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The Pros (and cons) of being a cashless organisation.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to question whether they should adopt a cashless policy or not. Recent global events, such as the coronavirus pandemic, have led to an increase in credit and debit card payments. Digital wallet services like Apple Pay are also experiencing exponential growth, as increasing numbers of consumers and vendors embrace cashless payments.

However, in some industries – particularly in business-to-business environments such as wholesalers or supply merchants – cash is still commonplace. This article covers the pros and cons of switching to a cashless payments model and is designed to help you to determine whether going cashless is the right solution for you.

The pros of adapting a cashless policy

Save time – and money!

While businesses are expected to pay fees on credit card transactions, it’s worth noting that processing cash sales can take much longer. Ultimately, the time spent processing physical cash transactions could be better spent elsewhere. With cashless transactions, you’ll spend less time making trips to the bank, counting cash at the end of the day, and entering cash transactions into your accounting software.

Increased efficiency

A simple tap or swipe of a prepaid business card, credit card, debit card or mobile phone is much more efficient than giving out petty cash. If your business frequently experiences last minute or on-the-spot purchase needs, you may find that a cash-free solution helps to alleviate backlog in accounting.

Easier accounting and money management

If you’re frequently spending time poring over transactions while trying to determine why your expenses aren’t tallying correctly, it’s time to think about going cashless. With a cashless solution from B4B Payments, each transaction is tracked and receipt uploads are a breeze with the mobile app. This makes accounting more accurate and increases efficiency in the workplace.

Reduced risk

If your business keeps cash on the premises, you’ll always be vulnerable to theft. By switching to a cashless policy, you’ll improve the physical security of your staff and customers. Cashless transactions are also more hygienic – and your team and vendors will value this in a post-pandemic world.

Enhanced expense management

Going cashless isn’t all about finances coming in – it concerns your outgoings, too. Whether you’re purchasing from suppliers or covering the corporate expenses of field agents and reps, your expenses are easily tracked and managed when you go cashless.

Access valuable data

Cashless transactions generate a multitude of valuable consumer information. This data allows you to analyse the purchasing trends and spending habits of your card recipients and employees, which can be used to improve your financial strategy.

Cons of adopting a cashless policy

Increased card fees

One of the biggest bugbears for small-medium enterprises is the dreaded card transaction fee. To combat this, some companies factor card fees into their pricing structure, which could mean having to slightly increase the amount you charge your customers for your products.

*Pro tip- Read the fine print. Many prepaid card programmes offer cheaper rates from the outset, with hidden fees or margins on FX rates for transactions. Ω`

Some people prefer cash

For some organisations depending on who you’re distributing your cards to, cash is still king. In particular, older recipients of funds, are more accustomed to paying with cash and could feel alienated by your decision to adopt a totally cashless policy.

Is going cashless right for your business?

There are a lot of variables to consider before going cashless. Businesses in certain industries might benefit from going completely cashless, while others might still want to hold out before no longer utilising cash payments.

Whether you’re ready to take the plunge or not, having a cashless payment solution can certainly increase efficiency, provide you with better understanding of where your money is going, and streamline your accounting process. If you’d like more information, why not contact us to find out how B4B Payments could transform your fund disbursement today?

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How to cut business costs

No matter how established a business is, regularly looking for ways to cut and control costs and eliminate unnecessary expenditure is good business practice. In uncertain times, and when faced with an uncertain economy, every penny truly does count and even successful businesses should re-evaluate how they can cut costs.

1. Look for ways to be environmentally friendly

While swapping your bulbs for LEDs and installing solar panels may seem like unnecessary business expenses, in the long-term, they can help your business to save a significant amount of money. You can also encourage your employees to make better eco choices, such as switching off their computers rather than leaving them on stand-by and opting for digital documents rather than using paper. Buying reusable mugs and cups for your workplace is much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than constantly buying single-use supplies. In a post-covid workplace, we recommend ensuring each member of staff has their own supplies to ensure the safety and health of your team.

2. Negotiate supply expenses

It never hurts to try and negotiate a lower price with supply vendors to see if you could get a better deal. If you have been with a vendor for the long-term, you can ask them to reward your loyalty and retain your custom by offering you a lower, more affordable price. If they are unable to do this, shop around for another vendor, you may be surprised at the savings you could make by switching to another supplier or company.

