Thirty-five million card payments are made in the UK every day, one in four using contactless cards, according to the UK Cards Association. As cash transactions dwindle, companies such as Paymentsense are developing technology to make paying by card as easy as possible.
The London firm helps businesses process payments in store, online, over the phone and on the move by providing ecommerce services and the latest chip-and-pin machines. It was founded in 2009 by the serial entrepreneurs George Karibian, 52, and Jan Farrarons, 40, who spotted that the needs of small and medium-sized businesses were being overlooked by the high street banks, then the main provider of merchant services.
The company now serves more than 57,000 small businesses in the UK and Ireland and processed more than £5.5bn of card payments last year. It aims to make card payments safer, simpler and more affordable, offering a saving of up to 40% on fees compared with the banks.
The ecommerce boom – online retail sales increased by 16% to £133bn last year – has also contributed to its growth. Paymentsense can help companies take payments online in as little as 24 hours and its policy of not requiring fixed-term contracts makes it attractive for firms trying out online trading for the first time. The business has expanded to include offices in Dublin, Belfast and Hull and it now employs 230 full-time staff, as well as a further 500 who work from home as self-employed sales agent.
Paymentsense credits the strong performance of this sales team, supported by its proprietary technology platform, for its 203% increase in operating profits to £14.1m in 2016, on sales of £44.6m.
The company is now looking to develop additional services as well as target expansion in Europe. To help achieve this, chief executive Jed Rose, 37, secured a new £110m funding facility last November.
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