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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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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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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.