3. Reduce overheads

Do you really need an office? Since lockdown measures were put into place due to the global pandemic, many businesses are re-evaluating having a physical presence at all. It’s clear employees are adapting and thriving in a remote working environment and surveys show that by continuing to give your employees the choice to work from home, you will not only have a safer, happier team, but can significantly reduce your overhead costs by moving into a smaller office space or none at all. If you choose to have a smaller office space with fewer employees working physically in the office, this will also help you to lower your energy bills and keep employee expenses low.

4. Control expenditure

If you’re looking for an easy and efficient way to control employee expenditure, you may wish to consider B4B Payments. Having spent the last 14 years developing a robust prepaid card solutions that allows businesses to view and control their employee expenditure in real-time, ensures your organisation has total control and transparency over their employee expenses.

5. Reduce travel

Encourage all meetings to take place via video call or conference call, rather than allowing employees to travel frequently. This not only saves a company transport costs, but it also reduces the time employees spend and waste travelling from location to location. If it is essential departments or employees meet in person, use to ensure tracking your employees’ transport expenses is easy and you can factor this expense into your monthly or quarterly budget.

To learn more about the prepaid business card solutions that can help businesses of all sizes cut costs, contact B4B Payments today. From payroll to employee expenses and employee incentive management, we can help you manage your finances in one, convenient platform. Get in touch today to learn more about our effective solutions.

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The Future of Payments in Sport

Hint: It’s cashless

According to UK Finance, there were 39.3 billion payments made in the United Kingdom in 2018. Only 28% of these payments were made in cash, which is a 32% decrease over the past 10 years. By 2028, only 9% of payments are expected to be made in cash, so a huge number of businesses are choosing to ditch the payment method altogether.

The use of debit cards is on the rise and 98% of the UK population now use them regularly. Mobile and contactless payments are also on the increase and businesses from multiple industries, including hospitality and live events, are beginning to see the many benefits that cashless payment models have to offer.

Graph showing payment trends prepaid vs debit and credit

Sports stadiums, however, have been slightly more hesitant to adopt a cashless payment system, due to their long history of customers bringing wads of cash to spend on refreshments and merchandise. However, whether you organise grassroots, domestic, or international sports events, utilising a cashless payment solution in all aspects of an organisation can offer the following benefits:

Prevent Fraud

Many sports venues employ a more transient workforce than other businesses, which can increase the likelihood of employees committing fraud or theft. Using cashless payments for business supplies, employees have fewer opportunities to steal from the organisation and any strange payment anomalies are easier to identify via the data collected from digital transactions. Physical cash can be extremely difficult to keep track of. With a prepaid, cashless payment solution, temporary employees will not be tempted to slip some into their pockets.

Increased customer spending

Research suggests that customers are likely to spend significantly more at sports stadiums when they are paying via card or mobile payments rather than with cash. When your customers don’t have to worry about calculating how much cash they have in hand and physically hand it over, they are much more likely to be freer with their spending, whether they’re purchasing food, drink or sporting merchandise. Depending on the size of your sporting venue, that could add up to hundreds of thousands of pounds more per event and could lead to a significant increase in profit.

Save time and money

Businesses are required to pay a small fee for every cashless payment transaction, but this is insignificant when compared to the money that they could save. Manual cash management takes a significant amount of time and it can often take several hours a day to maintain accurate accounting records. From making trips to the bank to counting cash at the end of the day, the minutes spent handling cash can add up and staff will often have to be paid overtime. Cashless sports venues don’t have to worry about the time spent handling manual payments and will find that they have more time to invest in more important tasks.

Social Distancing

The current global pandemic has seen a huge number of businesses switch to contactless card payments to maintain social distancing measures and reduce the spread of the coronavirus. UK sports stadiums are predicted to reopen as early as autumn, but the post-COVID-19 world is likely to see social distancing measures continue. With cashless payments, customers can safely and hygienically pay for items in sports arenas without having to worry about coming into contact with each other, so it’s likely that we’ll see a further spike in the use of cashless payments in venues all over the world.


