, and even corporate businesses looking to distribute their expense networks across the globe, speed and security is essential.

For small businesses alone, 30% reported late payments problems are due to poor practices. However, there are a myriad of ways businesses can speed up their payment services. Depending on the nature of the challenges, ways to improve payment speed can include:

  • The deployment of an instant payment service
  • Issuing card services
  • Supercharging Payment Initiation Service Providers (PISPs) for instant confirmations

Why speed and security is important

Building a reputation as a company that pays out quickly and securely is worth its weight in gold. Whether you’re a gaming business paying out winnings to your customer base, an online retailer providing refunds for your customers, or a travel company providing stranded passenger payouts, it’s important to be faster than your market competitors, or your customers will start looking elsewhere.

Slow, unsecure payments and payouts and other financial risks can drastically impact business reputations, which Deloitte reports as one of the biggest strategic challenges companies face. Speeding up and tightening processes can remove the risk of holding up the supply chain for B2B transactions, or dragging down review and approval ratings through data protection breaches or delayed payouts.

It’s not only your reputation that can be on the line, too. Fintech Global claims that a third of UK consumers are spending less in online transactions because payouts are taking too long to reach their bank, as well as 52% saying they’re unlikely to do business with the same company if payouts are taking too long to complete. While this may not have a great enough impact to dampen reputation, it can slow down business growth at the first hurdle.

But, how can businesses tackle this potential pitfall while still offering secure payments and payouts to their customers and other businesses?

Fast, secure payments and payouts

The easiest way to secure fast payouts is by offering physical and virtual cards to your customers. Card services like these allow the transfer of funds instantaneously, enabling consumers to make transactions and check their balances as quickly as possible.

Debit card usage is becoming increasingly popular as we head towards a cashless world. In the UK, for example, debit card usage rose by 8.1% in 2022, with over 2.1 million transactions occurring in November alone.

B4B Payments offer these services, allowing businesses to distribute funds, as well as consumers to spend worldwide. Providing fast and secure payouts is a mark of a reliable and reputable brand, and with B4B Payments, businesses are able to advertise the fact that they have the ability to distribute these services through the use of branded cards. This means companies can distribute payment services on behalf of B4B Payments.

Branded cards are designed by businesses, for a business’s customers, allowing them to place marketing collateral onto each card, in the form of a logo or business name – which can be an easy way to spread the word as cards begin to circulate to customers or partners across the globe.

Virtual and physical cards are a great way of securing payments too, especially in the world of corporate expenditure. They allow companies to track and record business payments through one dedicated online platform, as well as pre-load and top-up cards for on-the-go expenses like travel, events, and more.

Facilitate quicker payments and payouts as a PISP

But what about the intermediaries? with PISPs initiating payments or payouts on behalf of businesses like fintech and financial services, it’s important to be able to provide a fast and efficient service for your merchants and partners to ensure continued business.

With B4B Payments’ Reconciliation for Open Banking service, PISPs can use their own VIBAN infrastructure as a merchant account. This offers merchants the ability to make fast and secure payments in 25 currencies, including SEPA, FPS, USD, ACH, and SWIFT.

Our services integrate directly into bespoke PISP interfaces through the B4B Payments API, or allow selected merchants access to our digital platform.

Making payments fast and secure is the name of the game for PISPs, and our confirmation and reconciliation services do just that. With instant notifications of funds received, PISPs are able to improve relationships and maintain integrity and trust with your merchants through domestic rails in the UK and EU.

For established PISPs or new-to-market, B4B Payments is able to offer support, allowing those businesses to leverage our own e-money licences to launch your products, and offer additional settlement and safeguarding services once PI authorisation is granted.

Connecting with your business

Here at B4B Payments, we have over 15 years of experience in developing safe and secure payments and payouts for businesses.

Our goal is to keep our clients one step ahead of their competitors and to ensure that they can keep their teams happy by facilitating fast and transparent global transactions.

Book a demo with us now to learn more about our payment and payout solutions, as well as our Reconciliation for Open Banking service that we offer for PISPs.

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Insurance Companies Gain Competitive Edge with Prepaid Cards | B4B Payments

Increased demand by consumers for faster payments makes prepaid cards a strategic choice for insurers looking to gain an edge

The competitive landscape between insurance companies continues to be fierce as new technologies and digital-first entrants penetrate the marketplace. A significantly growing area of competitive differentiation that has come into focus is the ability of insurers to provide payment options and instant payments.

Digitally connected customers are seeking carriers providing instant and same-day disbursements. The change in consumer behavior and expectations has paved the way for more insurers to leverage instant issue and reloadable prepaid cards as a simple and cost-effective means of growing and retaining their customer base. Additionally, using these products is one key step companies are using to prevent the loss of market share to so-called “digital born” competitors.

