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Contactless payments are ready to donate a helping hand!

Contactless Payments are set to become increasingly involved in charity fundraising appeals. The move comes as statistics published late last year showed an incredible rise in the amount of money spent with contactless devices.
According to the UK Card Association, November 2016 saw a £2,903m spend in the UK through contactless mediums – an incredible 183% rise on the previous year.
Now, that incredible figure is set to be translated onto the fundraising scene, with many charities recognising that people are more inclined to spend contactlessly than with spare cash.
Some major charities have already began trialling the scheme, with the 2015 Red Nose Day producing statues that housed contactless payment points where people could donate.
Furthermore, The Blue Cross then introduced a scheme in 2016 where people could ‘Pat and Tap’ the dogs on show to donate £2.
With contactless payments on the rise, the increasing ingenuity of charities to use these schemes as a means of increasing fundraising totals is something that will definitely increase during the coming months and years.

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Sole Trader? There’s no need to go it alone – and employing these three people could help!

Many small business owners run their entire enterprise alone, which is perfectly understandable when it comes to keeping costs down.
However, going it alone as an SME is difficult to say the least – and employing these three people can help you take your business to the next level.

1) Accountant
As a small business owner, your goal is to make money–so it only makes sense to consult a professional to help you manage this crucial aspect of your business. Becoming a business owner naturally adds complexity to your tax scenario, so at tax time, an accountant can be crucial for making sure you’re in full compliance and are filing correctly.

2) Assistant
Being a solo business is difficult. Tasks and communications that don’t have to do directly with the day-to-day of customer relations, creating or offering your products and services, and other immediate tasks might become backed up, or even fall by the wayside.
This is where an assistant can come in handy. By employing a loyal employee, you can leave the simple store transactions while having more time to deal with the important things!

3) PR and Marketing Assistant
Getting your name out there is a key factor in achieving a successful business; and a PR and marketing executive can help achieve just that.
Having someone directly available to create social media content, produce flyers and leaflets, manage marketing and deal with outside queries can hugely improve your business reputation as you progress up the success ladder!

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Reasons why your Business NEEDS to make the switch to contactless payment solutions

More than just a saying or statistic, it has become reality that ‘Businesses that decline card payments are losing out’.

Sorry, we don’t take card payments’ should be a thing of the past as Britain quickly converts to a cashless society, not taking card payments should be something rarely heard of by now. Unfortunately, this is not the case just yet. 75% of all UK retail purchases are made by card; and yet still, more than two thirds of British small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) still don’t accept card payments.

With Cheaper PAY’ment solutions you can:

  • Accept Payments over the phone
  • Accept online Payments
  • Accept smart phone payments
  • Accept Chip ‘n’ Pin payments

How will these benefit your business?

  • Never miss a sale – Customers are able to buy your products anywhere at any time with secure online payments which means more sales for your business.
  • Beat your competitors – Customers are more likely to shop at a store that offers card payments.
  • Happier customers – Card payments are processed in a matter of seconds so customers can quickly continue with their day and you can get on with serving the next customer.
  • Lower bank fees – Handling less cash means fewer trips to the bank and more money back into your business.
  • More security – Extra features protect your business from fraudulent transactions and tell you immediately if a customer’s funds have not yet cleared.

Our low transaction costs are what make Cheaper Pay one of the most affordable merchant service suppliers available. Many card machine companies will charge you for a service that is designed to benefit growing businesses rather than hinder them.

At Cheaper Pay, we believe in supporting and innovating businesses with evolving technology. That is why we offer FREE quotes and a 3 months’ free trial to ensure that the payment solution you have chosen is compatible for your business.

To begin your journey to contactless payment get your free quote HERE.

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Take Payments Over the Phone

phone payments

We can help you get your business ready to take payments over the phone. Enquire today and get a free quote!

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Visa: Most People Back Biometric Payments

Majority of people want to use biometrics when making payments, with fingerprints the favoured option.

New research from Visa has revealed that a clear majority of people are in favour of combining biometrics with their payment process.

The Visa Biometric Payments study surveyed over 14,000 consumers across seven European markets. And it comes at a time when the use of biometric technology is being actively debated as a way to improve transaction security.

