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Client Update: Wirecard AG – Resolved

This situation has been marked as resolved.

Update 30/06/2020

13:00 BST

As of 12:15, all card spending has now commenced and all systems are operational. There may be sporadic card declines as the card data spreads through the Mastercard® network, however this will be temporary as some merchants and ATMs may not update in real time.

Our apologies again for the delay.


11:00 BST

Further to our earlier update below, we are still awaiting word from Mastercard® on when the cards will be re-enabled on their network. At the moment, cards are only capable of being loaded.

Like us, we know our customers are eager to get things back on track. Unfortunately, whilst B4B Payments and Bread4Scrap were ready, some of our partners were not. Please be assured our team are on the case and are seeking clarity on when this will be done and card spend transactions can resume.

Our apologies for this further delay. We will update you as soon as we know anything further.


08:00 BST

And… we’re back!

We’re extremely pleased to report that the FCA have now given written consent for Wirecard UK to resume regulated activity meaning that we can get services up and running. This confirms that all finances have been examined and it has been recognised by the FCA that Wirecard in the UK has been operating in accordance with its regulations and all funds are intact as expected. There are some continued conditions set by the FCA which should not impact further operations.

Please view the full FCA article here

The restriction on activities were lifted from 00.01 on 30 June 2020 and services are being restored.

Cards have now been reactivated.
Company floats may again be loaded.
Cards may be loaded as before.

We have been advised that all cards will be able to spend later this morning. If this changes we will let you know. It is possible that not all merchants (shops and ATMs) will be enabled straight away as the card data has to be re-populated through the Mastercard® network. Please note, that if cards don’t work at a particular merchant, this should just be temporary and they’ll be re-enabled soon.

This is great news but we want to assure you that we take this situation and the impact even just a few days outage has had on our customers and cardholders very seriously and we will continue to look at ensuring there is further resilience built into our operations.

Please expect further updates from us on both the Wirecard restart and future developments we are working on. On behalf of the entire B4B Payments team we thank you for your patience and understanding

Update 29/06/2020

Following the FCA’s decision on Friday to freeze all activity on accounts and cards issued by Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd, we would like to first and foremost, reassure our clients and cardholders that your money is safe.*

This morning, the FCA have updated their messaging to reflect that progress is being made by Wirecard UK, however cards remain frozen.

For the most up to date information, we urge our clients to refer to the FCA website.

We are hopeful that the progress being made will mean your accounts and cards will be operational again within the coming day(s).

With regards to future plans, B4B Payments has been planning an updated long-term solution for when the UK leaves the EU at the end of the year. We can confirm we have accelerated these plans. Our goal is to continue providing a stable platform that will allow our customers uninterrupted use of their cards and funds moving forward (UK and non-UK). At this time, we are unable to give definitive timelines – but will have an update for you in the coming weeks.

We understand that this disruption has caused an unprecedented amount of difficulties within your organisation and are doing everything we can to ensure operations get back on track as soon as possible.

On behalf of the team at B4B Payments, we would like to thank all of our clients for their immense patience and understanding.

*Please note, all B4B Payments and Bread4Scrap client funds are subject to UK safeguarding rules as governed by the UK Financial Conduct Authority

Customer and Cardholder FAQ


Update 26/06/2020

B4B Payments have been informed by the FCA that all cardholder activity on cards issued by Wirecard Card Solutions have been temporarily frozen until further notice.

In the short term, this means that effective immediately cards may not currently be used for either load or spend transactions. We are aware that the FCA and Wirecard are working productively to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and it is our hope that this will be resolved early next week.

On behalf of the team at B4B Payments, we would like to apologise to all our clients and cardholders for the disruption this may cause and are doing everything we can to ensure operations get back on track as soon as possible. At this time, we would suggest not making any further float loads until we have spoken further with the FCA about next steps.

We would remind and reassure you that all funds are safeguarded under FCA rules. Please see our previous message below with regards to safeguarding.


Update 18/06/20

You may have seen recent press coverage regarding Wirecard AG the German payments company.

We would like to make our clients aware of some facts as it relates to us and you. In Europe, B4B Payments prepaid cards are issued by Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd (WDCS) who are regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an E-Money Issuer (ref 90051).

