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Card payments

Card payments

  • • Have faster transactions
  • • Cut down on debit and card processing fees
  • • Be better protected against fraud
  • • Increase sales
Card payments

Invoice Factoring

  • • Up to 90% of your funds released against your outstanding invoices
  • • 10% balance, minus our changes, is paid to you one the customer pays the invoice
  • • One, single, Fixed fee - no complex chrging structures
Card payments

Vehicle Tracking System

  • • Decrease your fuel bills
  • • Observe posted speed limits
  • • Monitor driver behaviors
Card payments

Cloud Phone System

  • • Cost Savings
  • • Keep Your Existing Number
  • • Easy set-up

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Frequently asked questions

HOW DOES A CREDIT CARD READER WORK?

Every year in the UK more and more transactions are carried out with debit and credit cards, at least 70%. Owning a credit card reader is now standard practice amongst most businesses and having the facility to do this is essential if you wish to take payments online or over the phone.

Before you can begin debit or credit card processing there are a few things you need to set up and the whole process could take around a month.


Merchant account.


Finding a merchant account is the first, and hardest, step in taking credit card payments. Start this process as early as you can, in case of any problems which will lead to delays. You don’t want to have everything else set up, including customers who want to pay, but have no merchant account to authorise payment. This account can be with a bank or payment service provider, so make sure you search around for the best rates and lowest set up fees. You will need to go through an application process where you will be asked for figures such as projected sales per month and turnover. PayPal is a form of merchant account, but not always appropriate for a business user taking lots of card transactions.

Credit card reader.


The next step is to purchase or lease your credit card reader. This is the device that takes payment from the customer’s card, connects to the merchant account provider and provides authorisation for the transaction. You can choose between countertop credit card terminals and mobile card readers with dial-up, IP or wireless connections depending on how your business interacts with its customers. It is possible to buy this outright, although it is more common to hire your credit card reader from a card terminal provider, who, for a monthly fee, will also service the device.

INVESTIGATING BUSINESS CASH FLOW SOLUTIONS

The process of cash flow financing will probably be familiar to anyone who has ever run a small company or dealt with business accounting. Very simply, it is a means of raising additional funds to cover anticipated revenue shortfalls. This is usually done so businesses can meet all financial obligations (bills, staffing costs, etc.) that can't be afforded due to cash flow problems.

Essentially cash flow financing solutions are short-term loans based on projected income and are particularly valuable for start-ups and businesses trying to initiate periods of growth. The most common form of invoice finance is factoring, but other methods include invoice discounting, block discounting and payroll finance. With so much choice on offer, there is bound to be one that perfectly suits the needs of your business.


Factoring choices


With an invoice factoring agreement, a factor (either a bank or invoice factoring company) will buy your invoices owed, releasing around 90% of their value to you straightaway. It is particularly suitable for businesses that find themselves cash poor because commercial customers aren’t paying invoices on time. You will need to decide between 2 cash flow solutions: recourse factoring and non-recourse factoring, which relate to the main risk: if the debtor cannot or will not pay.

Other popular cash flow solutions


Invoice discounting:

This cash flow solution differs from debt factoring in that the customer is not aware that a third party factor is involved. As your business has full control of debt collection, customer contact and record keeping, it is more suited to companies with well-established and well-resourced finance departments.

Payroll finance:

A short-term loan to cover staff wages during cash flow problems (waiting for clients to pay). Often the 30-day payment terms of an invoice are just too long to cover contractual employee wages, so payroll finance can bridge that gap.

Contractual debt finance:

A loan to raise working capital for businesses (often in construction) that trade via long-term contracts rather than invoices.

WHERE TO GET A CHEAP VEHICLE TRACKER?

With GPS and RFID technologies becoming more mainstream, it’s now possible to get relatively cheap vehicle trackers. Of course, the price of the tracking device will heavily depend on the number of advanced features selected, and whether an active or passive system is preferred - these aspects are further detailed in another article in this guide. If cheap vehicle trackers can be obtained both through purchase or leasing from a variety of providers and manufacturers, it’s important to evaluate the full cost of a tracking system.

Evaluating the full cost of a vehicle tracker


The price of the device itself is not the only cost when installing a vehicle tracking system: hidden costs have to be calculated... but also the return on investment.


Hidden costs


Buying the tracking device which will be installed in the tracked vehicle is not all it takes to install a full tracking system. Each type of system has its hidden costs:
- With all system types, collected data will need to be retrieved using specific software, and matching it with other company data may require ad hoc development,
- Also, installing the devices may require hiring professional experts,
- In the case of an active tracking system, wireless communications will need to be paid for, as well as the installation of a server - if there is no could computing solution,
- In the case of a RFID system, RFID scanners will be used.

