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All-in-one payments solution provider, Kashing! allows merchants to process payments instantly and far more securely than before.

Traditionally, this facility offering has only been available to larger merchants – something Kashing! considers to be entirely unfair. With over 5 million sole traders or micro-merchants registered in the UK alone, Kashing! believes a large proportion of contributors to the UK economy are being underserved.

Karen Rossouw, CEO of Kashing!stated “For years the smaller merchant, from your green grocer to your local restaurant, or your window cleaner to your dog groomer, have been overlooked by the payments industry, labelled as a small portion of UK businesses that don’t necessitate proper payments technology.”

To combat this discrepancy, Kashing! is actively bridging the gap between smaller and larger merchants so that smaller competitors can also benefit from higher sales, safer transactions and more satisfied customers by implementing a quick and hassle free payments solution.

By enabling British micro-merchants to accept all payment methods, including online, face-to-face, mobile and on the phone, Kashing! is helping to drive the economy forward. Growth in this market is strongly encouraged by the government, however micro-merchants are frequently unequipped with the payment facilities to enable them to expand and thrive in the industry. Often, these same merchants rely on cash transactions, but with less than half of all transactions currently taking place in this way, merchants are missing out on the opportunity to meet their consumer needs with a convenient and simple payment system.

For consumers, the Kashing! payment solution takes away the risk involved with insecure payments and offers a more convenient vehicle for transactions. Mobile payments replace the current, slow, process with a faster, more efficient means of purchasing goods. Detailed billing means that consumers can pay for the items billed, or pay a percentage of the bill depending on their circumstance.

Merchants benefiting from Kashing!’s payment solution are enabled to accept payments that are secure, hassle free and convenient. Kashing! facilitates all methods of payments by setting up payment policy taking deposits, split payments, recurring billing, as well as quick and frictionless account set up. The solution also provides enhanced fraud detection and prevention methods for merchants. They are also enabled to gain access to detailed information regarding customer spending patterns and preferences, which allows merchants to significantly enhance the payment experience for their customers.

KashingKashing! in action

Kashing!’s new multi-year deal with Guestlink – one of the UK’s fastest growing online booking and management providers, is a testimony to the growing demand amongst smaller merchants for an all-in-one payments solution.

The deal, worth £50 million, allows Guestlink’s client base of Boutique Hotel and BnB managers to access all payment modes, including ecommerce, mcommerce, MOTO and face-to-face facilities.

Guestlink had been seeking a fully integrated payments solution long before it partnered with Kashing! However, numerous barriers such as time consuming registration, pricing, and rigid procedures meant that Guestlink was unable to implement the solution they needed.

The simplified approach to payments that Kashing! takes eradicates this barrier. After the solution was rolled out on Guestlink’s platform, 300 merchants immediately signed up to Kashing! This surge in sign-ups highlights the obvious demand for such a comprehensive payments solution amongst smaller merchants

Karen Rossouw of Kashing stated: ‘Kashing! Is about making payments simple for merchants and customers alike.Our vision is to provide all micro merchants, in this case  BnB’s and Hotels, to process payments quicker, easier and more efficiently, creating a more rounded customer experience – we are delighted to have such a prolific success story so early in our company history.’

Dr Clare Tagg of Guestlink stated: ‘working with Kashing!has instantly placed Guestlink at the cutting edge. Our customers have immediately seen the benefit and can now take bookings with payment out and about or in the home, on tablets,on phones or with a chip and PIN device. Our clients now have the ability to offer a significantly better service to their customers. For most it is truly revolutionary.

Kashing! on CrowdCube

The technology development for Kashing! was completed in June 2015, and within the first month 300 merchants had signed up.  Kashing!’s vision is to become the UK’s leading all-in-one payments provider for micro-merchants and sole-traders. At present, Kashing has more than 500 merchants and has facilitated more than £2.1 million worth of transactions since launching.

The Kashing! ethos is to use its proprietary technology to better equip the community, and the millions of small businesses that serve them, which is why Kashing! is looking to raise a portion of capital via Crowdfunding to help its mission

Karen Rossouw concluded: “Kashing! is extremely confident in the quality of its technology, and proud of it too. With original and transformational technology, our solution has been designed to be flexible and move with the fast pace of fintech and, crucially, is not reliant upon unfit legacy systems.

