BREAKING NEWS: Xero intergration is here!

At Capital on Tap we want to be more than just your credit provider, we want to help your business grow by giving you the tools to easily manage your business so you can focus on the activities you love.

We’ve been working hard to make that vision a reality and we’re pleased to announce that from today we have full account integration with Xero! Say goodbye to manually downloading statements to upload them into Xero, now your transactions will automatically be sent to your Xero account making reconciling your expenses so much easier.

This is great! How do I connect?

Connecting your account is simple – just login to your account and head to the new ‘Connections’ tab which is located just above ‘Support’.

Connections

Click on the ‘connect’ button next to the Xero icon to login to your Xero account. This will take you to the Xero login page.

Login to Xero

Once logged in, connect the business that you wish to link your Capital on Tap account to.

Organisation

That’s it – just three easy steps and – you’ll be connected! It’s that simple. You should see your transactions made in the last month appear in your Xero account within the next 12 hours.

Connected to Natalie's company

Oh no, I’m not with Xero – can I connect my transactions?

Soon! Xero is the most popular accounting software with our customers so we wanted to make sure we could help as many people as possible in one go. We know that many of you use other software like Quickbooks, Sage and Freeagent so we’re working really hard to make sure we can also offer these integrations soon!

Your online portal just got better!

We have made some great improvements to your online portal experience!
Last month our engineers and product designers, have worked hard to redesign the look and feel of the Cards page and the Premium page on your online portal.

As our customer experience is at the forefront of our major decisions here at Capital on Tap, we have made it easier than ever before to manage your cards for your business and take the wise leap to upgrade to premium.

New Cards Page

The ability to effortlessly manage your business cards is an essential feature to enable customers to self serve. We changed the layout to make it easier to see how you can view your pin, and to report your card lost or stolen. The sleek new look is designed to give your business a helping hand when managing your cards.

cards

New Premium Page

With the aim to enable customers to earn uncapped 0.5% cashback on all card purchases by earning points every time they spend, the new card page has been redesigned to better aid customers in managing their cash back redemption.
While the new page allows users to view how much points they have accumulated,and convert these points into cash, its also enables users to join or leave the program at any given time with just one click.

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Stay tuned for our next customer portal update!

-Ade Odubajo

How Flexible Financing Can Drive Growth for SMEs

SMEs are the lifeblood of the European economy. According to advisory group, Interreg Europe, they represent 99% of all businesses and two-thirds of all private sector jobs in the EU, while according to the European Investment Fund’s SME Access to Finance Index: “together, SMEs produce more than half of value added in the EU.”

That is why the success of SMEs is so crucial to the overall health of the European business landscape. Yet, far too often lack of easy access to finance threatens their prospects. Starved of the flexible funding they require, many small businesses struggle to survive, while others find growth opportunities severely restricted.

At Capital on Tap, we have seen at first hand the challenges UK SMEs face. There is often a sense that retail banks don’t speak their language or prioritise their needs. These banks certainly struggle to come up with finance offers that really work for SMEs, mainly because it is hard for them to make the economics work for a small loan.

“We continue to see small businesses being underserved by retail banks and we are trying to solve that issue not only in the UK but now also across the rest of Europe.”

That’s where we believe we can step into the breach. Our automated technology platform can run with minimal costs, meaning that we are able to provide start-up enterprises with loans of as little as £25,000 – and, critically too, we put SMEs front and centre of our whole approach.

The online application process is straightforward, with 97% of customers getting an instant credit decision. SME customers pay no interest on card purchases if they pay off their balance in full every month. Otherwise, they only pay interest on the funds they use. As well as having no monthly or annual fees, they also benefit from having no ATM charges or foreign transaction (FX) fees to worry about.

Since launch, we have provided £500 million worth of funding to 40,000 businesses across the UK. That’s why, while continuing to focus on the UK, we are now looking to also branch out into the wider European marketplace.

“Businesses have loved that our platform was simple and easy, and demand has matched what we have seen so far in the UK.”