Whilst WDCS is ultimately owned by Wirecard AG, it does not rely on Wirecard AG for liquidity, and is a profitable entity in its own right and is self sustaining. WDCS holds its own regulatory licenses and scheme memberships and third-party banking relationships.

We would like to remind and reassure you that both we, Payment Card Solutions (UK) Ltd t/a B4B Payments (B4B) and WDCS are regulated by the FCA and are required to take measures to ensure our customers money is protected as follows:

Safeguarding of Funds

B4B holds a commercial bin sponsorship agreement with WDCS to allow it to offer prepaid card programs to its customers and to operate and manage its client relationships with oversight from WDCS.

Both the Payment Services Regulations 2017 and the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 have the principle of “safeguarding” of client funds and require safeguarding measures to be implemented by the authorised firm to protect customer’s funds.

 The safeguarding options are either:

•          Immediate segregation of the relevant funds received in exchange for e-money or payment services and placing them into an account held by an authorised credit institution

•          Relevant funds are covered by an insurance policy or guarantee from a UK or EEA authorised insurer.

Both WDCS and B4B have taken the appropriate step of safeguarding its clients’ funds by segregation and placing them in a protected ‘Client Funds Bank Account’ held with a UK or European based bank. At the current time, these banks include Barclays Bank and ClearBank as well as HSBC and LHV Bank (in Europe).

The effects of this are that, in the unlikely event that WDCS or B4B becomes insolvent, funds that have been loaded to a prepaid card or placed on a payment account, and which have arrived with and been deposited into the client funds account, are protected against the claims made by creditors. Cardholders and Clients can therefore be assured that no financial loss will be experienced by them should such a situation occur.

As soon as we have more information, we will share those updates on this page.

B4B Payments is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Payment Institution under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (Firm No. 777613)

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case studies insights Non Profit Payroll & Payouts

Migrant Help chooses prepaid B4B payout solution

Using specially designed prepaid cards, Migrant Help has been able to support and protect hundreds of people.

For Migrant Help, finding a cash solution that suited their organisational mission and practical limitations was a must. In their work, assisting victims of modern slavery and human trafficking, being able to provide ways to aid recovery is paramount. Money was one of the biggest hurdles in the process since displaced or exploited individuals often don’t have the facilities to open a typical bank account.

With that problem in mind, B4B Payments was the ideal partner. Though in the past the charity was required to make hand-to-hand payments of cash, this was high-risk and not appropriate in all circumstances. As such, 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.

Using specially designed prepaid cards, Migrant Help has been able to support and protect hundreds of people looking to better their lives through the charity. Helping those that need it the most means providing that additional degree of independence over their own lives. B4B Payments offers that perfect middle ground between formal financial support and cash-in-hand, helping at-risk individuals to get on with their lives and reach more positive outcomes.

What made B4B Payments the ideal option for Migrant Help?

“We have found this payment solution very simple and easy to use, the system is user friendly and we’ve found the B4B staff to be very supportive and responsive whenever we’ve had to escalate an issue. This has made a real resource and efficiency saving for our organisation. The Solution has been empowering for our clients who are able to manage their own money for the first time, made the process significantly quicker and less time consuming for staff.” Rabiya Ravat, Deputy Director of National Operations

Now, Migrant Help uses B4B prepaid cards as their primary payment method across the broad spectrum of individuals they support. As a far more suitable alternative to cash, prepaid cards have reduced administrative strain and cost overall – which is a must for running a charity long-term as efficiently as possible. An unexpected, but welcome positive has been the reduction in travel time and transport cost involved in face-to-face payments.

Once an individual working with the charity is set up with their own B4B card, supplied by the charity, there’s no need for any additional meetings for top-ups or allotted money. Instead, the whole process can be fulfilled digitally – benefitting both workers within the Migrant Help offices and the people they serve. By reducing risk, streamlining processes and modernising the support they offer, the charity is better placed than ever to increase the number of people they can help each year.

