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WHAT WILL SALES LOOK LIKE IN A POST COVID-19 WORLD?

Max Eaglen, Director at Platform Group, looks at how businesses will need to re-shape their sales techniques in a post COVID – 19 landscape.

 

As every business owner knows new business development is part and parcel of the everyday when you run your own business, interweaved in business as usual.  However, with the global outbreak of COVID-19 there is no longer ‘business as usual’ and for some companies no business at all.

For senior management teams the challenge today is how to balance spreadsheets while protecting the wellbeing and jobs of their staff. In the midst of all of this, the question is, what will our new working world look like?

 

The Advancement of Tech

We all know there has had to be a complete change of mindset of how businesses are working – we’ve all had to adapt fast from businesses implementing working from home policies to small retailers arranging home deliveries. Those who have shown agility and have transitioned seamlessly have been the ones able to get up and running sooner rather than later. However, what the new world has illustrated is how easy it is to be virtual – whether via communication in the office or showcasing a house for sale.  Automation and technology will continue to be more important in the new world with the use of VR and AR advancing at a pace. Customers will be used to, and more comfortable, being sold through virtual platforms and those with applications that help customers demonstrate the benefits of their products and services in a bespoke scenario will be those whose sales rocket rather than plunge.

 

Social Credentials 

When crises hit, people react in one of two ways – either they reflect inwards on how the crisis will affect them and look at ways to protect themselves – hence the stockpiling of toilet rolls – or they look outwards towards ways to help others.  This second approach, illustrated by the 750,000 people who signed up to be NHS volunteers and the £ 33m raised by Captain Tom’s 100 laps of his garden walk, is deemed to make a long-lasting impact on the world.  Selling in this environment becomes different with companies having to show their social responsibility and social value credentials as well as their product or service benefits. Illustrating and communicating social values to both employees and customers could be a key component in the future of your sales process.

 

Brand agility and loyalty

Everything we thought we knew has been turned on its head.  Established brands might have gone bust and products and services we liked are no longer available to us. Those brands that have acted responsibly – have shown themselves to be robust and have driven confidence during the crisis – will be ones that customers will be gravitate to.  Brands like Louis Vuitton who have switched production from high end fashion to make face masks, restaurant chain Leon that has provided 50% meals for the NHS, Timpson the shoe repair retailer that has kept up its staff on full pay while closed – these will be the brands that customers will open their hearts (and purses) to when it comes to selling.

At Platform we know how difficult some of the challenges our clients are facing are and we are looking to help them to adapt to these challenges – whether that is with our new virtual world software StoryScape3D or through our workplace design which is supporting businesses to incorporate measures such as social distancing within the office. It is clear that life (including our working lives) will be unlikely to go back to normal in the near future (if at all) and we will all have to adjust our business strategies. As we move forward we understand that selling is going to be different, which could lead to new opportunities for companies to flourish through collaboration and creating solutions together.

 

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ATOM BANK CHOOSES SUREPAY TO PREVENT FRAUD AND MISDIRECTED ONLINE PAYMENTS

  • Since launching in the UK, SurePay’s Confirmation of Payee solution is checking over 25 per cent of all UK payments
  • Recent research from UK Finance found there was a significant spike in fraud in the first half of 2020, with internet banking fraud reaching almost £65m and impersonation scams reaching 15,000 cases

 

SurePay has today announced another successful implementation of it’s UK Confirmation of Payee solution for the UK’s first app-based bank, Atom bank. The Financial Technology company from the Netherlands is already responsible for checking over 95 per cent of all Dutch payments with the IBAN-Name Check and its Confirmation of Payee solution checks 25 per cent of all online payments in the UK.

According to research from UK Finance in the first-half of 2020 losses to customers of internet banking fraud jumped by 32 per cent to £64.3m, with cases doubling from the same period in 2019 to just over 21,000. Impersonation scams have also been on the rise, with more fraudsters pretending to be trusted organisations, with 15,000 cases reported.

 

Confirmation of Payee in the UK

SurePay developed a Confirmation of Payee solution to comply with all relevant UK rules and regulations. The service enables payers to verify that the payee’s name and sort code match so they can prevent transferring money to the wrong person or business, whether by intent (payment fraud) or unintentionally (misdirected payments). Second is that in an onboarding process you’re able to verify the contra account of the potential customer.