It’s clear that SMEs across Europe face many of the same concerns that they do in the UK but generally there are even fewer funding options for smaller businesses in other European countries than there are in the UK.

We have tested our platform in five different European countries already – and have had an incredible response in each. Businesses have loved that our platform was simple and easy, and demand has matched what we have seen so far in the UK. It’s a positive sign.

We continue to see small businesses being underserved by retail banks and we are trying to solve that issue not only in the UK but now also across the rest of Europe. Flexible funding really can provide the answer here. Simply: businesses can go from having no options to having a fantastic option for growth.

– David Luck, CEO, Capital on Tap

Capital on Tap unveils an updated look for the summer

Capital on Tap has been hard at work redesigning their 5-star rated online customer portal and plans to launch the upgrades regularly over the summer.

The first upgraded page, the application page, was already released in the last few weeks. The new version enables customers to apply and join Capital on Tap quicker than ever before, with new fields included in the application form to provide an even more accurate credit decision.

Capture-app-page
The next upgrade to be revealed in the upcoming days focuses on Capital on Tap’s Premium offer, which sees customers earn uncapped 0.5% cashback on all card purchases by earning points every time they spend. The new features will enable existing Premium customers to better manage their cashback redemption, but will also allow every Capital on Tap customer to join or leave the program without having to contact the team at the office.

During the first-look reveal of the upgraded page, project manager Clare Bennett explained, “Since the beginning, we have always worked closely with the users of Capital on Tap to ensure we give them the tools they need to help them grow their business. Every update we release over the next few weeks directly addresses the great feedback we have received from our customers, from speed improvements to an even better self-management of their account 24/7”.

Capture-premium-pageCustomers can expect faster loading times and several new features which will mean they can manage their account on the go as they require without needing to rely on emailing or calling the customer service team.

We will reveal more exclusive first looks to the next upgrades over the summer, so stay tuned!

 

Capital on Tap increases support for UK SMEs’ growth through range of co-branded Mastercard partnerships

Capital on Tap’s co-branded Mastercard program focuses on reinventing the provision of trade credit to better support the growth of UK SMEs through additional cashflow usable at millions of retailers worldwide.

Over the last five years, the entire team at Capital on Tap has worked tirelessly on providing SMEs across the UK with pain-free access to better business banking and extra cashflow. A recent addition to our range of products and services, the Co-branded Mastercard program has been designed for businesses across all industries after several years of research and first-hand experience in the world of Trade Credit.

CEO David Luck explains, “We have already deployed funding facilities of over £340 million to SMEs via our Capital on Tap Business Mastercard, and decided to offer our expertise to bigger businesses as we believe we have the tools to fully reinvent trade credit”.

Having developed a direct understanding of what financial help UK SMEs are actually looking for, Capital on Tap is now offering medium and large businesses the opportunity to utilise the FinTech expertise directly responsible for the success of the Capital on Tap Business Mastercard. David continues, “Our technology underwrites each application as soon as they are submitted, with 80% of applicants receiving a credit decision with 1 minute. Once the customer accepts the offer, the Mastercard is sent in the post and received within 4 days”.

Customers holding the co-branded Mastercard can spend their available credit with the co-branded partner (in-store, online or over the phone) and at millions of retailers worldwide. They also get the same benefits as every Capital on Tap Business Mastercard holders, such as 0% interest for up to 37 days when the account is paid in full each month, real-time credit reviews to improve spending limits and flexible repayment options. In addition, co-branded partners can also tailor special promotions and offers directly to cardholders, enabling them to create a hassle-free loyalty program at no extra cost.

Existing partners have also been able to outsource all aspects of credit control and collections while earning additional revenue. Capital on Tap’s Channel Sales Director Brennig Parry explains, “Because there are no integration efforts needed to get the program started, we have seen new partnerships release within as little as a few weeks after a first discussion. Our partners also greatly enjoy the benefits of seeing their brand awareness increase by having their logo and name on thousands of cards across the UK whilst greatly diminishing any risk of bad debt”.