Safer Transactions

Biometric technology of course has been around for many years now, but thanks to some high-profile launches of late such as Apple’s TouchID system and Windows Hello, the technology is being used by more and more people.

And the Visa survey revealed that two thirds (73 percent) of people believe that two-factor authentication, where a form of biometrics is used in conjunction with a payment device (i.e. a mobile device or card reader), would make for a more secure payment authentication.

Half of people (51 percent) believe that biometrics would make payments faster and easier, and 68 percent want to use biometrics as a method of payment authentication. The survey revealed that biometrics would mostly help online retailers, as nearly a third (31 percent) of people have at some stage abandoned a browser-based purchase because of the payment security process.

And it seems that 33 percent of people appreciate the fact that biometric authentication means their details would be safe even if their device was lost or stolen.

“Biometric identification and verification has created a great deal of excitement in the payments space because it offers an opportunity to streamline and improve the customer experience,” said Jonathan Vaux, Executive Director of Innovation Partnerships. “Our research shows that biometrics is increasingly recognised as a trusted form of authentication as people become more familiar with using these capabilities on their devices.”

“Biometrics work best when linked to other factors, such as the device, geolocation technologies or with an additional authentication method,” said Vaux. “That’s why we believe that it’s important to take a holistic approach that considers a wide range of enabling technologies that contribute to a better end-to-end experience, from provisioning a card to making a purchase to checking your balance.”

What type?

Fingerprint recognition is viewed as the most favourable secure option by 81 percent of respondents. Iris scanning is backed by 76 percent of people.

But most people are comfortable with fingerprints, as 53 percent of people expressed a preference for fingerprint over other forms of biometric authentication when using it for payment. The other biometric choices such as voice or facial recognition as a payment method are much less popular.

The survey also found that 48 percent of respondents want to use biometric authentication for payments when on public transport. 47 percent want to use biometric authentication when paying at a bar or restaurant, and 46 percent want to use it to purchase goods and services on the high street at a coffee shop or fast food outlet for example. 40 percent want to use it when shopping online and 39 percent when downloading content.

Biometric Uptake

Biometric technology is seeing increasing use of late, not just because of its incorporation into mobile and computing devices.

Earlier this year HSBC launched new biometric logins for its customers. Barclays also allows some of its corporate clients and Wealth customers to log in to their accounts using a biometric reader, and also has voice recognition software, enabled for certain users, with RBS and NatWest also offering fingerprint technology to some customers.

Previous research has found that younger British consumers are the most comfortable with using biometric data to verify their accounts.

 

 


Jowitt, T. (2016) Visa: Most people back Biometric payments. Available at: http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/security/authentification/people-biometric-payments-195063 (Accessed: 15 July 2016).

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Contactless payments in vogue for Barclaycard and Topshop accessories

News: Card payments on the increase as mobile and contactless take off.

Barclaycard and Topshop have teamed up on a range of contactless payment accessories.

The NFC-enabled bracelets, phone cases and keychains come as part of the bPay collection that was launched in 2014.

Users that have a UK registered Visa or MasterCard, debit or credit card will be able to add funds to their digital wallet using a mobile app, online through the bPay web site, or set up an automatic top-up, which will add funds to their balance one it falls below a pre-set level.

The accessories contain a bPay chip by Barclaycard that links to the digital wallet.

Britain is clearly a big fan of contactless payments and paying by card instead of cash, with rising online and contactless transactions increasing spending on debit and credit cards by 10% to £660 billion in 2015.

Online card spending increased by 20% to £210 billion from £175bn in 2014, this means that almost a third of plastic spending takes place on the internet. Paying by mobile is also on the increase with half of online spending taking place on tablets and smartphones, up from 37% in 2014, according to figures from the UK Cards Association show.

Contactless payments are also on the increase, partly thanks to the increase in the payment limit to £30 and nearly half of all cards issues now having contactless capabilities. In 2015 £7.75bn was spent via tap and pay, compared to £2.32bn in 2014.

Graham Peacop, CEO, UK Cards Association, said: “With the amount spent using contactless cards almost trebling between 2014 and 2015 and the payment limit increasing to £30, it is clear 2015 was the year contactless went mainstream.