The delays between filing a claim and receiving reimbursement can be frustrating for insured individuals. Without the funds to pay for things like repairs or medical bills, policyholders may need to use their savings – or worse yet credit cards – until an insurance payment is made.

However, by using prepaid insurance cards, insurers can immediately provide the necessary financial support, reducing the pressure on both you as the insurer and your customers while significantly simplifying claims processing.

In a recent study by PYMNTs , when given the option, consumers chose instant payouts 23% of the time, followed by its closely related cousin, same-day bank account transfers, at 21%. These choices were far and away favorites compared to checks at 12% and cash at 7%.

Prepaid cards present carriers with the opportunity to eliminate manual processes and greatly reduce the time and cost associated with cutting checks, including printing, postage, and replacement costs. Should a check go missing, issuers may have to take on the cost of stopping payment, and if recurring payments are required, the time and cost associated with doing so add up quickly. Beyond the time it takes to get a check, recipients, who may need funds urgently, must wait to use the funds after making a deposit and for the check to clear.

A digital, prepaid approach to disbursements provides an enhanced customer experience and reduces costs associated with service calls. Customers want to know where their checks are, and in today’s market, they are quick to make their frustrations known on social media.

Additional benefits also include:

· Minimizing fraud issues. If a customer misplaces or loses a card, an insurer can quickly cancel the card and instantly reissue a card.

· Avoiding fees and fines through better compliance with state “prompt pay” requirements.

· Delivering funds domestically and cross-border safely and securely.

· Provide funds to unbanked or low-banked customers.

· Use physical or virtual prepaid cards to make multiple claim disbursements on a reloadable card (e.g., worker’s comp/disability) or make an instant one-off disbursement.

· Create physical and virtual cards with your company’s logo to promote your brand and attract new customers.

services are under pressure to provide card services for versatile use within their consumer communities. 

Using prepaid cards for insurance claims changes how funds get distributed to the insured. Otherwise, the process of completing an insurance claim is like the traditional filing method. Once a claim is approved, an insurer can act as its own card issuer.

· Prepaid cards can be provided to customers with no funds added to the cards until a claim is filed.

· Adjusters can provide insurance carriers with a prepaid card, and the adjuster can load cards instantly based on their assessments. If repairs exceed the initial assessment, the agency or the adjuster can instantly add more funds.

· Insurers can instantly issue a virtual card that recipients can add to a digital wallet and use immediately, especially when needed to support emergencies.

In each approach, a disbursement can be made quickly rather than rattling around internal systems and processes.

Card recipients can use the card at an ATM to withdraw cash, pay bills in person, transfer funds to their bank account, or make purchases from online and brick-and-mortar merchants. This provides customers with total flexibility to address their needs better.

By adding prepaid cards as a payment option, insurers can stand out from competitors and go beyond protecting them financially. B4B Payments has built an end-to-end, embedded payment offering, that offers insurance companies everything needed to develop their own embedded finance offering, from flexible payment accounts to instant payments on easy-to-use prepaid cards and seamless APIs that easily integrate into existing systems.

If your company is looking to streamline its disbursement processes, gain the needed competitive advantage, and deliver immediate payments to your customers, contact us for more information or to request a short demo.

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Soothe the Pain of Expenses, Payment & Payroll |B4B Payments

Discover how to take the stress out of payroll, reduce FX fees, and manage corporate expenses with B4B Payments card services and platform solutions

Finding solutions to common business challenges in a digital world is no easy feat. Whether businesses are looking to tackle payroll challenges, take the effort out of corporate expenses, or transform payments and FX, there are solutions out there to cater for every need. 

While countries worldwide are transforming into cashless societies, the power of the card continues to grow. 

Although some might contend that smartphones and electronic payments are the way of the future, the statistics suggest that card payments are stronger than ever. 

In fact, in the UK alone, we saw 2.1 billion transactions with debit cards in August 2022, 8% more than the same month in 2021, representing a 4% higher total spend at £64.1 billion. 

With this in mind, card services are quickly becoming the top way to pay for consumers and businesses alike – but can they be used to solve payroll, expense, and FX challenges too? Read on to find out how the card services from B4B Payments can help businesses achieve just that. 

Tackling payroll challenges

According to global research findings, 16% of companies operate remotely, providing better work/life balance opportunities for those working at a distance from their company headquarters. As a result of the so-called ‘Rise of Remote Working,’ the need for employers to provide flexible payment services has also increased. 

Add to this the widely reported The Great Resignation phenomenon leading to talent shortages across industries. Many in-demand professionals are finding themselves in the advantageous position of being able to opt for new, highly-paid flexible contracts with better employee perks. Subsequently, more companies are being forced to explore outsourcing, turning to temporary contractors overseas to fill their skill gaps or restructuring their benefits packages in a bid to retain their existing employees. 