To find out more about the Co-branded Mastercard program, visit www.capitalontap.com/enterprise or call 0208 962 7450 to speak to one of our advisors.

Capital on Tap introduces co-branded Mastercard program

As announced last month, national food wholesaler JJ Food Service is the latest partner to have joined Capital on Tap’s Enterprise program. The program enables eligible B2B companies to partner with Capital on Tap to offer their own Mastercard to their customers and benefit from Capital on Tap’s revolutionising credit control technology.

We sit down with Capital on Tap’s CEO David Luck, Head of Partnerships Zoe Newman and Channel Sales Director Brennig Parry to find out more about the program and its benefits.

What was behind the creation of the Enterprise program?

David Luck: What drives everyone at Capital on Tap is the idea that we have the tools and brainpower to disrupt the world of business banking in the UK. We created Capital on Tap 5 years ago to offer British SMEs flexible short-term overdrafts, but our service evolved very quickly to fit the needs and requirements of our customers.

Zoe Newman: We decided to run a second service under the Capital on Tap umbrella which offered larger companies access to the Capital on Tap technology and manpower and meant they could offer trade credit to their own customers. Capital on Tap would underwrite, provide trade credit and handle collections on behalf of the client for all internal orders – it was a popular service over the last few years with clients from several industries including drinks wholesalers, constructions companies and IT services for example.  In 2017, we decided that it was time Trade Credit be reinvented and we launched the Enterprise program.

How does the program revolutionise Trade Credit?

Brennig Parry: We surveyed our existing group of clients and their customers to really understand how the Trade Credit program offered by Capital on Tap was helping at all levels of the supply chain. It became clear to us that customers wanted the opportunity to utilise their credit limit beyond their weekly or monthly orders with our clients.

DL: Because our technology assesses every account in real time, we are able to increase customers’ credit limits based on their profile evolution, and although customers who use trade credit spend on average 20% more, we knew we could do even more at both levels. That’s when we decided to incorporate elements of our most popular product so far, the Capital on Tap Business Mastercard, and elements of Trade Credit resulting in the Enterprise program.

ZN: A partner offers their customers the opportunity to sign up for a credit account, Capital on Tap assesses the application and issues a credit limit and a card. They can then utilise their credit with the partner but also at millions of retailers worldwide where the Mastercard logo is displayed, online or over the phone and at ATMs. Capital on Tap offers credit limits up to £25,000 and all card purchases are interest-free for up to 37 days when the account is paid in full each month.

BP: In return, we offer the partner valuable spending data to better understand their customer needs in addition to a competitive share of interchange revenue on all their customers’ card transactions, whilst reducing all costs related to credit control and collection services.

Who is the program designed for?

ZN: The program is mainly designed for medium enterprises with over 500 customers looking into or already providing Trade Credit to their customers and wishing to reduce their costs, and most importantly get rid of any bad debt. If the customer is out of credit or behind on their repayments, any new transactions would be declined and the partner is not at risk.

Are there different options for the program?

BP: We wanted to create a product that could be launched as quickly as possible if required, whilst also being able to offer a tailored solution to each partner. We offer a couple of options based on a partner’s needs and customer base: the first one is a co-branded Mastercard, which bears a unique card design created by the partner’s team (or Capital on Tap if required). This program takes on average about 12 weeks to launch, but marketing efforts and pre-registration can be launched as soon as the card manufacturing has begun. Partners who wish to launch sooner can elect to offer a Capital on Tap Business Mastercard to their customers. The card has the same benefits as a branded Mastercard and the facility can be up and running within as little as 3 weeks.

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What are the advantages of creating a co-branded Mastercard?