Leasing: the best option to get a cheap vehicle tracker?


As model prices are coming down, it’s not exactly clear whether leasing the device will be the cheaper option:
- Full packages can be leased for under £1 a day, or even under £15 a month;
- Full systems can be bought for as low as £150.
Taking the benefits and ROI into account, it might therefore be a safer option to choose leasing over purchasing only when high-end, expensive systems are sought, with advanced features.

UNDERSTANDING PBX PHONE SYSTEMS

Understanding how PBX phone systems work is fundamental to understand modern phone systems in general. Private Branch Exchange systems are actually private telephone networks used within a company, administration, shop, or any other organization, in one or more sites, which needs to organize communications both internally and with the outside world. While they may seem complicated to install, these several families of phone systems offer many advantages.



How PBX systems work


PBX systems generally include telephone trunk lines, a computer with enough memory to manage calls and switching calls to the desired correspondent within the company and outside of it, a network of physical (PTSN) or virtual lines, and generally a central user console or switchboard. Equipment needed includes cabinets, consoles, logic cards, computer, telecom trunks, telephone sets, uninterrupted power supply and... lots of wires. In a typical setup, the system connects to IP phones through the internal lan, plus a gateway for fax machines, and the external network though the internet services provider and public switched telephone network (PSTN). These days, these systems are almost all IP PBX systems, meaning the connections are not made through the legacy phone system connections, but through Voice over IP connections.

Advantages of these systems in general


The core advantages of these systems is that they allow companies or offices to have more phones and numbers than physical lines, and to have free calls between users. These systems will almost always support the following features: voice mail, auto ring back, auto dialling, auto directory services, ACD or automatic call distributor, call forwarding, call transfer, interactive voice menus (IVR), conference calls, speed dialling... Also, technology used is almost always using open standards, so building a typical setup is very easy and affordable.

Advantages of IP PBX


These systems allow users to not rely on another line for telephony, as all call and computer data is channelled through the internet on IP protocol.
- This obviously allows businesses to use voice over IP (VoIP) technologies.
- Telephony services using the internet to channel calls are called Sip trunks, and allow users to have a great number of simultaneous calls on the same line, with cheap call rates.
- Mobile working is made possible as all that users need to connect to the company’s phone network is an internet connection, wherever they are in the world.

ASSESSING UK FUEL CARD PROVIDERS

You have plenty of options when it comes to choosing your fuel card provider. You can go with well-known brands such as Shell, Texaco or Esso. They will either offer you access to pay at their own sites (a branded network) or across a number of different sites (multi-branded networks) which might also include certain supermarket petrol stations.
Once you have chosen your fuel card supplier, you need to fill in a short application and wait for account activation. This is a very quick and easy process.

Each of the main fuel card providers has slightly different contracts, offers, terms and price structures. This quick guide to the UK’s most popular providers should help you make the right choice.


- Allstar: one of the largest UK fuel card providers, with 8,000 participating filling stations. They find the best price no matter what your fleet size, and work in partnership with vehicle service providers such as Kwikfit and ATS.
- BP: With the largest nationwide network of service stations, BP offer excellent customer service and online account management as well as great coverage, especially on motorways. They offer a PIN-enabled bunker fuel card with fixed diesel prices at most sites and the BP Plus card, one of the UK’s (and Europe’s) most widely accepted cards.
- Bunkercard: cater for larger HGV businesses and hauliers, focusing on motorway sites and low-priced diesel. They offer a dedicated account manager with every contract and payment for motorway tolls can also be made.
- Esso: offer single-and multi-network pump price cards for car and van fleets as well as fixed-weekly diesel commercial card with a network that includes 240 HGV-friendly sites.
- Forecourt: an independent fuel card provider that offers a particularly large range of service stations in its network, including Shell, Texaco, BP, Total and Esso stations. They don’t charge fees and you can monitor your usage online.
- Fuelcard People: an independent fuel card company offering real variety for all kinds of businesses, from taxi services to large-scale HGV delivery fleets and additions such as parking and truck washing.
- Fuel Genie: offer the only business fuel card accepted exclusively at supermarket filling stations, such as Tesco and Morrisons, allowing you to take advantage of lower supermarket prices and loyalty points schemes.
- Shell: offer an excellent choice of business fuel cards and are one of the country’s most widely used fuel card providers, with particularly good coverage across Europe. They offer fixed diesel prices across the continent and their multi-network card can also be used at all Texaco, Total and Esso service stations.
- Texaco: their fuel cardsreally expand your available network of service stations, as they can be used at selected Tesco, Morrisons and Co-Operative forecourts as well as Moto motorway services.

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