“Whether buying a sandwich on the go, or paying for a round of drinks or a tube journey, contactless has become the default way people choose to pay for every day shopping.”

 


Nunns, C.J. (2016) Contactless payments in vogue for Barclaycard and Topshop accessories. Available at: http://www.cbronline.com/news/internet-of-things/consumer/contactless-payments-in-vogue-for-barclaycard-and-topshop-accessories-4919256 (Accessed: 8 July 2016).

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Balance transfer war hots up as Tesco Bank launches fee-free 24-month deal

Tesco Bank has launched a new 24-month fee-free 0% balance transfer card, matching the market-leading deal launched by Halifax earlier this week.

As with the Halifax deal, the new Tesco ‘No Balance Transfer Card’ charges no interest on debts transferred from other cards for up to two years, and there’s no balance transfer fee either.

However, people looking to shift a credit card debt might find the Tesco Bank deal the more attractive of the two, as all successful applicants will receive the full two-year interest free period.

Halifax will only offer the full 24-month 0% period to 51% of people who qualify for the card. Other successful applicants will only get a 13-month interest-free period.

The Tesco No Balance Transfer Card charges 18.9% APR once the 0% period is up, but while “most” successful applicants will receive this rate, some borrowers will be charged 20.9% APR or 23.9% APR, subject to their credit history.

Halifax’s two-year fee-free balance transfer card also charges 18.9% representative APR, though borrowers that don’t qualify for the advertised rate will also be charged higher interest rates, at 21.9% or 25.9% APR.

While this is the strongest deal, if you can repay your card debt over two years, anyone looking to pay down a larger credit card debt might want to consider a longer interest-free period. Several lenders offer interest-free balance transfers for up to 40 months.

 


Moneywise (2013) Balance transfer war hots up as Tesco bank launches fee-free 24-month deal. Available at: http://moneywise.co.uk/news/2016-07-07/balance-transfer-war-hots-tesco-bank-launches-fee-free-24-month-deal (Accessed: 8 July 2016).

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Is your business prepared for the cashless economy?

The UK is on the fast track to being cash-free, but are our small and medium businesses ready?

The pounds in your pocket are destined for the museum display cabinets. This is according to new research by trade association, Payments UK, who predict that debit card and contactless payment use will overtake cash transactions by 2021 after finding that cash transactions accounted for less than half of consumer payments for the first time in 2015.

There’s no doubt that contactless technology has transformed consumer buying, and with Apple and Android Pay now available, it’s clear that the days of counting out coppers for a pint of milk and a Mars bar will soon be over.

Who has the least cash?

Citigroup and London’s Imperial College latest Digital Money Index indicates that the UK has begun to sprint ahead in the global race to becoming a cashless society after rising from 7th to 4th place in the list of countries that are most ‘digital ready’. Finland topped the list as the most digital-ready country for the third consecutive year, with Singapore and the US following behind in second and third place respectively.

Finland’s continued position as a digital leader is unsurprising considering their strong investment in digital infrastructure. Fixed broadband is available to 97 per cent of Finnish homes; this combined with affordability has helped Finland become one of the most tech savvy nations, with 91 per cent of the population being regular internet users. Furthermore, according to the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), Finland has one of the highest shares of eGovernment users and users of eHealth services in Europe. The Finnish government’s integration of digital and public services has further embedded digital processes into everyday life, meaning that digital payment is just another aspect of efficient modern living.

Contactless: the consumer’s choice

The rapid change in the UK’s payment habits can largely be attributed to big brands’ early adoption of contactless. In 2014 Tesco updated all 6,000 of their payment terminals in London to accept contactless payment, they announced that this would save 6 seconds for every customer that used it. For a consumer that is often time poor, 6 seconds less spent in a queue is 6 seconds less stress but more importantly for Tesco it speeds up customer service which enhances the customer experience.