ZN: A co-branded MasterCard will greatly increase the visibility of a brand as your company name and logo will be viewed multiple times a day by all cardholders and people around them. They’re like millions of tiny adverts in your customers’ wallets! This, in turn, increases customer loyalty as they are more likely to think of your brand before any other competitors. Finally, new customers can be incentivised with the prospect of an exclusive credit account when they sign up at no extra cost to your business, making the partnership a risk and cost-free source of revenue and a marketing channel all in one.

How easy is it to integrate the Enterprise program with a Partner’s current system?

DL: This is another great benefit to our Enterprise program: there is no integration needed with your current systems as long as you already accept card payments. The Mastercard acts like any other payment card on the market and can be used in-store, online and over the phone. Capital on Tap offers a powerful reporting platform accessible to you and your employees 24/7 for real-time analytics and offers training and valuable support to your credit and customer service teams if required.

 

If you would like to partner with Capital on Tap or to find out more about the Enterprise Program, please call 0208 962 7450 today, or fill in our quick registration form here: https://www.capitalontap.com/en/enterprise

 

 

Taking your business social – pros and cons of the social media revolution

Social media revolutionised the way people interact with each other when it first emerged, and its strategies quickly enticed businesses in creating accounts to not only promote their companies but also sell to a brand new audience.

Nowadays, many businesses operate online without requiring their own website thanks to their social media accounts, eliminating costs and maintenance while gaining access to a community of now 2 billion active users on Facebook only! Your social media accounts can provide any information your customers may search online, such as your opening hours, trading addresses and contact details – but certain features make them almost more appealing than owning your website!

 

  • Low Maintenance

Creating, maintaining and updating your website not only requires a certain level of IT knowledge, it also requires time, money and resources. Social media accounts can be updated within minutes, with new content uploaded through a new tweet, a new status or a new post. You can easily update your profile picture and description, amend your opening hours in a couple of clicks and add new articles within seconds for the world to see.

While this is great and accessible to virtually anyone with basic computer skills, social media accounts can be somewhat limiting when attempting to represent your brand online as they tend to stick to the same model for all pages. If your company is usually represented by a specific set of colours, you probably will have to make do with showing them in your profile picture rather than customise the entire page in your suits. This means that the one defining factor to set your account apart from your competitors’ will be in the quality of the content you upload rather than in your design efforts.

 

  • Instant Communication with your Customers

It has never been easier for your customers to get in touch with you and your team than it has become in the age of social communities. Customers can share their feedback with you and other customers on your social media account or ask you questions about your services or particular products. The communication also goes the other way around: you can instantly share great news about your business, new lines or ask your customers’ opinions within seconds and reach all of them at the same time!

We have now entered a new age where customers expect to be listened to and responded to through social media, and the future holds some incredible tools sure to revolutionise this new relationship even further with the introduction of chatbots, smart buttons and virtual reality. There are downfalls to this too: you are not always in control of what others can post to your accounts, and negative feedback and comments could really hurt your business if you do not act quickly and appropriately. Ensure you respond to complaints, report any use of bad language and block users that have never traded with you but seem to have a personal vendetta against your business (more commonly referred to as “trolls”).

You can decide to disable any comments, reviews or posts from other users to your page if the idea of having very little control gives you cold sweat, although this could give the wrong idea to customers as it severs the inherently social aspect of your social media accounts. Moreover, protecting your social media pages will not prevent feedback, comments and posts on other pages you do not own, which could be even harder for you to act upon.

 

  • A Worldwide Audience

As stated above, there are now 2 billion active Facebook users, making it the most popular social platform today. This gives you an incredible, never-before-seen, always expanding contact list. Viral posts – where a photo, video or article is seen across the globe by millions of people in a very short period of time – have changed the way information spreads from one person to the other. If your business comes with great ideas, products or services,  a clever tweet, Instagram picture or status update could reach customers in places you may not have had the chance to explore before the invention of social media! Next time you browse on social media, just look out for what other businesses post on their accounts and the amount of “likes” and “views” they have amassed – this could be a great place to start to get inspiration for your own viral post.