However, paying contractors or remote workers overseas can be tricky to navigate, often subjecting finance teams to complex FX fees and currency complications. Using card services can reduce foreign transaction fees and offer more currency choices for employees, contractors, or even affiliates based abroad. 

B4B Payments payroll card services are the perfect solution to the challenges of paying remote workforces, offering multi-currency support in up to 25 countries.

With reduced cash and cheque handling fees, companies can reinvest the money saved and put the funds towards providing better benefits packages. Increasing employee incentives does more to attract new talent to organisations. It can also lead to greater employee retention in the long term, so it may be an excellent option for brands that want to increase employment opportunities at their firm.  

Simplifying expenses with card services

Managing corporate expenditure is a monolithic task for finance departments, whether handling employee travel, event costs, food and drink, entertainment, or office supplies and inventory costs. 

To illustrate, in 2020, the global business travel market alone was worth approximately $700 billion and is set to grow by 188% by 2028.

Keeping track of all company expenses can take a lot of work. But, B4B Payments card services make it easy for businesses to control expenditures efficiently. We provide a safe and secure platform to load cards with funds entirely remotely. We can even help businesses set up automatic money top-ups for frequent corporate expense users. 

From a business owner’s perspective, it makes sense to allocate specific departments with carefully budgeted spending limits. B4B Payments categorises all business expenses through an easy-to-use platform that tracks and manages card expenditure on a departmental level. 

In addition, B4B Payments provides a downloadable app for employees to upload receipts. This feature centralises and stores all crucial VAT receipts from anywhere in the world, making it straightforward for accounts teams to process them for their financial statements. 

Transforming corporate payments and FX

Cross-border payments bring numerous challenges in navigating and applying fees for multi-currency transactions. 

According to Mckinsey, the total revenue of cross-border fees, mainly FX and transaction fees, can amount to up to $200 billion per year globally.

Cost-saving on these types of expenses is crucial for large or scaling businesses. In some cases, fluctuating currency rates can make long-term supplier contracts unaffordable overnight, forcing companies to look elsewhere for a better deal. 

At B4B Payments, we offer a solution with our payment and FX services that provide cost-effective solutions for corporate payment needs. 

For example, for large or scaling companies with a high volume of transactions, using B4B’s platforms will execute low-cost transfers, offer competitive FX rates, and facilitate speedy settlement times to ensure that cross-border payments in over 25 currencies remain as cost-effective and efficient as possible. 

Our B4B Payments platform is highly customisable, and delivered through a robust API that integrates into various existing systems such as Xero. Plus, businesses can export data easily in XLSX, CSV, QIF, and OFX to use in other accounting solutions like QuickBooks and Sage. Our user-friendly interface simplifies bulk payment processes and provides a clear transaction audit trail for businesses to use for reporting and analytics activities. 

Furthermore, many companies across the EU are fluent in several banking rails and card formats, including SEPA, Faster Payments, CHAPS, (USD) ACH, DKK intraday, and SWIFT. 

B4B payments instantly recognises all of these payment rails and card formats, providing businesses with a complete solution to cross-border payment needs. 

Finally, transparency is the key to managing overseas payments, and with B4B Payments, businesses are not subject to any hidden costs. We even offer a free FX transaction calculator, letting stakeholders know how much a multi-currency transaction will cost ahead of payment. 

B4B Payments make managing business finances easy

Here at B4B Payments, we have over 15 years of experience in payment innovations. We offer a host of unique card services that make handling expenses, payments, and payroll easy and highly secure. 

Our goal is to keep our clients one step ahead of their competitors and to ensure that they can keep their teams (no matter where they’re working in the world) happy by facilitating fast and transparent global transactions.

So, book a demo with us now if you would like to learn more about our card services, corporate payments, and FX transactions and how they can help stabilise your cash flow. 

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Powering Regulated EMIs with BIN Sponsorship | B4B Payments

Discover how B4B Payments BIN Sponsorship 2.0 can support regulated EMIs in the next stage of their payment journey with settlement solutions.

As of 2021, over 26,000 fintech companies are operating globally, of which 1,600 are based in the UK. With that number set to double by 2030, the race to market is highly-competitive. 

With more fintech services set to hit the market, innovation is key to staying ahead of the competition. For both start-ups and established services, tackling electronic payments (or e-payments) can be daunting. 

For regulated Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) yet to secure a scheme licence, navigating the strict payment rules while suffering from stretched resources and, sometimes, a gap in expertise can be a huge challenge.  

