On July 6th new regulations around POS terminal contracts come into force. Initiated by the Payment Systems Regulator, the regulations aim to make POS contracts shorter and more transparent. This will enable SMEs to switch providers to obtain lower fees, making the market more transparent. Statement is a new firm emerging from stealth, that hopes to help SMBs save thousands on hidden card acceptance fees. The company also announced that it had secured £1.5 million in pre-seed funding led by Northzone.
Northzone is a multi-stage venture capital fund that partners with founders from seed to growth across Europe and the US. It was an investor in iZettle, Wagestream, Klarna, and Personio. Other backers include Notion Capital, Triple Point and Tiny Supercomputer.
Statement is a platform that enables small businesses to compare card payment providers. It was founded by Ed Hardy, CEO and Olivia (Liv) Stannah, CTO. They came together at Entrepreneur First after Hardy left WorldPay and Stannah left Citymapper. Stannah led the platform development that offers a comparison tool for small businesses. PSR believes a convenience store can save over £5,400 annually by switching POS providers, which Statement helps achieve in minutes.
Every startup needs to find a challenge that businesses will benefit from if they solve it. That challenge was identified first by the PSA. It identified that SMB merchants often remain with the same provider, despite being able to switch. 92% of SMBs, including newsagents, restaurants, hairdressers, and plumbers, have been with the same provider for over a year.
More worrying is that 66% do not know what fees they are paying. The new regulations will help prompt action as providers must not notify merchants when contracts are coming to the end of their term.
After a review, the PSR regulations will change from 6th July. The new regulations will ensure providers:
- Provide trigger messages to businesses reminding them at the end of their contract term that they could get a better deal if they shopped around
- Provide summary information boxes of the card fees businesses are charged and provide an initial online quotation tool of key charges to help them make informed choices
- Allow businesses to switch card acquiring providers easily by requiring that Point of Sale (POS) terminal contracts do not run for more than 18 months
Even if merchants were aware from their terms, and the end of the contract, switching providers was a complex process, and often business leaders would need to spend precious time assessing the market. Statement aims to solve this problem for them.
SMBs can either upload their most recent provider statement to the site or provide the information. This allows Statement to analyse which payment provider is most suited to the size and nature of the business. They can select key metrics they wish to base their decision on, including charges, settlement times, and contract lengths. Statement will then provide a tailored recommendation of payment providers they should approach.
Ed Hardy, CEO of Statement, commented, “We all use our cards without a second thought, but accepting card payments has been frustrating for small business owners for far too long. 90% of contracts are still signed through telesales or field sales, making it hard to quickly search the market.
“We’re building the technology to create a more transparent payment industry where businesses can compare and board to their chosen provider online, cutting the process of finding the right provider from days down to minutes.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
For both existing and new businesses looking to keep transaction fees at a minimum, Statement is solving a problem they may not have been aware they had. Coupled with the new PSR regulations, it launched the service at the right time.
Time will tell whether there is a big gap in the market for Statement to take advantage of or whether the payment providers will sharpen their payment terms, however unlikely that seems. For new businesses and existing SMEs that take credit card payments, this is a service they should consider. If they wish to reduce costs in what looks like a tough year for many industries across the UK.