However, contactless payment hasn’t always been hailed as a hero. Transport for London’s (TFL) announcement that its buses would go cashless in 2014 was initially met with scepticism. Nonetheless, since TFL has rolled out contactless across its network, more than 400 million journeys have been made using credit or debit cards or a mobile device, revealing that contactless is an option that offers consumers more, not less choice.
While Tesco and TFL helped lead the way in implementing wave and pay into our everyday lives, the increase in the contactless spend limit from £20 to £30 further pushed contactless mainstream by boosting retailer opportunities and encouraging a wider range of merchants to adapt their payment systems. In 2016, from petrol stations to pubs, consumers can go about their daily lives without having to enter their pin.
Contactless may have won London over first, but a recent study by Barclaycard found that contactless is growing fastest in Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff. Furthermore, the study also revealed that the over 60’s, the group often deemed as ‘technophobes’, are the fastest growing adopters of contactless card payments. The popularity of contactless across generations offers further evidence that wave and pay is here to stay as more consumers look to utilise new technology that will allow them to make safer, more convenient payments.

Better for business

The swift infiltration of contactless into our everyday lives has certainly raised customer expectations of the pace and ease of service, meaning that businesses not offering customers the payment options they expect, risk undermining their reputation by appearing out of touch.
However, the new way to pay offers considerable benefits to businesses too. Sage Pay’s Payments Landscape Report 2015, found that annual cash handling costs, including allowance for fraud and theft, set UK retailers back more than £3,600 on average. By offering cashless payment options, businesses will benefit hugely from reduced cash handling costs. While digital payments are not completely free from fraud, the risk is significantly lower. Figures from the UK Cards Association show that in the first six months of 2015, fraudulent transactions were equivalent to only 2p for every £100 spent using contactless functionality.

In addition to speedier, safer transactions, digital payments also open up the possibility of integrated reward programmes and location-based marketing. Tapping into these smartphone capabilities will allow businesses to use customer data to deliver tailored marketing campaigns, enhancing customer experience and encouraging loyalty.

While the question of whether the UK will turn completely cashless remains debatable, there’s no doubt that paying for a latte with a quick swish of your wrist has become so commonplace that digging deep in your purse for cash feels like an archaic practice. Whether you’re a high street store, independent coffee shop or a local newsagent, consumers now expect to be able to pay with lightning speed. Cashless is coming, make sure you’re prepared.

 


Growth Business UK. 2016. Is your business prepared for the cashless economy?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/comment-and-analysis/2532811/is-your-business-prepared-for-the-cashless-economy.thtml. [Accessed 24 June 2016].

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How To Make UK Faster Payments Faster

The Faster Payments initiative has made significant strides in the United Kingdom, so much so that the scheme has been held up as a model for other nations globally. 

Yet the work is far from done.  There are still numbers of businesses and consumers that are not yet linked up to the grid, so to speak, and even fewer products for consumers to take advantage of.

In an interview with Karen Webster, William Proctor, vice president and product line manager of UP Immediate Payments at ACI Worldwide, delved into the triumphs and trials seen thus far.

The Faster Payments scheme has a goal of reaching every single consumer in the U.K.  What are the main barriers to entry for people, businesses and payment providers looking to be a part of the U.K. Faster Payments scheme?

U.K. Faster Payments has seen very successful adoption.  It’s clear that the service is valuable as the transaction growth rates continue to be in the double digits year over year.  Some of the barriers that had prevented adoption to date, such as value limits, have largely been eliminated.

Now, the primary barriers are reaching the consumers and small businesses who are not customers of direct member banks, as well as enabling larger businesses to integrate real-time processing into their back offices. Delivering on ubiquity is the key objective, and the push to make more indirect members, direct members will help significantly.

Enabling payment service providers to access the payment systems offered, called The New Access Model, will also lead to more innovation, itself creating a new payment ecosystem.  Finally, there is always the issue of education.  The U.K. market understands the options very well.  In other markets looking to offer real-time services, education will be an important element to drive adoption.

The fixed costs of communication links between PSPs and central infrastructure is causing issues with potential users of Faster Payments services, especially smaller players.  What is being done to allow them the same advantage and ability to use the service? 

The New Access Model approach from Faster Payments Scheme Ltd (FPSL) introduces the concept of Aggregator Services to simplify and reduce the cost of access for an organization seeking to offer real-time payment services.  This is a smart approach as it gives smaller banks, FinTechs and all other payment intermediaries greater options for connecting to the scheme.

