Beyond Payments Services

Why it really matters for small for medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) to choose the right payments services provider.

Strategic planners in the financial services sector often define their business in terms of products that can be sold to clients. For traditional and challenger banks, those products can include loans, credit cards, debit cards, current accounts, savings accounts, offerings that are sourced from various kinds of insurance companies and asset management firms and, of course, payments services.

Current accounts (and many other accounts) include the ability to make and receive payments. Given that there is usually competition between banks and financial services companies, the payments made or received by the owners of the current accounts should be as fast and as cheap as any.

In practice, though, this is often not the case. A key reason for this is that both banks and their customers see the mutual relationship as encompassing far more than payments. Provided that the customer perceives the entire relationship with the bank as being, overall, as good as the entire relationship that might be had with another bank, the relationship will persist.

The situation is completely different in a relationship between a non-bank payments services provider and a client. Payments services is the central - often the only - product. For SMEs, the norm is for competition to have forced the price of the payments services to very low levels. Payments services providers who are looking for business from SMEs have to compete in other ways.

At Safenetpay, we think that our competitive edge comes from the customer’s experience. For foreign currency payments, our charges are about one quarter of those of high street banks. The formalities to become a client of ours can take as just hours (rather than days or weeks) - and be completed from your own home or office. As a client, you are assigned a personal account manager and have access to a helpdesk on a 24/7 basis. Payments can be made or received in any one of 150 currencies. Your customers can pay you any way that they want - by bank transfer, credit card, debit card or any one of 150 payments platforms.

If you are a (fairly) new company, your payments services provider will play a key role in the development of your enterprise. This is because payments are central to the relationships between any SME and its suppliers and, of course, to the relationships between any SME and its customers.

In other words, the payments services provider should build the trust in which your business is held - by making payments as smooth and as simple as possible. At Safenetpay, we see this as a part of our mission.

We can deliver trust in other ways. We are fully regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We offer you a UK bank account number with a UK Sort Code and an IBAN number. We can also provide you with an IBAN number for Euro transactions, if needed. As a client of ours, you have all the advantages of operating within the UK’s payments network and the Single European Payments Area (SEPA). The money in your Safenetpay account does not sit on our balance sheet, but is deposited with top rated international banks.

If you are an SME looking to grow your business, ask this question: does your payments services provider boost the trust in your enterprise?