The algorithm detects and interprets subtle differences between payee details entered by the payer and the payee details officially registered at the bank. The service aims to significantly reduce the number of payments made in error, prevent fraudulent transfers and provide users with peace of mind when making a credit transfer online. Most importantly, the algorithm will not interfere with correct payments because the entered details are verified instantly and the user experience is unaffected.

In June of this year, SurePay announced its solution was being provided to NatWest Group.

 

Richard Koldewijn, Business Development Manager UK, commented: “Our mission is to make online payments personal, easy to use and even more secure. With all the things 2020 has thrown at the world, fraud has been on the rise as more people are willing to take advantage of the vulnerable. With Confirmation of Payee, we’re able to offer banks a way to help protect more people. We are excited to partner with Atom bank to help protect their customers against fraud and will continue working on further solutions for the UK and Europe.”

 

Roger Mackintosh, Head of Payments and Partnerships for Atom bank, added: “Keeping customers money safe is our top priority and we’re working tirelessly to make sure our customers have the best technology to protect them. We’re impressed with the work SurePay has done to date and the ability to implement Confirmation of Payee so quickly.”

SurePay has already performed almost 3 billion checks since 2016. In the UK SurePay has performed over 30 million checks, with more than 300,000 checks every day with sub-second response time. In the Netherlands, SurePay realised a drop in fraud and scams of 81 per cent and 67 per cent drop in misdirected payments.

 

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THE CENTRAL BANK OF IRELAND GRANTS MODULR AN EMI LICENCE

  • The European arm of Modulr has been established to provide services to customers across the European Union
  • Modulr will drive instant payments expertise into the Eurozone, to radically transform wholesale and commercial payments
  • Powering the payments infrastructure of Sage, Revolut, Mode and Iwoca, Modulr’s European ambitions are hotly anticipated by the European software businesses to enable payment capabilities for their customers

 

UK and Ireland-based FinTech Modulr has today announced it has secured an electronic money institution (EMI) licence from the Central Bank of Ireland for its Dublin-based entity, Modulr FS Europe Limited (638002), (hereafter referred to as Modulr Europe).

Modulr Europe was granted an EMI licence by the Central Bank of Ireland and plans to provide services to customers across the European Union.

Following strong business growth in the UK over the past four years, the newly granted EMI licence will enable the FinTech to offer an extensive suite of payments products, including its award-winning payments platform, through its powerful API to EU markets.

The team at Modulr also brings its significant expertise of real-time payments to SEPA Instant, the euro’s instant payments scheme. Modulr will draw on its experience of Faster Payments to unlock the potential of the new scheme by providing efficient access for European software companies, merchants, specialist banks and more.

The true potential of a digital API-led alternative to commercial payments will rely upon an agile and efficient ‘behind the scenes’ payments process, which has historically been inaccessible and unaffordable to SMEs and enterprise alike. This information comes from soon to be published research commissioned by

Modulr, which reveals contemporary insight not only into the hard cost of payment processes but the hidden impact on customer experience as well.

 

Myles Stephenson, Chief Executive, Modulr comments: “We are delighted to have been granted an EMI licence by the Central Bank of Ireland. The opportunity for a digital alternative to commercial and wholesale transaction banking is significant as software businesses across multiple industry sectors are identifying the need to deliver new functionality and efficiencies to their customers by embedding payments in customer journeys. We plan to build a truly digital, frictionless payments infrastructure for software platform partners to provide new payment experiences to more than 500m people.

“We believe that our depth of experience in digital payments and API integration makes us the perfect partner for European businesses seeking to transform the way they make, receive and manage payments. Traditional banks face clear challenges in making embedded payments a reality via developer-friendly and seamless APIs.”

 

John Irwin, General Manager, Modulr Europe comments: “The granting of the licence is a significant milestone for Modulr’s European operations in Dublin and ambitions for the European market. Our digital platform and experience can transform the payments business. For too long, European payments have relied on the same technologies.

“We look forward to automating payment flows, embedding payments within customers platforms and enabling them to focus on their core business. This will shore up the hidden inefficiencies prevalent in many payment processes today making payments a competitive advantage.”

Modulr has moved over £40bn for customers including Sage, Revolut and Paxport through its platform which has an uptime of 99.999%.

Modulr provides this scale, reliability, and premium service by investing in its own financial access and achieving principal and direct access to critical payments infrastructure where possible.

 

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