Organizations can be a direct member and have an account with U.K. Faster Payments or they can use a sponsor relationship. By using a technical aggregator, the costs of connectivity are shared across several tenants using the same infrastructure.

This flexibility allows businesses to connect with the solution that makes the most strategic and economic sense to them.  It allows them to really focus on the end user, a business or a consumer, to offer new and unique services.  This is what the real-time capability is all about – driving innovation, competition and enhanced value on the back of real-time processing.

Given where the U.S. market is going with multiple real-time schemes, we expect this Aggregator approach could make a lot of sense there, too, to enable the vast number and types of institutions that offer real-time payments.  We’ll need an approach that addresses many more participants, both banks and non-banks.

It has been identified that the gap between the scheme’s central interfaces and PSP’s diverse capabilities and infrastructures need to be bridged, but not to the extent of using a ‘single pipe’ solution.  Would having multiple connection points open up more ways for fraudsters? How is the consumer or business protected?  

New models such as this are always a target for fraud.  When Faster Payments first went live, online banking fraud more than doubled from the prior year. The model itself is not more susceptible, but with more participants in the scheme and more end users, there is a greater threat.  It’s critical that organizations offering any new products and services look comprehensively at their systems and processes to enhance fraud prevention techniques as required.  This is an area that needs ongoing attention as technology evolves.  Open API initiatives such as PSD2 will equally be challenged by new fraud threats.  It’s critical to have a real-time fraud approach that looks across access origination channels and processing engines — a layered, multi-channel approach to your fraud strategy.

Smartphones have drastically changed consumer expectations and brought about multiple new digital and mobile payment services.  How does faster payments enable product innovation as well as future technology advancements? 

The smartphone has driven a demand for real-time, instantaneous information.  This transposes into our expectations for making payments. We see these experiences converging across digital formats, mobile to social for example and we have shifted from caring about the transaction to caring about the experience. A delay or a complex process makes no sense, but it’s not that simple to change.  Years of transformation and evolution are behind current payment models.

However, that is also what is really interesting about where we are today in payments.  The newer players entering the space as well as the established financial institutions and payment intermediaries are heavily embracing technology and change.  Whether it takes the form of competition or partnership, the industry is moving forward at a very fast pace.  The real-time payments schemes are just the enabling rails for terrific innovation.  We have a new customer anticipating huge benefits from adding real-time processing to their foreign exchange services.

We see all types of FinTechs, but also banks and processors, launching creative new services, where real-time payments are a cornerstone to these offerings and in many cases are the foundation to delivering the user experience.

 


PYMNTS (2016) How to make UK faster payments faster. Available at: http://www.pymnts.com/news/security-and-risk/2016/uk-faster-payments/ (Accessed: 17 June 2016).

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No contactless card? That’ll be 10p extra – the Subway charging people MORE to use Chip and PIN

After a surprised customer in Bristol was informed paying by chip and PIN would cost 10p MORE than using a contactless card, we take a look at your rights.

Contactless payments let you buy goods of up to £30 just by waving your card, wristband, phone or any other contactless device by the reader in the shop.

But they also come with some pretty serious security risks – meaning many people are choosing to leave theirs at home or not upgrade.

Others simply have cards that aren’t enabled yet – with many of these not set to be replaced for some years – meaning they couldn’t pay with contactless if they wanted to.

None of this would be a problem, except now some people are charging customers MORE to use a chip and PIN terminal – even though the card companies charge the same amount.

Bill was faced with this charge at Subway in Brislington, Bristol, where customers were being asked to pay 10p more for using a debit card that wasn’t contactless.

He’s not the only one to be charged.

Is that even allowed?


Contactless debit and credit cards

In Bill’s case we know that his card issuer, Visa, charges exactly the same amount in fees for contactless and Chip and PIN transactions- but there’s no reason the retailer can’t impose its own fees.

“All SUBWAY® stores are independently owned and operated by franchisees, who are independent business owners,” Subway told Mirror Money.

“On this occasion the franchisee for the Brislington store has opted to enact a debit card charge and has placed a sign at the till point making customers aware of this.”

The government only bans “excessive” card surcharges and there are a number of legitimate reasons shops could impose small ones.

