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case studies Expenses insights Non Profit Uncategorised

Church Service: Finding solutions with B4B Payments

Connect Church took control of spending and increased the effectiveness of their multiple programmes by using prepaid business cards from B4B Payments.

Connect Church was founded 80 years ago in Birmingham and has grown to become a vibrant church for the modern age. It is multigenerational and multinational drawing people from across the city, and around the world, through its online services on Facebook and YouTube. It is run by a small staff who work hard to coordinate the work of more than 100 volunteers.

Until recently, the work of the church was facilitated using petty cash, or by people paying from their own pockets and claiming reimbursement. These methods were difficult to administer across so many activities and volunteers. Paperwork was not always submitted correctly, and the system was continually at risk. When staff made online purchases from their own pockets, there was often unavoidable delays before the money was reimbursed, which affected their family budget. Vital activities and services were delayed or adversely affected as a result. Connect Church needed a corporate expense management system that would work for them.

Finding payments solution that worked

As a way of facilitating the online payments, Connect Church first considered debit and credit cards, linked to the church’s main account. However, they quickly recognised that this would still be difficult to administer as well as being a security risk.

Using corporate expense cards through B4B payments turned out to be the ideal solution.

Now, funds are loaded onto the cards by the administrator, according to an approved budget. The process is simple, and fast so that even emergency payments can be quickly handled 24/7 and the cards can be topped up as needed.

Users can then make purchases anywhere that accepts MasterCard® payments, in-store, or online. Receipts are uploaded online, so keeping track is secure and straightforward. Because the administrator can view all transactions in real-time on the secure B4B interface, users are not able to make large purchases or be tempted by a large credit balance.

Set up was simple, and support was available at every stage. The church staff found that working with the B4B team was a pleasure throughout the process.

“From day one, our interactions with the B4B team have been warm and helpful. They have always been quick to respond to our enquiries for support, and even though we are a relatively small concern, we have always been treated well as their clients.”

– Tracee McAtear, Executive Pastor

The proof is in the pudding

The church immediately saw an increase in the number of services and programmes they were able to offer. The staff and volunteers no longer held back by slow, cumbersome claim processes could focus on running the activities of the church. Staff and key volunteers felt empowered to make their activities happen without delay and without the risk of being personally out of pocket. The church, which is also a registered charity, is run by trustees who can now rest assured that funds are responsibly utilised and accounted for according to fiduciary regulations.

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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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Dos and don’ts of sports payments

As COVID-19 lockdown restrictions begin to ease around the world, many sports fans and athletes are rejoicing as sports games and tournaments are preparing to resume once again. If you’ve recently been put in charge of the sports payments for a travelling sports team, ensure you follow our guidance below…

DO elect a team treasurer

If you are unfamiliar with managing a travelling sports team or have never handled sports payments before, you may be tempted to split the financial responsibilities of your sports team. This, however, will only lead to confusion and make your finances difficult to manage and organise. Instead, elect one treasurer and find a simplified financial system, such as a prepaid payment solution, that will unify your financial expenditure.

DON’T use cash

Whether you manage a small grassroots sports team or an international team of athletes, you should avoid travelling and paying for services with cash where possible. When you travel with cash, you make yourself incredibly vulnerable to theft and put yourself at risk of fraud. With cash, it is almost impossible to track your team’s spending and can be very time consuming to manage and distribute.

In light of recent global events, avoiding the use of cash where possible is essential. Many businesses will only now accept contactless card payments due to the social distancing measures put in place due to COVID-19. Cashless card payments will help to reduce the spread of the virus and help safeguard your sports team and employees from putting themselves at risk of infection.

DO stick to your budget

To ensure you don’t overspend and harm the financial position of your sports team, it is essential you create a precise budget and stick to it. Pre-paid cashless payment cards will ensure your sports team do not go over budget as they will have a specific amount allocated to their card. It will also be easier to track where you have been overspending due to their digital spend visibility.

B4B Payments, voted the Best Prepaid Product of the Year in 2019, offers payment solutions without regional limitations, as they are Mastercard® approved, ensuring your team can travel with ease without having to change payment type frequently.

DON’T mix funds

If you manage multiple sports teams it may be tempting for you to only open one bank account and blend all of your funds and expenses. It is essential, however, that each sports team you manage has a separate bank account and you do not use your personal account to keep any of your sports team expenses.

DO create a payment plan

As sports games begin to take place once again, it is essential you keep your team safe and your finances organised. This is why before hosting or attending a sports event you should contact B4BPayments, to order your prepaid business cards. All prepaid cards are managed with a robust, flexible, and easy to use digital platform and mobile app.

To learn more about how sports events and other organisations are benefitting from contactless payment solutions read our customer stories.

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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.