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GALA TENT LAUNCHES OPEN BANKING SOLUTION FOR TELEPHONE PAYMENTS

Gala Tent, the UK’s largest manufacturer and supplier of commercial marquees and gazebos, has launched an open banking application programme interface (API) for payments. This new solution will provide their customers with an alternative digital payment option, in addition to traditional card payments and bank transfers.

The application will be powered by their sister company, Gala Technology, the innovative development team behind the multi-award-winning payment solution, SOTpay in conjunction with leading open banking specialists, Nuapay.

Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, open banking and the fintech ecosystem have been boosted by the period of lockdown. According to an Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) survey of 2,000 UK adults, one-in-five started using online banking apps during lockdown for the first time, 54% of whom now using them regularly, with the UK user base increasing to 2 million.

Interestingly, Gala Tent have also seen a significant rise in the demand for their products, as commercial clients look to utilise outdoor space and shelter to adhere to government guidance and social distancing legislation.

This new open banking service will allow Gala Tent to initiate a payment request to their client, enabling them to make an account to account payment, whilst remaining in constant communication with the contact centre agent.

The frictionless payment journey is secure, quick and efficient for the customer, whilst the business does not have to worry about PCI DSS compliance, as they do not process, store or transmit sensitive payment card information. With instant settlement of funds, Gala Tent will also benefit from increased cashflow and a reduction in their merchant service processing fees with their acquiring partner.

CEO of Gala Tent Jason Mace said “It’s a fabulous system. We have historically had an issue with our call centre personnel unable to track the progression of traditional bank transfers, especially now working from home, which can delay the despatch of goods to our loyal customers.

Open banking is the missing piece of the jigsaw for Gala Tent as our team can now take a real time payment over the phone, via webchat or even social channels, when the customer’s preferred method of payment is a bank transfer. This is especially good for our commercial client base, although we have also seen an increase in the number of private customers who want to use account to account payment technology, because it is so impressively smooth and efficient.”

Mace’s business partner Mark Thompson concurred “Because of the increase in demand for bank transfer payments, our accounts team, were constantly badgered by the call centre asking for updates to ascertain whether the payment had landed to enable them to release the products from our warehouse for despatch. I’m pleased to say this interruption has now been resolved with the deployment of this extended service using SOTpay.”

 

Partnership with Nuapay

Gala Technology has partnered with Nuapay so it can make the new payment channel available to its existing client base.

Founded in 1999, Gala Tent has grown to sell over 15,000 tents and marquees each year, along with around 90,000 event accessories and furniture products in the UK.

In the UK, Gala Tent is a preferred supplier for organisations including the military, NHS, the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, South Yorkshire Police Service, St John’s Ambulance and AA, as well as to thousands of homeworkers nationally.

 

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EIS INTRODUCES USAGE-BASED INSURANCE SOLUTION THAT UNIFIES PERSONAL AND COMMERCIAL CAR USE FOR CONTINUOUS COVERAGE

Includes Ridesharing Solution Enabling Insurers to Cover Drivers Based on How Far, How Well, When and – Now – Why They Drive

 

EIS, a core and digital platform provider for insurers, today announced the introduction of EIS UBITM, a new Usage-Based Insurance software solution that makes it easy for insurers to price, underwrite, and service drivers based on how far, how well, when and even why they drive. The first iteration of the new offering is EIS UBI for Ridesharing, which bridges the traditional divide between personal and commercial lines and provides drivers with continuous coverage.

“With EIS UBI, we are solving one of the biggest challenges to insurers as consumers increasingly demand coverage tailored to fit their lifestyle, be it infrequent drivers seeking mileage-based policies, safe drivers who want to be rewarded for their good driving habits, or drivers earning income from ridesharing, carsharing, and other commercial uses,” said Joel Yarde, Technology Marketing Lead, EIS. “EIS UBI enables insurers to innovate and deliver products for specific uses, take better advantage of telematics and deliver a great customer experience.”

Through seamless integration of data from a wide variety of telematics and mobile devices, EIS UBI can support multiple models including miles only, driver behavior, change of use, or any combination of these and other factors.

“The pandemic has been a catalyst for the UBI market, as insurers across the size spectrum look to ramp up programs. Programs to support various telematics and usage-based-insurance initiatives, including ridesharing, are becoming increasingly important,” said Mark Breading, Partner, SMA.  “It is vitally important that modern core platforms like EIS offer new capabilities to support these programs.”
Solution for Ridesharing
The first iteration of the new solution is EIS UBI for Ridesharing, which solves the challenge insurers currently face in accurately underwriting and pricing based on “why” the car is in use. Rideshare drivers may cycle through four phases that cross over commercial and personal lines of coverage: off the clock, on the clock waiting for the first customer, pickup and driving to the destination, and on route to the next pickup. However, typical rideshare policies cover only stages with riders in the car.

EIS UBI for Ridesharing enables insurers to provide continuous coverage with accurate rates and premium billing according to each phase of use, whether personal or commercial. Furthermore, it allows companies to embed insurance offers directly into the driver experience through their driver app and enable real-time or near real-time interactions. EIS UBI for Ridesharing is already in use by one insurer to provide quotes and service to drivers of a top three global ridesharing company.

 

Driving Innovation

The foundation of EIS UBI is the powerful and extensive event-driven architecture of EIS Suite that makes thousands of policy, billing, claims and customer management tasks, transactions, and interactions available for creating usage-based insurance products.  EIS UBI is the next generation of usage-based insurance capabilities available in EIS’ PolicyCore policy administration platform.

This enables EIS clients to innovate for a wide variety of scenarios from providing unified coverage for vehicles or equipment used for personal and agricultural use, to public and private carsharing, and commercial fleet.

“EIS UBI provides insurers with the tools to create and deploy usage-based products for today’s sharing economy, and to ‘future proof’ their offering as new models of car usage emerge,” said Yarde. “EIS clients have embraced the capability to create new auto coverages and use EIS UBI as a platform to test-and-learn new product innovations.”

 

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ONGUARD WELCOMES ADRIAAN KOM AS CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER

Onguard, the fintech company dedicated to the order-to-cash process, has today announced it is welcoming Adriaan Kom as its new Chief Commercial Officer. Responsible for overseeing the development and commercial strategies of the business, Adriaan’s appointment strengthens the management team and Onguard’s ongoing commitment to building its market position and international growth within Europe.

 

Adriaan Kom is no stranger to the fintech world. For the past 14 years, he has held various commercial and strategic roles at Onguard’s partner Altares Dun & Bradstreet, including as director of business development and partnerships and general manager of product solutions.   In his career, Adriaan has advised B2B organisations at both national and international level on how to apply optimal data management in the areas of credit management, compliance, fintech, sales and marketing. This wide-ranging experience and eye for innovation makes him the perfect fit for Onguard.

 

Adriaan Kom comments on his appointment at Onguard: “I am delighted to have joined Onguard, given its credentials in the market for being a forward-looking, innovative organisation. I look forward to working with the team to build on the company’s growth. The market is on the move and the strategy we choose to follow will be crucial to future success. My goal is to create a healthy, internationally successful organisation where the customer is central and our employees are proud to be a part of our journey and are rewarded with opportunities to grow professionally.”

 

Marieke Saeij, CEO at Onguard, adds: “I am delighted to welcome Adriaan Kom to Onguard. With his knowledge, experience and customer-oriented approach, I am sure that in the role of Chief Commercial Officer he will realise added value for our customers and contribute to Onguard’s ambition to grow further within Europe.”

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