Crown Commercial Service
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Building efficiency for believe housing

Using our Payment Solutions framework led to increased financial control for social housing provider, believe housing.

Enhanced servicing and support from a dedicated implementation team has helped believe housing realise a number of benefits from their new Lloyds Bank Commercial Card solution, procured through our Payment Solutions commercial agreement.

As one of the largest social housing providers in the North East of England, believe housing covers a vast area, from the rural landscapes of the Pennines to the cities of Durham and Sunderland, with its housing stock consisting of over 18,000 properties.

After switching its main banking relationship to Lloyds Bank, believe housing’s Finance team was introduced to Lloyds Commercial Cards team, led by Client Development Manager, Richard Lambert. “believe housing’s existing solution was too basic for their needs,” he says. “We could clearly see an opportunity to create a more efficient, user-friendly solution for them.”

Smooth implementation

As a social housing provider, keeping a tight rein on costs was a priority for believe housing. Their switch to Lloyds Bank was enabled through our RM3828 Payment Solutions agreement, with believe benefitting from zero annual card fees and a rebate calculated on annual spend.

Describing the transfer of believe housing’s card solution, Katy Bothick, Financial Services Manager at believe housing, says: “The team was led by Richard Lambert and Jason Platt, who have both been absolutely excellent throughout the process. They are always available to answer any queries and showed great patience when there were issues our side that led to a delay in handover.”

Enhanced visibility over transactions

The Commercial Cards Internet Servicing (CCIS) proposition has proved invaluable for us, continues Katy. “The online service platform is incredibly easy to use. Pulling reports off is straightforward and, from an administrator’s perspective, it’s brilliant to be able to see, for example, when a transaction has been declined, why and how many times it’s been tried.”

Easy-to-use online functionality

As well as enhanced visibility over spend and the ease of reconciliation, Katy has been impressed with how simple it is to manage the card solution through CCIS. “It’s excellent that you can go onto CCIS
and change credit limits literally at the touch of a button and that the whole website is very intuitive and easy to use.”

As well as fingertip control, Katy notes that the new solution has created much greater efficiency for believe housing. “It has made our month-end processes much quicker,” she says. “We no longer have to wait for the statements to come through the post. Instead, we can run the reports straightaway.”

Efficiency and control

This efficiency also extends to believe housing cardholders. “If a cardholder knows that they’re getting close to their credit limit, as the Programme Administrator, I can quickly go online and change it, rather than having to raise a request like we previously had to do,” says Katy. “It also makes our internal controls tighter, which is important for an organisation like ours.”

Zero annual card fees and the rebate believe housing have secured has also led to an added benefit, says Katy:

“My team is a payment team, covering Treasury and Expenditure, so it’s nice to actually bring some income in and contribute, and that’s been quite motivating for the team.”

“believe housing’s willingness to switch their card solution has really paid off in terms of the benefits they’ve already seen,” says Richard. “We look forward to continuing to work with the team to help them achieve further benefits in the future.”

How can we help?

If you want to bring the power of procurement cards to your payments, contact our category experts today.

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