If you run a grassroots, domestic or international sporting venue and are looking to eliminate antiquated payment processes and finally find the time to do the things that matter, B4B Payments has the perfect solution for you. Our prepaid cards can help you keep control over your corporate payments via a single platform and mobile app. Freeing up your business’s time and money, cut unnecessary costs, and streamline your accounting systems to make your business operations run seamlessly.

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Simple alternative to cash for tour guides

Cash causes so many problems for tour guides out in the field from security issues to admin issues and fraud. It can become extremely complex and troublesome when tour guides are a part of your business model and are out in the field or are working remotely.

Tours and holiday activities were the 2nd fastest growing sector in the world in 2018. The sector has grown from strength to strength as people look to for more authentic and local experiences. The market is now estimated to be around a staggering $150 billion.

Due to this increased demand and opportunity, travel and tour guide companies are now looking at alternatives to streamline their processes, reduce stress and improve business administration, as cash is often a headache to administer and audit. It is also open to fraud and expensive to manage. Cash is a complication that shouldn’t exist in the travel and tour guide sector.

Businesses in the sector are starting to turn to prepaid cards to eliminate cash-based problems and to provide an expenses solution that makes operations smoother.

Solving payroll and funding issues

Prepaid cards allow travel companies to send funds electronically to tour guides or guests, instantly anywhere in the world 24/7. It can also remove any delays caused be traditional banking processes or cash distribution. Eliminating any potential payroll and funding issues can increase employee motivation and as a result, have a positive effect on your business’s customer service.

Increase security and protect your employees

Cash is outdated. Instantly eliminate the burden and risk of carrying or storing cash when travelling is involved, for both tour guides and guests, by using a secure prepaid card. Moreover, prepaid cards are reloadable 24/7 so your employees will only need one card at a time saving your business time and money.

No need for any pesky administration

Prepaid cards can replace petty cash completely. Once combined with expense systems and powerful receipt management tools, companies can manage all of their expenses, payroll, funding and much more on one system. Furthermore, you are able to monitor spending in real-time and integrate with any existing accounting or ERP systems in your business, giving you full peace of mind.

Other benefits

Prepaid cards have obvious cost-based benefits however removing the hassle and headaches associated with inefficient cash-based systems can lead to happier employees. Moreover, this can free up time for your employees and tour guides so that they can focus on their job to create entertaining experiences for tourists and not on their finances. This can lead to higher retention rate with higher performing tour guides who are often difficult to source.

How to choose a prepaid card solution for your travel company

The prepaid solution from B4B Payments offers a Mastercard prepaid card that can be used in the millions of locations globally that accepts payment by Mastercard. Funds can be spent in-store or online, meeting the needs of tour guides, travel companies and other travel stakeholders.

The B4B solution is currently enabling travel companies, tour guides and tourism establishments to replace inefficient cash-based systems for the past 5 years. It was named winner of the Best Prepaid Card Programme category of the Card & Payments Awards 2019. To find out more about how we work with travel companies and tour guides, and how we can help you, call us on 020 3137 3420 or email us at sales@b4bpayments.com.

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Eliminate payroll pain for Christmas events

According to the 2018 Pulse Report, the UK events industry is estimated to be worth £42.3bn and much of that figure is likely to be spent on corporate Christmas events. Not only is organising festive events a significant expense but it also can be an organisational headache, especially payroll for temporary or seasonal staff.

With December rapidly approaching, now is the ideal time to look for new ways to make your Christmas party planning simpler and more efficient for this and coming years.

Eliminate the inefficiencies of cash

The security risks, painful administration and accounting complexities have made paying people in cash unviable with company credit cards being even more frustrating. Prepaid cards are the first choice for companies looking for new and more versatile ways to manage corporate expenses, payroll and incentives.

The ideal tool for event organisers

Give your event organiser a prepaid card loaded with an amount you decide and keep track of their spending in real-time. It also means that you are not putting your team in the position where they have to fund expenses out of their own pocket and go through a time-consuming and frustrating manual expense claim process.

Also, you might need to enable multiple people or departments to pay for different aspects of the event such as travel, venue management or sourcing gifts. In that case, it would be impractical and undesirable to issue more company credit cards for a short-term project. With prepaid, you can instantly issue additional cards with different amounts loaded to other team members. This allows you to make completely bespoke employee incentive programmes instantly.