Firstly, retailer’s own banks charge a fee to process card transactions – the UK cards association told Mirror Money – while fees for hiring terminals might also be different for chip and PIN and contactless cards.

As these are set between the shop and its bank, they could easily vary for different types of transactions.

There could also be a standard fee that the shop chooses to waive for contactless card transactions, but not Chip and PIN, as they are quicker and let the shop serve more customers.

Will it spread?

A customer holds a 10 pound British banknote, next to a Verifone Systems
Putting in your PIN could cost you

Card transactions cost retailers, although this has been capped at an average of 0.2% (2p per £10) for debit cards and 0.3% (3p per £10) for credit cards in the EU.

However, these are generally waived for customers by big stores – and fees only imposed in smaller shops for transactions below a certain level.

But with contactless payments so much quicker, the idea of charging people an additional fee for using Chip and PIN to compensate for the extra time it takes to pay is something that might well catch on.

If you’re looking to avoid being charged for not having a card, contact your bank or building society and they should be able to issue you a contactless enabled debit card.

If you’re worried about security on this card, we’ve got a full breakdown on how to stop cards being read from your wallet or purse here.

 


Andrews, J. (2015) No contactless card? That’ll be 10p extra at this shop. Available at: http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/no-contactless-card-thatll-10p-7063341 (Accessed: 10 June 2016).

 

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Payment card data attacks worry over half of UK and US businesses

Well over half (60 percent) of US and 52 percent of UK enterprises feel that an attack on payment card data is likely or more than likely.

Semafone conducted a survey during the summer of 2015 on the attitudes and practices of UK and US payments professionals. Contact centres have seen to decrease in payments conducted over the phone. Volume of payments made over the phone have increased or remained the same during the last two years according to 87 percent of UK respondents and 84 percent of US.

Eighty three percent of all respondents (79 percent of US and 86 percent of UK) felt that loss of customers or brand damage would be the worst effects of a payment card data breach. Crisis communication plans have been put into place in case of a payment card data breach for 68 percent of UK respondents and 51 percent of US.

Contact centres don’t seem to be prepared for possible attacks as only 46 percent of respondents said that they maintain a full set of Payment Card Industry (PCI) controls to lower the risk of an attack. Eighty one percent of respondents said that they ask their customers to say their card details out loud on the phone.

“Both card and telephone fraud are on the increase in the US and the UK, but it’s clear that there is more work to be done to put the right security measures in place. It’s good to see that organisations are waking up to the threat of attack and recognising the reputational damage a breach can bring, but we all need to move faster if we want to avoid more large-scale incidents,” said Tim Critchley, CEO of Semafone.

 


Payment card data attacks worry over half of UK and US businesses (2016) Available at: http://www.scmagazine.com/payment-card-data-attacks-worry-over-half-of-uk-and-us-businesses/article/464384/ (Accessed: 10 June 2016).

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Restaurant where cash is off the menu: Tossed will become first chain to only accept payments by card or on mobile apps

A restaurant has opened which won’t take your order, and won’t take your cash.

High street food chain Tossed has become the first in the UK to stop accepting coins or notes and only take payments by credit or debit cards, or contactless methods such as Apple Pay.

Two new outlets in central London will not only refuse cash payments, but they will also require customers to place their orders using self-service kiosks – akin to those in supermarkets.

The new systems will replace manned tills entirely, and will invite customers to choose their food using touch-screen menus.

The modernised outlets will have 15 self-service kiosks and customers will be able to pick food up from a collection point, whether they have ordered in-store or through Tossed’s website or mobile phone app.

Tossed, which specialises in healthy salads and wraps, said its goal was to make the customer experience slicker and free-up staff to make fresh meals.

It is also seeking to remove paper from its shops in a bid to be more environmentally friendly.

Vincent McKevitt, founder of Tossed, said: ‘Most operators face speed and capacity issues at lunchtime, but ours are intensified because we make our food fresh-to-order and most guests like to customise their food to suit their health and taste requirements.

Tossed plans to roll out the cashless self-service model to all of its 26 restaurants across the UK

Tossed plans to roll out the cashless self-service model to all of its 26 restaurants across the UK

‘This unique solution allows our team to focus their energy on our speed of production.