In this article, we’ll take a look at the advantages of being a regulated EMI, the importance of working towards a scheme licence, and how B4B Payments BIN Sponsorship 2.0 can help companies overcome their e-payment hurdles and get to the next stage of their growth journey. 

What is a regulated Electronic Money Institution

Fintech services are under pressure to provide card services for versatile use within their consumer communities. 

Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) are businesses that can help fintech thrive in this area. They are licensed to offer financial services to their fintech clients while also keeping their clients’ money in specialised segregated accounts. The EU regulates EMIs, and some examples of well-known EMIs include PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. 

EMI payment services include:

  • Cash withdrawals from an e-payment account 
  • Money transfer to third parties
  • Money remittance
  • Providing payment cards that allow individuals to withdraw money and load funds into their secure account
  • Provide account details

What are the advantages of becoming a regulated EMI?

EMIs present an alternative to traditional banking, enabling both small and large companies to send and receive e-payments faster with less red tape than going through a conventional financial institution. 

Additionally, business owners can become a regulated EMI without needing to visit a bank to get set up with an IBAN (International Bank Account Number) to facilitate multi-currency transactions.

Further advantages of becoming a regulated EMI include the following: 

  • Security: All EMI transactions are encrypted and secure. 
  • Compliance: EMIs deploy modernised compliance procedures offering enhanced fraud protection capabilities with less paperwork. 
  • Future-proof services: EMIs provide multiple payment options, giving more choices to their clients. 

To apply for EMI-regulated status, businesses must provide in-depth information about the structure and objectives of their organisation. In addition, they must prove that they hold a significant amount of starting capital. To find out more about submitting an EMI application, visit the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority’s guide here

EMI regulation should be a top priority for fintech brands, as it protects both the business and consumers. However, the journey to facilitating e-payment services doesn’t stop at obtaining EMI-regulated status. The second hurdle is to apply for an EMI card scheme licence. 

The EMI card membership or scheme licences allow forward-thinking fintech companies to connect with consumers through card issuers in multiple regions. Providing card services can be a crucial differentiator for businesses, making the need to move on to this next stage of EMI scheme membership vital. 

Securing a scheme licence

To become a card scheme regulated as an EMI, businesses need to work with a card scheme like Mastercard or Visa. A card scheme licence authorises a company to issue unique payment cards by giving them a BIN number. The BIN number is the first six digits on an individual payment card. 

However, it’s important to note that card scheme membership requirements can be just as challenging to secure as meeting the FCA licensing requirements at the EMI application’s initial stage. Furthermore, it can take time for EMI card scheme applications to be approved. 

Fortunately, during the EMI card scheme verification process, payment companies (such as B4B Payments) can extend their own scheme membership to other companies to act as a stop-gap. That means we can support fintech business services during the approval stage by getting them set up with e-payments quickly and securely. 

B4B Payments is an FCA and Bank of Lithuania Authorised E-money Institution. We’re also a Principal Member of Mastercard and Partner in the Mastercard Fintech Express Programme. In addition, we hold Visa Inc Partner status for card issuing in the US states. These credentials make the B4B Payments BIN Sponsorship 2.0 service the ideal programme for regulated EMIs in the application stage of their scheme licence journey. 

For instance, we can provide a range of settlement services for fintech brands that have gained EMI-regulated status or are in the process of obtaining card scheme membership and need some additional e-payment support. 

Lightening your load with BIN Sponsorship 2.0

If your fintech service is at the regulated-EMI stage, our BIN Sponsorship 2.0 service can offer enhanced Settlement-Only support. 

These advanced services are made possible through our card scheme memberships with Mastercard in the UK and Europe and Visa in the USA. 

As a BIN Sponsorship member, as well as alleviating the pressures that go hand-in-hand with facilitating your own scheme memberships with our Settlement-Only services, we can build custom interfaces using APIs or our B4B Payments’ interface. 

We can even help you set up account screens, which include your company name. Plus, you will be able to set up T+Cs, which reflect you as the account issuer.

We also offer Turnkey Settlement-Only services. Here, we leverage our issuing capabilities and build your own custom interface using APIs, or you can use the B4B Payments interface. We can also ensure that client accounts remain in your business name and that your payments T+Cs reflect you as the account issuer.

BIN Sponsorship 2.0 from B4B Payments offer unparalleled EMI support

With 15 years of experience in payments, B4B Payments can support you through and beyond your EMI membership scheme journey. 

From safeguarding funds to managing accounts to even handling e-payments once you have signed your EMI licencing agreement, our BIN Sponsorship 2.0 programme is tailored to suit your unique business needs. 

So, if you’re interested in learning more about how BIN Sponsorship 2.0 might benefit your financial start-up and help you stay competitive, contact us now.