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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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newsroom Sports & Leisure

The digitisation of arenas and sports events

As lockdown restrictions begin to relax around the world, many stadiums are preparing to welcome sports teams and fans once again. From local stadiums to large arenas, everyone involved in the sports industry is doing what they can to keep their staff and guests safe, including embracing new digital technology. Stadiums are beginning to encourage, and in some cases even make it mandatory, for their patrons to use digital and contactless payment solutions where possible.

What are the benefits of cashless payments for a stadium?

• Reduced theft as visitors and sports players will not need to bring cash into the stadium.
• Helps reduce the possibility of spreading COVID-19 or another virus as contact is limited.
• Better visibility to track where and how people are using money in the stadium.

How are contactless and digital card payments changing sports stadiums?

Making service faster

In the Stadium of the Future report by Oracle, it was revealed that sports fans in Germany would be willing to spend 68% more on purchases if the wait time for food and beverages was reduced by half. Similarly, US fans claimed they would spend 66% more on food and drinks if the wait time was reduced, as would UK fans by 61%. This sends a clear message to stadium employees – fans are willing to spend more on food and drink if their time queuing, being served and waiting to receive their food and drink is reduced.

By making contactless payment mandatory, stadiums could significantly improve their speed at serving food and beverages as money will not need to be regularly counted, distributed or stored in a safe, which can be very time-consuming processes.

Increasing sales of high-priced items

The price of food, beverages and merchandise in a stadium can vary. More often than not, however, stadiums charge a premium for food and drink as they try to offer their sports fans a unique sporting experience that they cannot receive or replicate from their home, including enjoying indulgent food and drink. It can be hard, however, for a sports fan to hand over their hard-earned cash to pay for food and drinks. Some sports fans may even purposely limit the amount of money they take to a game to ensure they do not overspend.

Contactless payments help consumers see money and pricing as digital, and eliminates the process of handing over their money physically. This often encourages sports fans to buy more food and drink.

Cashless spending in your organisation

Going cashless doesn’t stop with your visitors and fans. Prepaid business cards from B4B Payments are the perfect way to adapt cashless spending to not only your arena, but your organisation as well. Stop your employees from using their personal funds to purchase goods and supplies, entertain partners, and travel. With a prepaid card you can see exactly where your money’s being spent as it’s happening, the ultimate risk management tool. No need worry about excess spending or potential fraud.

Control the parameters yourself using the B4B online admin platform and mobile app. By removing spend on personal cards, you’re in control. You decide how much employees can spend, and what they can use their expenses for.

Have temporary employees and volunteers?

Paying temp workers doesn’t need to be difficult. Using a flexible B4B prepaid card, save money on handling costs and fees associated with traditional payroll processes.

Our innovative method can be particularly useful for businesses with temporary or short-term staff so that you, as a business owner, can meet the demands of your changing workforce and not be held back by limited resources. Our cards can be used for GBP, EUR, and USD currencies to create a bespoke experience for you.

Did somebody say branding?

Choosing a B4B prepaid card gives you a unique opportunity to showcase your brand. A stunning design will help promote your brand and create a positive association with your company every time your cards are used. For a seamless user experience, we also create a cardholder platform and unique landing page featuring your brand.

If you’d like to learn about prepaid cards, contact B4B Payments today. We are an expert fintech company who specialise in providing payment solutions for the sports industry.

Categories
newsroom Sports & Leisure

Sports after COVID-19

COVID has changed everything. The pandemic, which has swept the globe and affected nearly every country on all six continents, has caused cities to lockdown and normal activities to stop on a scale that has never been experienced before in living memory. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel – cities are now beginning to adapt to ‘the new normal’ and things are gradually opening up.

So, how does ‘the new normal’ affect sports? Competitive sports are loved by people all over the globe. In normal times, we flock to stadiums to watch our favourite football or rugby teams. But with some games being dubbed ‘super spreader events’, what is the answer for playing and watching sports during and after COVID?

Some competitive sports have already started to be played again, with strict testing and isolation procedures for the players. At the moment, no spectators are allowed in venues.

Undoubtedly, a lot will change. Social distancing will need to be undertaken by everybody involved in games for quite some time and this will cause a range of economic and social factors. Let’s look at some things that might change.

Virtual reality will become more common

Virtual Reality, or VR, helps people to see something as if it is actually taking place, and there will be a lot more of this as time goes on. Whether that be 360-degree photos on Facebook or fully immersive video, it will become much more normal to see games through this lens.

Journalism will focus on local sport

COVID is a time when everybody is looking inwards, focusing on their local area and what it has to offer. During the pandemic, it is harder for journalists to travel to report, meaning they may be more likely to focus on small, local teams rather than large-scale national reporting.

Athletes will seek independent forms of employment

It is projected that contracts for athletes will decrease, meaning that they will need to find other ways to fund themselves. They might become influencers, using their platforms to talk about certain topics and making money from sponsorships.

Coaches will become more tech-savvy

COVID is made much easier by technology – from the fact that we can pay using contactless cards to the ever-growing amount of TikToks to keep us amused – and coaches will undoubtedly become more tech-savvy throughout this crisis. During the pandemic, big decisions have been made over Zoom meetings, and with the pressing environmental crisis that will remain after the pandemic, this might be rolled out permanently.

Therefore, during and after COVID, coaches will likely rely on apps to communicate with their team members, draw up timetables and even train remotely.

School events will become important

Schools will need to adapt to playing sports safely, but they are likely to be children’s main involvement with the sporting world for some time. Sporting education in school will be crucial to the physical and mental health of students, as will education into different types of sports and advice on sporting careers.

Payments will change

Additionally, teams will have less funding and find themselves having to adapt in order to find the money to pay their staff. B4B offers safe, easy to use payment solutions for sports teams around the globe. Our contactless, prepaid business cards work anywhere where Mastercard® can be used, and can easily be topped up and utilised by players and organisation-staff alike.

Our prepaid card solutions are great for staff members earning anything from a few hundred to thousands of any currency a month, and they can be used to make payments across the globe. They are a fantastic way for any kind of sporting enterprise – from grassroots campaigns to full-scale sporting events – to organise their money better and reassure people of their job security during this difficult time.

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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.