“We have launched our crowd funding round to encourage investment that enables us to build into new markets. It’s a busy market but our research shows there is still plenty of room for more tailored solutions to open the payments industry for competition with the major players.”

CrowdCube offers a range of unique opportunities for investors to invest at reduced levels of taxation. The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) in particular allows grant investors an initial tax relief of 50% on investments up to £100,000 and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemption for any gains on the SEIS shares. This scheme operates exclusively for early stage companies such as Kashing!

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U.S. inauguration turns poet Amanda Gorman into best seller



U.S. inauguration turns poet Amanda Gorman into best seller 2

WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The president’s poet woke up a superstar on Thursday, after a powerful reading at the U.S. inauguration catapulted 22-year-old Amanda Gorman to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list.

Hours after Gorman’s electric performance at the swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, her two books – neither out yet – topped’s sales list.

“I AM ON THE FLOOR MY BOOKS ARE #1 & #2 ON AMAZON AFTER 1 DAY!” Gorman, a Los Angeles resident, wrote on Twitter.

Gorman’s debut poetry collection ‘The Hill We Climb’ won top spot in the online retail giant’s sale charts, closely followed by her upcoming ‘Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem’.

While poetry’s popularity is on the up, it remains a niche market and the overnight adulation clearly caught Gorman short.

“Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me and my words. As Yeats put it: ‘For words alone are certain good: Sing, then’.”

Gorman, the youngest poet in U.S. history to mark the transition of presidential power, offered a hopeful vision for a deeply divided country in Wednesday’s rendition.

“Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it,” Gorman said on the steps of the U.S. Capitol two weeks after a mob laid siege and following a year of global protests for racial justice.

“We will not march back to what was. We move to what shall be, a country that is bruised, but whole. Benevolent, but bold. Fierce and free.”

The performance stirred instant acclaim, with praise from across the country and political spectrum, from the Republican-backing Lincoln Project to former President Barack Obama.

“Wasn’t @TheAmandaGorman’s poem just stunning? She’s promised to run for president in 2036 and I for one can’t wait,” tweeted former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

A graduate of Harvard University, Gorman says she overcame a speech impediment in her youth and became the first U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017.

She has now joined the ranks of august inaugural poets such as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.

Her social media reach boomed, with her tens of thousands of followers ballooning into a Twitter fan base of a million-plus.

“I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I,” tweeted TV host Oprah Winfrey.

Gorman’s books are both due out in September.

Third on Amazon’s best selling list was another picture book linked to politics and projecting hope: ‘Ambitious Girl’ by Vice-President Kamala Harris’ niece, Meena Harris.

(Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Lyndsay Griffiths. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit

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Why brands harnessing the power of digital are winning in this evolving business landscape



Why brands harnessing the power of digital are winning in this evolving business landscape 3

By Justin Pike, Founder and Chairman, MYPINPAD

Delivery of intuitive, secure, personalised, and frictionless user experiences has long been table stakes in digital commerce, well before the era of COVID-19. As businesses harness the revolutionary power of digital technologies, they have pursued large-scale change to adapt to evolving consumer preferences (some more successfully than others, but that’s a blog for another day). Digital transformation is a term we hear repeatedly, and it looks different for each organisation, but essentially, it’s about utilising technology and data to digitise, automate, innovate and improve processes and the customer experience across the entire business.

As I said, this was already well underway but then came 2020 and no industry escaped the disruption of the coronavirus outbreak, which has had an indelible impact on businesses performance, operations, and revenue. Regardless of whether the impact of COVID has been very positive or very challenging, it has forced organisations globally to re-evaluate and re-orient strategies to adapt.

As lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions continue to change daily life, this raises the question of how we can balance a dramatic shift to digital and the benefits it brings, while ensuring business continuity and innovation both during and post-COVID, and protecting everyone against fraud?

Digital is an essential survival tool, and even more so in a COVID world

No one could have predicted the dramatic digital pivot that has taken place over this year. Indeed, within weeks of the COVID outbreak cash usage in the UK dropped by around 50%. Digital solutions including delivery applications, contactless payments, mobile commerce, online and mobile banking have become essential components of a touchless customer experience in the era of social distancing. It’s no longer just about an enhanced and superior customer experience, it’s also about health, safety and survival.

