Payment experts move into larger premises

A COMPANY which aims to help businesses to cut down the costs of accepting credit and debit card payments has moved to larger premises as part of its plans for expansion.

Accept Cards, now based in Elland but formerly located at Halifax, is an independent broker for businesses to help them to get the lowest rates for processing the credit and debit card payments they receive.

It was set up in 2005 by directors and main shareholders Richard Bradley and Mark Pearson, originally on a part-time basis, but launching full-time in 2007. Mr Pearson said: “We realised that there was nowhere for businesses to go to get independent advice on card processing, what they needed to do and get a good handle on what the price needed to be.

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“We have contacts with many providers and find the best provider for the customer. But because of our buying power we’ll get them 30 to 40 per cent below what they can do by going to the same provider direct.” He likened the service to a price comparison site.

The firm’s turnover was £230,000 in 2011 and projections for the end of 2012 are about £390,000. Mr Pearson said the hope is that the business will hit £500,000 in 2013. “In the last four years, what we’ve done is we’ve ploughed any excess funds back to building up the business so the retained net profit is nil although we don’t lose money.”

He expects Accept Cards, which is purely a commission-based business, to become profitable in 2013, adding that investment has been made in the firm’s recent move to new premises, which is about 5,000 sq ft. It is now based at former pub The Wheatsheaf in Elland.

“It’s on three floors and it’s really nicely done out. It is a lot more floor space for us. We’ve probably got an extra 50 per cent and there’s room for expansion.”

Accept Cards currently employs 12 people – 11 of whom are in Elland; the other is a London-based salesperson.

Mr Pearson said: “We are employing new people all the time and I’m hoping that if things go to plan we’ll probably need two more people before the end of 2012, one on the sales side and one on the admin side.”

He added: “ Our customer base has doubled in the last three years. We are probably somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 of businesses on our books. The economic situation has actually helped us... people are much, much, more looking at cost than they were previously.

“Previously, a restaurant would have just paid the card fee and not worried about it, because the restaurant was full. Businesses are much more now looking at every type of cost from gas, electricity and the usual stuff, to card payments, suppliers, everything is being looked at. They are much more conscious of cost.”

He said Accept Cards is always building partnerships with those who refer business to the firm –Yorkshire-based not-for-profit organisation deliciouslyorkshire is an example.