Transact Payments, provider of European BIN sponsorship and modular payment, debit, credit and prepaid services, is continuing to exceed its business targets, with its latest figures showing a 96% increase in new projects completed in 2021 compared with 2020. Despite almost doubling its project implementation workload, the thriving payments and cards solutions business says it has maintained its speed of delivery and proactive approach. For example, just three months on average to obtain a live BIN, such as the ethical financial services company, Algbra, which took only two months. Furthermore, as mobile payments become the norm, Transact Payments has seen a significant shift towards tokenization as a key project requirement, with around half of its current active BIN projects being linked to tokenization. Even with this added layer of complexity, the company has consistently delivered on its expected time frames. In response to its success, Transact Payments has bolstered its expertise, increasing its team by 16% in 2021, and has created a further 18% of new roles so far in 2022, including the appointments of a new Head of Compliance and an HR Director. To accommodate its ongoing growth, Transact Payments has significantly expanded its Head Office premises in Gibraltar, which was completed this March. The company additionally employs staff based in Malta and the UK. Sergio Gandolfo, CEO of TPML comments: “We have effectively doubled our workload as our number of projects has rocketed compared to the previous year. However, we have managed to not only maintain the quality and technical expertise that we are known for, but also achieve this within our expected time windows – or even quicker.” “It seems clear to me that our proactive approach of ensuring we are prepared for both regulatory and Scheme changes, whilst being flexible and knowledgeable in delivering bespoke solutions, has been fundamental to our growth. For example, being ready for the implications brought on by Brexit, and the boom in consumer mobile spending due to the Covid pandemic.” In October 2021, the company reported that it had tripled its number of live programmes since 2017, becoming the card issuer for programmes including Berlin-based Moss’s credit card for start-ups and SMEs; the innovative installment-based credit card from Tymit; and the Payac debit card for Irish credit unions. Gandolfo adds: “We’re all too aware that the fintech space is fiercely competitive and constantly innovating. Through our expanding team we have the expertise to navigate even the most complex and cutting-edge of projects, ensuring a blend of creativity and compliance – and I’m delighted that our growth figures reflect this winning formula.”

  • Half (51%) of UK SMEs would prefer two more lockdowns than any more inflationary rises
  • Three quarters (76%) agree that the economic landscape is killing entrepreneurialism
  • Only one in ten (11%) is prepared for inflation-related challenges if costs continue to rise
  • SMEs urgently demand clarity over Government intervention

 

 New research from SME funder, Bibby Financial Services (BFS), sheds further light onto the cost of doing business emergency unfolding for the UK’s small and medium sized businesses as they fight for survival.

 

Findings from the latest SME Confidence Tracker survey , which explores the views of 500 SME owners and decision makers, shows many are at breaking point, with almost four in five (79%) stating the current economic landscape is worse than the pandemic and just one in ten (11%) fully prepared to deal with further cost rises expected. 

 

Derek Ryan, UK Managing Director of Bibby Financial Services, said: “Two years ago, we thought the Covid-19 pandemic and successive lockdowns were the greatest issue to hit businesses in a generation. However, SMEs are now telling us that the current economic climate is unsustainable. In the face of a near certain economic recession and spiralling costs, it’s life or death for many of the UK’s SMEs.”

 

These findings come as record inflation and soaring energy bills – set to rise by 80% in October – pile pressure on the purse strings of businesses, and SMEs demand action from the UK’s new Prime Minister, Liz Truss. 

 

The survey findings are stark; the current economic environment is significantly worse than the pandemic, to the extent that half of SMEs (51%) would prefer two more lockdowns to a further inflationary rise, and the majority (76%) are concerned that the economic climate is killing entrepreneurialism.

 

In addition, as inflation continues to squeeze margins, 41% say they are cutting back on investment due to the cost of doing business, 43% of SMEs are cutting costs overall, and 47% are passing higher costs to customers. 

 

In what could be a significant blow to current levels of employment, 12% of SMEs are making redundancies as part of their cost-cutting measures, which could equate to more than 650,000 jobs lost.

 

With inflation expected to climb, worryingly, only about one in ten (11%) businesses surveyed is fully prepared for inflation-related challenges. And SMEs predict further cost hikes could result in even higher costs for customers (63%), hiring, salary and promotion freezes (26%), and cuts to investment plans (23%). Nearly a fifth (17%) of businesses will consider turning to short term lending.

 

Derek Ryan continued: “SMEs demonstrated stoic resilience during the pandemic, in large part thanks to the Government’s intervention, and the provision of loans, grants and furlough payments. But now they are on the brink of an even greater crisis without a lifeline. 

 

“While the new Government’s announcement that it is committed to supporting SMEs overcome these challenges is a positive sign, right now, all SMEs have is a placeholder. It remains to be seen whether the detail of the Government’s package will be sufficient. If it isn’t, many viable businesses will be lost. And, if we don’t protect these businesses now, the UK’s economy could take many years to recover.”

 

The survey makes plain the type of assistance SMEs feel would be most effective. Providing an extension to the VAT cut is a favourite choice selected by 44% of respondents. This is closely followed by increasing tax relief options (40%) and providing affordable financial support (36%). In addition, 30% of SMEs would like to see an increase in the allowance for energy grants.  

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