In store, businesses have benefited from contactless payments enabling faster throughput and reduced need for consumers to touch payment terminals (therefore requiring greater cleaning, which degrades the hardware much faster). Mastercard reported a 40% increase in contactless payments – including tap-to-pay and mobile pay – during the first quarter of the year as the global pandemic worsened. Digital has also become an essential sales channel for many B2C brands. Where brick and mortar stores have been required to close, digital commerce enables continuity of customer relationships and revenue. This channel also provides brands with rich customer data, which can be used to enhance and personalise the customer experience and typically results in greater levels of engagement and uplifts in revenue.

Industry forecasts estimate that worldwide spending on the technologies and services enabling digital transformation will reach GBP 1.8 trillion in 2023 – a clear indication that the process represents a long-term investment and a global commitment to digital-first strategy. The key point here is that digital brings significant benefits, and regardless of COVID, is here to stay.

The challenges that rapid digital transformation brings to businesses

Justin Pike

Justin Pike

Regardless of whether businesses are operating in developed or less-developed economies, these times of crisis have levelled the playing field in the sense that all businesses are facing similar issues. Access to products and supplies, maintaining customer relationships, accelerating sales for some and declining sales for others, health and hygiene are just a few of the unique challenges brought about by COVID.

Many businesses in physical environments have had to swiftly implement changes to significantly reduce safety risks for staff and customers, such as contactless payments, mobile ordering and delivery options. But with these changes come a host of other benefits of digitisation, such as faster transactions, and reduced human error at the point-of-sale.

The reliance on technology, however, can also expose organisations and consumers to certain vulnerabilities. In particular, the risks of fraud and cybercrime have dramatically increased since the onset of the pandemic as scammers have taken advantage of digital technologies to target both businesses and individuals.

As a McKinsey report illustrates, new levels of sophistication in the activities of fraudsters have placed more pressure on companies that have been previously slow to go digital, bringing “into sharp relief how vulnerable companies really are”, and damaging the financial health of small and large businesses. In fact, the Bottomline 2020 Business Payments Barometer reveals that only one in 10 small businesses across the UK report recovering more than 50% of losses due to fraud.

But take these stats with a grain of salt. While it is important to be aware of the risks and challenges this new business landscape brings, it’s equally as important to have a lens firmly across your own business, industry and audience, and to identify the changes you can make internally to mitigate risk as well as improve your customer experience. Where can you make some quick wins? Do you have the right skillsets internally to achieve what you need to achieve? What technology is out there that will enable your business goals? There are tech companies like MYPINPAD that are making huge strides in software development, which will transform businesses globally.

A digital world post-COVID

Almost a year in, the line between business success and failure remains fragile. However, an ongoing transition towards greater digitisation will be the difference between survival and the alternative.

There is a wide range of initiatives businesses can implement to weather this storm. If we look at the space MYPINPAD operates within, secure digital consumer authentication is crucial to the ongoing success and security of not only financial products but also identification and verification across a range of different industry verticals. Shifting the authentication of consumers securely onto mobile devices enables businesses to completely reshape their customer experiences. By bringing together a more seamless, frictionless customer experience, accessibility, privacy, security and access to consumer data, businesses are able to drive digital transformation across day-to-day activities.

Against this backdrop, software with stronger security standards continue to play an ever more vital role in supporting society, protecting consumers and businesses from the increase in risks that rapid digitisation brings. Already, merchants can deploy PIN on Mobile technology from companies like MYPINPAD, onto their smart devices to speed up the digitisation process many are now tackling.

Essentially, opening up universal payments and authentication methods that feel familiar, for both online and face-to-face transactions, will be key to opening up a world of possibilities when it comes to redefining how businesses engage with consumers.

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Brexit responsible for food supply problems in Northern Ireland, Ireland says



Brexit responsible for food supply problems in Northern Ireland, Ireland says 4

LONDON (Reuters) – Food supply problems in Northern Ireland are due to Brexit because there are now a certain amount of checks on goods going between Britain and Northern Ireland, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.

British ministers have sought to play down the disruption of Brexit in recent days.

“The supermarket shelves were full before Christmas and there are some issues now in terms of supply chains and so that’s clearly a Brexit issue,” Coveney told ITV.

The Northern Irish protocol means there are “a certain amount of checks on goods coming from GB into Northern Ireland and that involves some disruption,” he said.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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