The end of free banking and the start of digital payments.

With a diverse range of clients across a range of sectors we know first-hand that many people have difficulty in opening a bank account and also many want a safe and secure payment card or method, with no requirement they be linked to a bank account.

Many of us have enjoyed free banking over recent years however we are very aware that the era of free banking could come to end after Ministers announced plans to impose strict caps on credit and debit card fees due to the capping of interchange fees.  The Government recently published final guidance on the EU interchange Fee Regulation’s (IFR) with the FCA and PSR being responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance.

Under the plans, which were voted through by the European Parliament in March, consumer credit card interchange rates will be capped at 0.3 per cent of the value of the transaction while debit card fees will be capped at 0.2 per cent.

The UK Cards Association, which represents Visa, MasterCard and the big banks, warned that the axe could fall on reward schemes and new fees could be introduced to bank accounts and credit and debit cards to reduce the impact of the coming changes.

MasterCard has suggested that it could lead to annual charges of £11 on debit cards and £25 on credit cards.  Santander has also said it is considering downgrading its most popular credit card, most consumers will recently have been receiving notification from their banks on the increase to their banking charges with most now imposing monthly or annual charges for the use of credit cards.

Following our recent research with our Clients and workers, OBK Group in the early part of 2017 will be offering a selection of our contractor clients and their workforce an OBK Group debit card, providing instant access to smartphone payments, tap & go (contactless) card chip and pin all seamlessly managed online with same day access to purchase.

The OBK Group card will provide many flexible options such as advances and loans, OBK Vat and Tax rebate payments, great foreign exchange (FX) rates, ability to use the card for business expenses making data automatically available for end of year account preparation, recovery of tax for those employees working at temporary workplaces along with many more benefits such as providing additional cards for family members in the UK and overseas. 

For the non-banked, this solution removes the inconvenience and cost of exchanging cheques for cash (prevalent in the construction industry) whilst providing similar benefits to a Debit Card and access to the online world of payments.

The OBK Group is a specialist group of companies providing financial benefits to contractor and corporate clients. The three brands that make up the Group are OBK Tax LLP, In-Sync Outsourcing Ltd and SubMe Ltd.

If you would like to find out more, contact marketing.support@obk-group.com

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