If you are arranging an event abroad where card payments aren’t always accepted, your team can always withdraw cash using their prepaid card from a local ATM, usually incurring lower fees than if withdrawals were made using credit cards.

Stay on budget

While everyone wants their event to be a great experience, nobody wants to find they have gone over budget to achieve it. One of the many drawbacks of paying with cash is that you’ll find it almost impossible to tell if you are nearing or exceeding your staffing budget. Using prepaid cards from B4B Payments would enable you to see exactly how much is being spent in real-time.

Pay a few or a few thousand staff

Whether you’re hosting a Christmas party, impressing your clients or putting on an awards evening, prepaid cards can help you manage events where you are employing a few to a few thousand temporary staff. As you can re-load cards remotely, you can pay staff via a prepaid card once or multiple times using the same card.

Another important advantage is that prepaid cards don’t have to be physical plastic. Today, you could issue virtual prepaid cards that can be issued instantly to anyone in the world. It’s the ideal solution for when you need to set up a method of payment fast for workers in other geographies.

Maximum spending appeal

Some prepaid cards, such as the ones you can issue to staff via B4B Payments, can be used to pay for goods and services anywhere that accepts payment by Mastercard online or offline. That means that you are well positioned to attract temporary staff for your event, especially those who don’t have bank accounts. Your seasonal workers will enjoy the benefit of being able to spend their pay immediately, virtually anywhere.

Expenses for staff

In addition to payroll for seasonal staff, you might also need to cover their expenses incurred such as travelling to your venue or meal allowance. The process of claiming staff expenses is quick and simple for both you and your employees with the ability to upload receipts electronically. No more inefficient manual processes or paper receipts to process and file.

Celebrate your brand

An event is a great opportunity to show off your brand. If you are looking for some extra visual impact, your cards can be branded with your logo as part of a production run from just a few hundred units.

An event is a great opportunity to show off your brand. If you are looking for some extra visual impact, your cards can be branded with your logo as part of a production run from just a few hundred units.

Prepaid cards – not just for Christmas

Mastercard published details of how more companies than ever are finding they can benefit from financial services from suppliers other than traditional banks. The Mastercard Prepaid Consumer Experience Index stated that prepaid use is predicted to grow by 133% in the next five years globally. The figures state that using prepaid cards to manage expenses is likely to be the number one reason why more companies will begin using prepaid cards.

B4B Payments is a multi-award-winning provider of Mastercard prepaid cards to companies, government departments and other types of organisation for uses such as expense management, gifting and payroll. To hear more about B4B Payment product updates, the latest Fintech news or how clients use our products get in touch with us on Linkedin, Twitter or via our website.

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A GUIDE TO THE NEW GIFT VOUCHER VAT CHANGES

Is this the end of vouchers for your business?

Does your company give gift vouchers as part of its employee recognition or incentive schemes? If so, you need to be aware that UK VAT rules have changed and your company can no longer claim back the VAT on gift cards purchased.

This 20% increase in the cost of gift cards is likely to come as a surprise to many companies as the demand for gift cards has continued to increase in recent years. Annual sales for gift cards and vouchers had been on the rise. According to Mercator, sales stood at £6 billion in 2017 with projections of that figure reaching £7.4 billion.

New VAT rules on gift vouchers were introduced on 1st January 2019. Unfortunately, every company using vouchers will have to learn some new and quite complicated rules and definitions as well as suffering a hike in the cost of their vouchers.

Why the change?

Last year, HMRC explained that previous VAT rules on gift vouchers resulted in vouchers being taxed double or not taxed at all. The new rules now define how vouchers with a single and/or multi-purpose should be treated and crucially, when VAT should be applied.

New definitions

You may be already be familiar with the current definitions of Single Purpose Vouchers (SPVs) and Multi-Purpose Vouchers (MPVs). The new legislation will change the current definitions. SPVs are vouchers where the place of supply of the goods and services, and the vat liability on the supply are all known at time of issue. This will mean that many MPVs will now be considered as SPVs.

VAT will be due when it is issued and not when the goods or services are actually provided, VAT will always be due even if it is never used. As a result, potential business cost has increased.

