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case studies insights Payroll & Payouts Uncategorised

Alpha Contract Solutions simplify and streamline payouts to their temporary and unbanked workers

Alpha Contract Solutions is a dynamic HR company, supplying civil engineering consultants and contractors to prestigious projects across Europe. They needed a smart, flexible and secure payment system to manage their payroll of UK contractors, many of whom are working on temporary projects in other countries, without local bank accounts. The innovative and award-winning prepaid Mastercard solution from B4B Payments turned out to be a great fit for their business.

The next level in employee satisfaction

Prior to turning to B4B Payments, ACS used the legacy banking system of international transfers across borders, but found that the process was difficult and time-consuming for both management and the contractors out in the field.

Managing director Sefton Hanley said: “The service we received from banks was slow and expensive with payments sometimes taking days. We need to look after our people, and delays like that are unacceptable.”

With prepaid cards, the process is fast and easy. ACS contractors are issued with an ACS branded card, which can be loaded with funds quickly and securely. There is no requirement from the employee to fill in any paperwork and recipients receive an SMS notification once the payment has been made. They can then use the card to pay for goods and services anywhere a Mastercard® payment is accepted, online or in-store. The funds are immediately available, and the card can be used worldwide 24/7.

Secure, efficient and fraud-proof

The B4B Payment system eliminates the complicated accounting processes involved when handling cash and expense forms. ACS management found the process, with its clear audit trail, an ideal way to streamline their payroll system. If a card is lost, it can be easily replaced, with no risk to the business. The card is sent directly to the employee and usually arrives within 24 hours. If there is an emergency, top-up funds can be loaded onto the card quickly and securely and the system is fully controllable. Incentives, expense costs and rewards are also all easily incorporated and managed.

Outstanding service and support

The management of ACS is dedicated to being hands-on and detail-oriented, with a commitment to supporting complex projects that operate around the clock, in multiple time-zones. This means that they require very high standards of support from all of their suppliers. They found the team at B4B Payments more than equal to the task. From initial meetings to the system going live, the process was smooth and effective.

“The service we’ve received from the team is great – the whole thing has worked well right from day one,” added Sefton Hanley.

For ACS, partnering with B4B Payments has clearly proved to be a winning strategy in managing their payroll efficiently and cost-effectively, with maximum benefit and satisfaction to their employees.

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case studies Expenses insights Non Profit Uncategorised

B4B corporate expense cards are the answer for leading charity, London Youth

This top charity finds that B4B’s prepaid business card platform is the perfect support for the running of its many programmes.

Paying expenses through petty cash was a time-consuming headache for UK charity London Youth. Switching to corporate expense management through B4B Payments was a fantastic solution for this busy organisation.

Important work

London Youth is a charity whose purpose is to improve the lives of young people in our nation’s capital. Last year, working through a multitude of different youth organisations, they supported more than 27 000 young people, giving new hope and opening up opportunities to grow and thrive. The project management challenges and the administrative load of this vital work can be overwhelming. So when the organisation found there was a better way to handle expense payments, they were immediately interested. B4B Payments’ corporate expense cards helped London Youth in three main ways:

Quick and convenient

Because the cards are preloaded with funds, the administrators can easily control and account for the amounts allocated, and the users do not have to use their own cash or juggle receipts and expense claims. Users can pay for goods and services, online or store-based, that accept Mastercard® payments. Shazia Mert, Programmes Support Officer for London Youth said,

“Paying funds by petty cash meant there were more likely errors in calculation, and we were unable to provide funds in advance when needed.”

With the new system, there is positive buy-in from users, and participation in events and programmes by members of the charity’s Youth Board is now fully supported.

Security is key

The cards can be loaded with any amounts from 300 to 4,000 euros a month. Cardholders can check balances online using a PIN and topping up funds in an emergency is fast and straightforward. Lost cards are not a problem, with replacement cards issued within 24 hours. For London Youth, a further benefit was reducing the risk of losing money through uncontrolled spending, errors, or potential fraud. Furthermore, the system ensured policy and regulatory compliance – a critical factor in the management and accounting practices of any charity.

Great customer support

“Right from the start, the B4B team has been clear and helpful and friendly. Having one account manager who I can go to is so helpful. Having had the opportunity to build a rapport with my account manager, I know I can always trust her to deal with any problems or questions I may have. She already knows how my organisation uses the account, and so she can advise me accordingly.”

Shazia Mert, Programmes Support Officer for London Youth
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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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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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case studies Education insights Payroll & Payouts

UWL use B4B Payments cards to tackle student hardship

The University of West London is known as The Careers University. The University has several campus’ including sites in Ealing, Brentford and Reading.

The University offers a wide variety of courses, ranging from business to nursing. 98% of UWL graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. UWL has the highest satisfaction rating of all London universities according to the National Student Survey (NSS).

UWL takes its duty of care for its students very seriously. B4B Payments cards are used as a convenient way to support students who are facing financial hardship whilst pursuing their studies. After qualifying for a hardship payment, students are issued with a B4B card which is instantaneously loaded with the requisite money.

“We find the B4B system really easy to use,” says Helen Prince, Senior Finance Officer. “We often have to make payments quickly or out of hours. B4B Payments allows us to meet students’ needs as they arise, whenever that may be.”

“I’m pleased we could partner with The University of West London to support their students,” says B4B Director of Accounts, Tim Robson. “B4B works with many higher education institutions in the UK to assist them with their expenses, research payments, bursaries or open-day travel payments.”

To find out how B4B can help with payments for your educational establishment, please contact us here.

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case studies Incentives & Perks insights Logisitics

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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newsroom Tools & Guides

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.

Categories
case studies Expenses insights

GLA Renews ambassador card programme

B4B Payments has extended its relationship with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Team London to provide prepaid cards for its London Ambassador Programme.

For the past five years the volunteering programme, driven by the Mayor of London, has welcomed nearly one million visitors to the capital every summer. The Ambassadors are the friendly face of London welcoming and assisting visitors at some of the capital’s top tourist hotspots and major sporting or cultural events.

The Ambassadors give their time freely but receive a prepaid card to use for the small expenses that enable them to carry out their duties.

Tim Robson, B4B Payments Account Director, said: “We are delighted to be renewing our relationship with the GLA to support this valuable service and the tourism industry here in London. These voluntary Ambassadors do a great job and we make life easier for both the volunteers and the GLA by streamlining their expenses process.”

The B4B solution was named Best Prepaid Product Of The Year 2019 at the prestigious Card and Payments Awards earlier this year.