You can add quick “call to action” buttons on your profiles, such as an “Email us” or “Call” button. These have become essential now that most social media platforms are accessed through our smartphones, as it enhances the customer experience and gives the entire interaction process a smooth and painless flow.

 

Social media has changed the way we do business and, perhaps more importantly, the way we are expected to do business. Although the idea of having your business talked about around the world 24/7 can either sound enticing or keep you up at night in fear, it is virtually inevitable that someone somewhere will be mentioning your company on a social media platform. Posting regular and relevant content will ensure that your social business profile is respected, and chances are the more you interact with your customers the more your customers will want to interact with you. Social media can be a great platform for marketing, selling and ensuring your customers are satisfied – Why not share the love and like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and check out our Instagram?

 

 

 

 

Getting your business found online

With over 6.5 billion searches every day, search engines have drastically revolutionised not only the way we look for information, but also the information we are presented with. Results on websites such as Google, Bing or Yahoo are far from randomly presented, and if your business reaches the top results you could almost be forgiven for sitting back and relaxing as more and more new visitors access your website pretty much organically. Getting there is tougher based on the type of business you own, but there are some easy tricks to get you closer to the coveted top spot.

Local Listings

Arguably one of the most helpful tools to ensure your business is discovered by potential customers, local listings are easy to set up and can create new opportunities for your business you may have missed before the days of online searches.

Many sites offer free local listings, including the big search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. To create a local listing, you will need to provide the name of your business, its address and phone number. This means that if you own a bakery on any street, nearby searchers can simply look for “bakery near me” and your business would appear alongside other bakeries in a small radius.

Local listings also offer you the opportunity to display your opening hours, photos, methods of payment you accept, reviews from previous customers, directions and links to your websites. It is important to note that you do not need to own a website to create a local listing, making it the best opportunity to get your business online quickly and effortlessly.

Keywords

Each term searched on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc is called a keyword. Through algorithms, the search engines look for those keywords across all web pages and display the most relevant results in an organised manner (the best results coming in first). To ensure your website shows up in the top results, make sure that its description and content include relevant keywords that users are susceptible to search for. For example, if you own the same bakery as in the previous example, people are likely to search for phrases such as “bakery”, “baker”, “bread”, “pastries”, etc. An easy experiment is to search for keywords you would personally look up if you were trying to find your own website and study the results. What other keywords do the top results use that you could include on your own site to get closer to the top?

It is important to bear in mind that quality usually prevails over quantity when it comes to keywords, and mistakes can cost you several places in the results ranking. Search engines could end up considering your site as “spam” if you use keywords recklessly. For example, “London baking baker’s bakery where London bakers bake” could earn you the title of “search spammer” and take your ranking down. Use keywords smartly and always try to put yourself in the mind of customers who are likely to search for your business.

Analytics

Once you have your local listings and keywords out there, analytics tools are the best way to help you find out what works and what doesn’t. You can track which keywords users looked for to find your website and get rid of the ones that are rarely used, and you can also get incredibly relevant data to analyse who your customers are. All of the data your site collects from its visitors will help you tailor your content to the recurring customers, but also enable you to increase your audience by knowing exactly who to target.

Once you know your targeted customer base, you can even invest in paid adverts to ensure the people likely to benefit from your business know about it. These adverts can be displayed in several places on the web, such as other websites, social media platforms but also in mobile apps! Depending on how you decide to use them, adverts can generate traffic quickly and efficiently.

 

There is a vast number of tutorials and help pages on the web to learn more about how to best use search engines to grow your business online. There is one sure way to find answers to any questions you may have: a quick online search.