‘Guest feedback from the trials has been very positive: people like to be able browse in their own time and customise what they eat, completing a great experience with tasty, bespoke, healthy food, served quickly.’

Tossed plans to roll out the cashless self-service model to all of its 26 restaurants.

 


Reporter, E.D.C. (2016) Tossed will become first chain to only accept card or mobile payment. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3490675/Restaurant-cash-menu-Tossed-chain-accept-payments-card-mobile-apps.html (Accessed: 10 June 2016).

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iZettle’s boss is on a mission to kill cash

iZettle’s black card terminals are letting Shoreditch coffee houses and sole traders ditch cash.

“Getting rid of hardware, I think that’s the future of payments.”

That’s a bold claim, especially from a man whose business has, until recently, revolved around building the card readers favoured by quirky cafes and sole traders.

Jacob de Geer co-founded iZettle in Stockholm in 2010, at a time when card payments were exploding in popularity across Europe.

As we increasingly moved away from cash to card, small shops and retailers struggled to take card payments without signing long onerous contracts or paying huge fees to banks and payments companies more interested in serving large supermarkets.

“What we saw is that the need for taking cards was enormous, but what we realised is that many of the smaller merchants were reluctant to adopt this new technology, whether that was from a fear of the upfront costs or overheads on their business,” de Geer told The Memo.

Today if you’ve been into an independent coffee shop, bike store or had a handyman come out to your house, chances are you might have been handed one of iZettle’s card reader devices to pay with.

That’s because iZettle doesn’t charge monthly subscription fees or set-up costs for these small retailers to take card payments, it’s just a free (or cheap) iZettle terminal and then a small transaction fee.

A contactless country

It’s not just quirky coffee shops, in the UK with London’s black cabs being ordered to start accepting card payments by October, many cabbies are looking at iZettle as the quickest, easiest way to achieve this.

iZettle has even put together a TfL-approved contactless card payment bundle for drivers to take card payments.

De Geer says the UK is by far iZettle’s fastest-growing market, outstripping even the company’s home market.

“The UK is even more advanced than Sweden, especially when it comes to contactless. Still in Sweden you can’t find contactless cards being issued by banks.”

Indeed Brits have swarmed to using contactless. In March we spent a combined £1.5bn with contactless, an all-time record, just four months after we passed the previous monthly record of £1bn with contactless.

De Geer says Britain has now reached a contactless “inflection point” where the sheer momentum of contactless cards and shops accepting contactless are rapidly accelerating, part of the reason iZettle has grown so quickly in the UK.

But building new card readers and hardware isn’t de Geer’s ultimate goal, iZettle is on a mission to move beyond payments.

“Getting rid of hardware, I think that’s the future of payments.”

iZettle lets small businesses take card payments across 12 countries.

iZettle lets small businesses take card payments across 12 countries.

The next lenders

Last year de Geer raised €60m in funding and announced an expansion of iZettle to include cash advances for its customers.

Now your favourite small coffee shop can borrow against its sales history and use the money to invest in higher quality coffee beans, hiring new baristas or even a opening a new store.

Since the financial crisis it’s this kind of borrowing that traditional banks have been reluctant to offer, leaving these small companies and sole traders in difficulty, now a host of new lenders are springing up to serve this market.

If small businesses borrowing against their sales history sounds familiar, it could be because PayPal, Amazon and Square (iZettle’s US rival) all began offering similar services over the past year.

But that’s not something that worries de Geer.

“There will be plenty of players in this space, SMEs have been painfully underserved.”

“I think we have one of the strongest merchant acquiring machines going in the offline space [with iZettle’s payment terminals attracting new retailers who might go on to borrow from iZettle], we’re much stronger than PayPal,” he says.

Still, PayPal and Amazon have both had long head-starts in lending to small businesses, and neither has claimed to have seen much success in the space.

Today de Geer is confident iZettle can do better.

 


IZettle’s boss is on a mission to kill cash (2016) Available at: http://www.thememo.com/2016/05/23/izettles-jacob-de-geer-is-on-a-mission-to-kill-cash/ (Accessed: 10 June 2016).