What has become recently apparent is how effective the use of B4B Payment’s prepaid cards are in the current world climate. At the height of COVID-19, the use of cards of cash handling meant the additional protection needed to keep staff and clients safe was already in place. No need to search for a quick and easy solution, thanks to B4B’s prepaid cards already being firmly established into Migrant Help’s ongoing processes.

Ease of use, Practicality, and Functionality

Migrant Help have now achieved the best possible system for supporting victims of exploitation and modern slavery. By choosing to work with the B4B Payments team, they’ve created a solution that not only works – but benefits both recipients and staff at the same time. Modernisation is vital for any charity to continue to succeed, and Migrant Help has undoubtedly got that box ticked by making a move from a cash-only process to one that can be done with far less face-to-face time.

At B4B Payments, we’ve designed our payment solution to be as straightforward as it is innovative. That means reduced risk, enhanced payment processes and visible results every time. For charities like Migrant Help, our prepaid cards offer a particular solution – but the benefit of choosing such a versatile platform is the fact it can be expanded to many other areas, from payroll to rewards, general payments to charitable exercises.

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company newsroom Uncategorised

Powering through the Covid-19 crisis

“When the wind of change blows, some build walls, others build windmills.” Chinese proverb.

Do you know who’s powering along during the Covid-19 ‘crisis’? Fintech company B4B Payments is, and here’s how:

Thursday evening; a dreaded text

B4B CEO Paul Swinton was notified that one of his team had been exposed to the Coronavirus. Fortunately, the company had a Crisis Plan in place. One they’d wisely updated when Covid-19 first hit the headlines. Advance preparations included making sure all the team had access to well-configured technology designed for remote working. Including securely held systems on the Cloud. An email had already been sent to clients and other contacts saying B4B Payments was ready and well prepared to keep operational if the worst did happen. So, B4B was already equipped to offer ‘Business as Usual’ when the virus got too close.

Thursday evening part 2; so it begins

With a click, Paul activated well-considered protocols. All staff were told to start working from home with immediate effect. The Tech team responded by setting up a Whatsapp group to provide them with support and advice, and a way to ask for help.

Friday; getting things into perspective

By 9 am the whole company was self-isolated at home, ready for action and online. They were also displaying their strong sense of unity and community in this challenging time. Paul Swinton, B4B Payments CEO said: “Most importantly, robust steps had been taken to control the potential spread of the virus and to protect our valued staff members and their families. Our second priority that day was to underpin services offered to clients.”

One week later; windmills all working

The team, using a selection of tools including Slack, Trello, internal VOIP telephony, and Signal encrypted chat software is now a true ‘digital workplace’, connected online and powering along as efficiently and effectively as ever. That’s been achieved without compromising any of the comradery and team spirit that makes B4B Payments a first-class employer. Instead of banter around the coffee machine, the team now communicate, collaborate and just ‘chat’ in the virtual realm. Clearly, fully adhering to the self-isolation and social distancing advice from the Government and NHS. All proving the power of preparation, positive thinking and being agile.

Which brings us to another insightful quote: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

If you wish to contact us please go here.

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case studies Facilities Management insights Payroll & Payouts

Payout by B4B Payments crucial for HPS Services

HPS Services are specialists in high-end cleaning led facility services in the residential property and student accommodation sectors. Their goal is to create fantastic communal living environments for their clients across the UK. HPS believe that everyone deserves a fantastic place to live. B4B Payments has partnered with HPS for many years to provide a payroll solution for their highly professional cleaners who employed to service client properties.

As many of the staff are unbanked within the UK, they are given a prepaid card on the arrival.

“We really appreciate how easy the B4B system is to use,” says Carmen, Head of Administration at HPS Services. “Our staff get paid on time with the minimum of fuss straight onto a Mastercard. Their funds are available to use immediately. We highly recommend B4B Payments to anyone who needs to efficiently pay seasonal or unbanked workers.”

“We’ve been working with HPS for many years now,” says B4B Account Director Tim Robson. “What’s more important than paying your workforce? We’re glad we can help HPS with this important process and allow them to concentrate on running their business.”

B4B Payments works with travel companies both in the UK in Europe but also in the US, too.

