Tell me about your company.
Payescape provides outsourced payroll services to small and medium sized enterprises. It offers an online service where Payescape manages all aspects of the customer’s payroll including the intricacies of payroll legislation, current UK tax requirements and PAYE.
Why did you decide to apply for authorisation as a payment institution?
Through one of our regular meetings with our compliance partner, fscom, there was a discussion around the increase in the volume of payments processed through Payescape. They advised us that since the volume of payments had grown to exceed the monthly payment threshold of €3m, the FCA would require us to become an authorised payment institution or alternatively if we wanted to remain a Small Payment Institution, we would have to remain below the monthly payment threshold.
We made the decision to go forward with the authorisation and engage fscom. They initially supported us in the successful registration of the company as a small payment institution in 2015 so it made sense to engage with them on this project due to their familiarity with our company and our business model.
What were the basic requirements in gaining authorisation?
The basic requirements included a very comprehensive business plan which held details of capital requirements, three year financial forecasts, and governance arrangements. Other key requirements were based around information security and business continuity as well as complaint handling.
Processes and procedures needed to be documented and mechanisms to comply with regulations around anti money laundering and counter-terrorist financing obligations.
What were the key challenges you encountered during the project?
The key challenge we encountered during the authorisation process was probably the number of post submission queries. Thankfully fscom was able to assist us in gathering the required information and answer the queries effectively and close out in a timely fashion. They managed the whole process from documenting business plans, compliance monitoring programmes and business continuity plans to answering all the queries.
What would your advice be to any company about to embark on a similar authorisation project?
Don’t delay in starting the process! It is a large undertaking but with the right compliance partner, it will be a more painless journey and the benefits for your business will be paramount.
Know your business model inside out and be confident in it! We were lucky in that we knew exactly what our model was and with fscom’s input, they instilled in us the confidence that it was the right one!
How will authorisation as a payment institution help your business?
We are pleased with our progress since 2015 when we registered as a small payment institution. With authorisation now as a payment institution, we are moving in the right direction in implementing our 5 year development plan to achieve our growth objectives.
With enhanced sales resources and aggressive marketing plans, we are targeting the mid-tier payroll market in Great Britain and are investing heavily in promotional activities to improve awareness of the Payescape brand.
As an authorised payment institution, we can process even larger volumes of payments, provide customers with the peace of mind that their funds are safeguarded by industry standards and increase market confidence in the service we provide.
If you have any queries on becoming an authorised payment institution, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a free initial discussion around your requirements.