Website 101: 3 tips for an efficient website

The first website in history dates back to 1991 and was a single page offering more information about an exciting new project, which we now simply refer to as the world wide web. With now over 1 billion websites, the internet offers almost everything one needs, and it is hard to think of its popularity ever decreasing. It has already replaced many services such as phone books and maps, and finds ways to revolutionise most sectors every day. Here are Web Designer Hui’s top tips when creating a website for your business:

  • Know your audience

Although your website is about your business and what you do, you must remember who it is designed for – your customers. The key in creating a customer centric website is to get to know your customer profiles. Who buys your products, or who purchases your services? What do they like to do in their free time, what kind of content do they prefer, what devices do they use to surf the web? You may already have some of the answers, but a great way to know more about your customers is to simply ask them. You could send out online surveys, or get feedback through your existing website or on your Facebook page, or ask them questions while they visit your physical business. Once you know who your audience is, you can tailor your online content to fit their profile as much as possible: younger audiences will most likely avoid long articles, but they’ll probably watch a quick video instead for example.

  • Keep it simple

When it comes to choosing a design for your website, the options are endless. You can create animations that pop up when clicking on a link, disappearing boxes, change the size of an image or text based on where the user points their mouse to and so on. On paper, it sounds like a great idea to generate visits based on the originality of your website. In practice, however, simpler may be better. Hui explains: “Make it as straightforward as possible for your visitor to get the information they came for, or to buy the product they want “. User experience is vital to get your customers to come back, and if your site is packed with long animations, as good as it may look it has the potential to slow down your customers’ experience, giving them the chance to search elsewhere on the web for the same information or a similar product. Too complex a website could also mean it requires a lot more maintenance, which brings us to Hui’s next tip.

  • Update it as often as required

Companies evolve with time, products get upgraded, services get tweaked and stock changes regularly – your website is no different. To keep visitors coming back to your website on a regular basis, update the content as you make changes within your business. Create new content to offer your customers new articles to read, new videos to watch and pictures of your new products. Don’t forget to remove anything that is no longer relevant to your business from your website, including any changes in opening hours or contact details! A simpler design will not only enable you to make those changes rapidly and at a minor cost, it can also let you modify the look of the entire site – if you ever grow tired of the layout of your website, your customers probably do too! Remember to keep the layout consistent between pages – Hui says: “Think of it as a publication or magazine: articles, pictures and adverts are placed strategically to make the reading experience as efficient as possible. Your website should be structured in the same manner”.

Hui stresses that the most important tip to bear in mind when it comes to your company’s website is to “test and learn”. Your website is a great platform to trial new ideas and get immediate responses, be it via feedback or by analysing the visits trends. If one of your ideas doesn’t work as much as you would have liked, simply remove it from your website and replace it with something new. If visits increase, you’ll know you are on the right track.

Checking your eligibility with Capital on Tap does not affect your credit score. Apply now and grow your business today!

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June focus: Take your business online

In June, the Capital on Tap Blog will run a 4 part series looking into how developing an online presence can benefit your business. We will analyse how the online world can help you reach a larger audience while targeting a certain customer profile, how you can ensure your business can be found efficiently on search engines, the ways in which social media can help you communicate with your customers, and how your website can best represent your company. Here is a summary of the exciting articles coming your way across the next few weeks:

  • Website 101

Website designer Hui gives us his personal tips to make sure your website best fits your business model. What aspects should you never overlook and how can you ensure your website generates traffic and increases revenue.

  • Getting your business discoverable online

We speak to our very own Scott in Business Intelligence to explore the benefits of search engines to grow your audience and target new prospective customers. We’ll also discuss analytics, what they are and how they can help you focus your marketing efforts where they work best.

  • How social can your business be?

Social Media have transformed the way people interact with each other, but also the way businesses communicate with their customers. We look into the most beneficial aspects of a company’s presence on social media, and how to avoid the pitfalls that can come attached to such public forums.

  • Mobile applications tricks you may not know exist

Smartphones have made it easier than ever before to do virtually anything. Can creating a mobile application for your business engage existing customers and reach a wider audience? Katerina, developer at Capital on Tap, speaks with us about application features that could revolutionise your business.

Check in next week to read part 1 of the series!

 

Capital on Tap can offer you up to £25,000 to grow your business today. Apply now and grow your business today! Check your eligibility today