The new VAT gift voucher changes, implemented at the start of the new year, will cause many businesses to re-evaluate whether vouchers are worth the extra cost and complication for what is quite a dated concept. B4B have created a simple infographic that breaks down the changes using an example.

Is there an alternative to vouchers?

The introduction of the new VAT laws will prompt many companies to re-evaluate whether vouchers are worth the extra cost and complication for what is quite a dated concept. Gift vouchers have several drawbacks that your employees or other recipients will find irritating.

Gift vouchers can usually be used at only one retailer which limits their choice. Also, expiry dates on gift vouchers can lead to frustration and disappointment if your recipients don’t use it in time.

B4B are the alternative

The changes to the VAT rules mean that gift vouchers are now treated the same as prepaid cards yet prepaid cards offer a number of advantages. Prepaid cards such as those offered by B4B Payments are accepted worldwide anywhere that accepts Mastercard payments.

Now is the ideal time to take a fresh look at how your company uses cards and the most effective way to reward employees and partners. To find out more about how prepaid cards can be a much simpler alternative to vouchers, contact us at 020 3137 3420 or info@b4bpayments.com

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Tax laws help you eliminate avoidable mistakes

The decision to adopt new digital technology is usually one that companies make for themselves – but next year a change to UK law will force many business owners to update their processes.

What is changing?

On April 1st 2019, the way business owners file their VAT returns is changing. Making Tax Digital will have an impact on the Tax system, transforming the administration process into a simple and more efficient process, ensuring that tax payments are as accurate as possible. VAT-registered businesses above the VAT threshold will be required to keep their records digitally and use software to help submit their tax returns digitally. More specific information can be found at gov.uk.

Why the change?

Not surprisingly, the main reason for the new Making Tax Digital law is that the UK Government believes it is missing out on a big chunk of VAT revenue.

According to Government figures, there is a shortfall of up to £9 billion in VAT revenues collected every year. Ultimately, HMRC wants to ‘become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world.’ While few of us relish the prospect of paying more in tax, most of us would want to fix a leak in our business finances of that magnitude ASAP.

Eliminating ‘avoidable mistakes’

According to the Government, the main reason for the VAT accounting problems are ‘avoidable mistakes’ by those submitting financial paperwork. This problem is not confined to submitting figures for government use.

Companies who are still using paper-based systems and cash are creating huge potential for avoidable mistakes, scope for fraud and the need for expensive manual administration. For example, companies that ask employees to keep paper receipts for expense management purposes. On a global scale, companies are potentially losing out on $20 billion dollars of unclaimed VAT every year. At the same time, their employees are left frustrated and irritated at having to spend so much time on irritating manual processes.

Many companies have already cut out the margin for avoidable mistakes such as eliminating paper processes and cash in favour of digital technology. For others, it may be a painful transition, but it is likely to be those same companies who benefit most from the new rules in the long-term. Now is a great time to think about how Making Tax Digital could be your opportunity to take control of your financial processes and increase efficiency of your business.

The warning signs for a tough transition

Here are just a few signs that may indicate that the introduction of Making Tax Digital will be difficult for your business:

  • Cash is still being used for expense management
  • Your finance department is over-worked, spends too much time chasing paperwork and seems to lack control
  • Your employees are frustrated by having to keep and submit paper receipts in order to claim expenses

These are just a few legacy issues that are likely to make the transition to digital tax returns difficult, impact efficiency and increase administrative costs.

How can businesses prepare for Digital?

Start by eliminating cash processes from your business. For example, more companies are issuing prepaid cards to their employees for expense purposes. The entire process is digital, enables strict spending control and can be monitored in real-time. This helps to build efficient and accurate finance processes that eliminate any costly errors, whilst reporting in real time.

Also, look for ways to automate systems and processes such as through integration with packages such as Sage, Concur and Xero. Implementing an efficient and integrated digital finance system, frees up time for employees to focus on more critical and value-driven work, whilst enabling you to access previously unclaimed tax.

If Making Tax Digital looks like a major challenge to your business, start planning for it now. It could be your ideal opportunity to kick start a discussion within your business about shedding old processes and taking real control of your finances. Contact B4B for more information on how prepaid cards can be used to increase the efficiency and accuracy of your corporate expenses.

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