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case studies Expenses insights Travel

B4B simplifies payment for Italian tour operator IPV

Based in Rome, Idee Per Viaggiare (IPV) is a leading Italian Tour Operator. Since 1995 it has specialized in realising tailor-made itineraries to a wide number of long haul destinations.

Cooperating with the world best airlines, the most prestigious hotels & resorts and the most important tourism boards of the world, IPV is recognized as a key partner for Italian outgoing leisure tourism market.

In 2016 they won Best Tourism Catalogue at the Italian Travel Awards again. This success was repeated in 2017 and 2018 when they won both the Best Emerging Tour Operator as well as the Best Facebook Page awards, a recognition that fully captures the development and growth trend over the years of Idee per Viaggiare.

IPV have been working with B4B Payments since 2017. “We are very happy to be working with B4B,” says CFO Roberto Viola. “We count on our partners to support our client offering. B4B makes the payment process very easy.”

B4B Payments works with travel companies both in the UK in Europe but also in the US too.

“We are very pleased to partner with IPV. It’s a pleasure to provide a payment solution to their customers”, says B4B Director of Accounts, Tim Robson. “B4B works with many travel companies both in Europe but increasingly in the US too. Our prepaid solution is ideal to support the industry where security and convenience are key.”

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case studies Expenses insights Payroll & Payouts Sports & Leisure

B4B provides payment support for ICC Cricket World Cup

On the 30th May to 14th July 2019, cricket fans around the globe had their eyes firmly fixed on Lord’s as the thrilling 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup took place. As the top ten cricket teams in the world came together to battle it out for the world cup title, B4B Payments offered their services to the cup’s hosts, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), to provide elite payment solutions to the cricket teams, their management and key CWC staff.

B4B Payments’ prepaid business cards allowed teams from around the world to easily distribute funds to their players and staff. As B4B Payments’ prepaid business cards can be used anywhere in the world that accepts Mastercard payments, they can be monitored closely to ensure funds are being used in the correct way. This ensures corporate expense management is effortless and receipts can be managed through B4B Payments’ digital tools.

“I was very pleased with the solution B4B Payments provided to help support the players, officials and staff during the CWC19. The B4B team’s professionalism when rolling out the solution and the support provided to ensure the teams and officials could concentrate on their on-field performance, providing the best World Cup experience for the fans around the world.”

Sam de Terte, Financial Controller for the ECB

When trying to execute such a prestigious event, or travelling around the world to compete in a sports event, the last thing you want on your mind is obtaining, carrying and storing a large amount of cash. For the ECB and the teams taking part in the event, B4B Payments eliminated this problem with their prepaid business cards.

B4B Payments is privileged to work with many sporting events to provide payment solutions, for example, the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The Greater London Authority and B4B Payments also supported the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.

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How Bunzl used B4B Payments to reward loyal staff

B4B Payments are happy to partner with global logistics and distribution group Bunzl plc. Bunzl is the hidden giant behind many businesses taking care of non-core processes from packaging to hygiene products, from cleaning services to catering infrastructure.

“We were looking for a solution that allows our employees the freedom to spend their reward where they wish,” says Krystle Siaw, HR Business Partner. “Working with B4B Payments we came up with the My Bunzl Rewards branded Mastercard.”

The cards have been distributed across the many Bunzl divisions in UK and Ireland. The B4B system allows companies to set up their account to mirror the structure of their business units. This is important in a large company such as Bunzl with many subsidiary companies who all demand different accesses and separate reporting.

“The feedback from the business divisions and Bunzl employees themselves has been really positive,” says Krystle. “We wanted the reward process to be as easy as possible for everyone and we’re very pleased to be working with B4B Payments to make this happen.”

To discuss how B4B Payments can help your company reward its employees, please get in touch here

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B4B Payments shortlisted for two PayTech Awards 2019

B4B Payments is delighted to have been shortlisted for the PayTech Awards 2019 in two categories. The nominations are in the Best Corporate Payments Initiative and Best Prepaid Initiative categories. Both awards present the very best in the use of B2B prepaid technology and highlight B4B’s expertise in corporate expense management.

‘We are proud to have been shortlisted for these two awards, which really signifies the strides we have made over this past year as a company,’ said Paul Swinton, CEO. ‘It also demonstrates that the hard work the team has put into our solution and technology, through continuous innovation and improvement, is not only paying off but also leading the industry.’ Winners will be announced at a ceremony on 5th July 2019 at the HAC, London.

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CEO Featured as special guest on FinTech podcast

B4B Payments CEO & PIF Chairman, Paul Swinton, recently featured on Fintech Unplugged, a leading podcast for the fintech industry.

Paul joined hosts Robert Courtneidge from Moorwand and Suresh Vaghjiani from Tribe Payments, where he discussed what makes B4B Payments an award-winning business, how he got involved with industry-body PIF and his rise to the position of its Chairman. Paul also offers his opinions on the perception of prepaid cards in the market and his views on the current fintech scene.

Listen to the full podcast here.
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Universities reduce the need for cash on and off campus

Cash causes so many problems for universities and other educational establishments. It’s a headache to distribute and account for with huge opportunity for fraud. It’s also a turn-off for many young people who view cash as an outdated inconvenience. In fact, increasing numbers of young people prefer not to use cash at all. Research shows that today’s teenagers are four-times less likely to use cash than the general public and use cash for just 6% of their payments, according to debit-card company Current.

With around 2.32 million students in UK higher education last year [1], it’s a big problem for which universities are increasingly determined to find an innovative solution. The goal is to reduce the inefficiencies of cash for themselves while increasing their appeal to prospective students.

The alternative to cash

Some progressive educational establishments in the UK are turning their backs on cash-based expense management systems in favour of issuing prepaid cards.

Many of the most interesting innovations in financial services in recent years have been made with prepaid cards. The Oyster card for travel around London’s rail network was an early example followed by new challenger banks such as Monzo which targeted millennials with services initially based on prepaid cards.

One of the main reasons for this growth is that prepaid cards have emerged as a convenient way to overcome many challenges from simplifying expenditure management to breaking down barriers to financial inclusion.

Here are a few examples of how prepaid cards are delivering benefits to universities and students.

Travel Bursaries

Course and open days are huge opportunities for universities to attract new students in person. These are important days, with most universities opening 2-3 times a year. In Bristol alone, a total of 30,000 visitors booked to visit over the university’s open weekend last year. [2]

Many educational establishments offer travel bursaries as a way to incentivise and help students to attend these events. A prepaid card can help remove the hassle and admin involved with distributing cash for travel purposes to visitors before the open day.

Research Programmes

Research programmes are one of the most important services universities can offer to a variety of industries. They often involve some form of reward in exchange for student participation. Dealing with the administration and distribution of funds after the research is often a time-consuming task with huge scope for fraud.

Alternatively, prepaid cards offer an easy way to upload funds in a way that is far less open to fraud. Cards can be retained by regular participants so funds can be uploaded remotely after each research programme is complete and rewards have been earned, removing the need for postage and associated administration.

Supporting Student Financial Hardship

University can be a financially challenging time for many students with a reported 40% worrying about how they will finance their studies and daily life. Financial Hardship programmes can, therefore, be an important factor when students are choosing their university.

Managing such a programme can however be challenging for universities as a robust, reliable and ongoing financial process is required with regular payments being made. Delivering funds to students using a prepaid card can be automated with recurring payments. Prepaid cards enable universities to monitor spending and take far better control of where funds can be spent with the ability to prevent spending on activities such as gambling. Moreover, certain goods and services can be excluded to ensure funds are used appropriately.

And there’s more

Prepaid cards can replace the use of petty cash throughout the university, from any one-off payments to expense cards for employees and contractors. Combined with powerful receipt management tools, prepaid cards can deliver a solution that keeps you in full control of your expenditure.

How to choose a prepaid card solution

An important factor in the success of a prepaid card programme to meet the needs of both the University and its students is its ability to be used in many locations. 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.

The B4B solution is currently used by further education bodies, companies and government departments in the UK to replace inefficient cash-based systems. 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 universities and how we can help you, call us on 020 3137 3420 or email us at sales@b4bpayments.com.