fire.com supports alternative finance providers to streamline payments and enhance their customer experience

fire.com is changing the way businesses pay and get paid.  Working closely with leaders in alternative finance that provide invoice finance, merchant cash advance or traditional business loans, we are improving operational efficiencies through the creation of seamless automated payments that remove friction for the end-user.

Other benefits of the fire.com solution for alternative finance providers, include the ability to instantly open new accounts for the collection and management of funds from clients. Seamless integration with third-party and proprietary systems for full, one-dashboard control using the fire.com API and the receival of real time web and native app notifications. Users know instantly when a loan payment has been made – reducing manual intervention, streamlining internal processes and dramatically reducing the time it takes for clients to receive funds.

fire.com has been working with Accelerated Payments – an alternative finance provider that enables businesses to free up the cash trapped in their invoices, to offer an enhanced payment experience to their customers. By leveraging fire.com’s API, Accelerated Payments is able to open multiple euro and sterling accounts, resulting in a clear, fast and transparent flow of payments through real-time transfer and information. The outcome is a vastly reduced reconciliation process time with fewer manual errors and an improved customer experience.

Dylan Martin, Co-Founder and Head of Operations for Accelerated Payments says:

“Fire has simplified our payment processing and collections function. As an invoice discounting platform, we process hundreds of transactions and open new collection accounts daily. We required a partner that could consistently meet our needs in a timely manner as well as offer the security and automation to support the scaling of our business. Fire was the solution for us and complements our Fintech platform by allowing for seamless integration. Thanks to the speed, professionalism and great product offering from the Fire team, it has assisted us in providing to the market a best-in-class invoice discounting solution”.

We are also currently working with platform partners enabling lenders to offer new funding solutions whereby they are notified via API when a customer’s fire.com account balance falls below a certain amount so they can provide them with further funding when it is required. This allows lenders to provide access to funds in real time and a better customer experience.

If you’re interested in learning more about the fire.com API or about how fire.com can help your business to manage payments, please contact our sales team at sales@fire.com

Authenticating and authorising payments under PSD2

With new standards part of EU’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) becoming effective as of 14 September 2019, comes tighter regulations surrounding the authentication of payment transactions online. A key element of PSD2 is the introduction of additional security authentications known as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) looks to enhance consumer rights and reduce online fraud by providing a high level of security that is standardised across industries.

What is Strong Customer Authentication?

It is likely you have come across Two Factor Authentication (2FA) as a consumer – a common method for digitally proving your identity using something you know (a password) and something you have (often your mobile phone). SCA leverages a similar process to authenticate at the point of payment by asking the user to claim their identity through two out of a possible three validation categories. These are:

  • Something you know (password, PIN)
  • Something you have (phone)
  • Something you are (biometrics – fingerprint, facial recognition etc.)

What does this mean for you?

For fire.com business account customers, our Firework mobile app will be used to login to Firework Online and to authenticate certain actions, such as adding a new payee, user or API token. This is designed to make accessing your account and making payments safer and more secure.

If you have not yet downloaded the Firework mobile app, you can do so via the App Store or Google Play Store. For more information regarding SCA, please visit fire.com/SCA and should you have any questions please get in touch with us on support@fire.com

Creating digital accounts and debit cards with the fire.com API

With more than 3,000 businesses now using fire.com, we are continuously enhancing our platform and adding new payment services to help our customers pay and get paid. The fire.com API enables businesses to deeply integrate fire.com’s account features and payment services with their own systems. Whether automating reconciliation, splitting funds or initiating payments out, our powerful API can enhance and simplify a range of payment processes.

Based on customer feedback, we have recently included the ability to create new sterling and euro accounts and Mastercard® debit cards via the fire.com API. This enables businesses to open new accounts within their fire.com profile in real-time with specific account details (account number and sort code or IBAN) for settlement and reconciliation purposes. It also enables businesses to create all the debit cards they need when onboarding new staff members or contractors.

Using rapidly scalable technology that can seamlessly integrate with customer’s existing systems, the fire.com API is enabling businesses across a wide range of industries to build fully automated payment processes. For example, we currently support Ireland’s fastest growing business lending companies to automate payments using our standardised API, while revolutionising on-demand grocery delivery through deep integration with third party delivery platforms such as Buymie.

Here is what some of our customers have said about our service:

“Using fire.com allows us to boost productivity by reducing the hours involved in processing settlements from an estimated 1.5 hours per day to just 15 minutes”.  Gary Grimes – Senior Operations Manager, Grid Finance.

“fire.com enables us to instantly open accounts and provide debit cards to each of our shoppers, so they can immediately access the funds they need”. Devan Hughes – CEO and Co-Founder, Buymie.

If you are interested in learning more about the fire.com API or about how fire.com can help your business to manage payments, please contact our sales team at sales@fire.com

fire.com’s API documentation is publicly available at fire.com/docs

What is Strong Customer Authentication?

You may or may not have heard about Strong Customer Authentication (SCA for short). Either way, what’s important to know is, it will change the way you access your bank accounts, make payments and how you purchase things online. SCA originates from the EU’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) which came into force in January 2018. One of the central themes of the directive was to make all things payment related safer and more secure. Though PSD2 has been around for a while now, SCA will only become effective from the 14th September 2019. The reason for this delay is that PSD2 didn’t actually specify how SCA should be implemented. The Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) define how the requirements of PSD2 should be met, thereby delivering enhanced consumer protection and improving the security of payment services across the European Union.

At fire.com, we have always focused on security and customers have been using two factor authentication for years. Accordingly the requirements of SCA are closely aligned with how our system operates today. We will issue more customer communications over the coming months explaining the changes and our dedicated SCA page will have all the info you need.

Nothing is changing for now but you should ensure you have the latest fire.com business or personal app, this will be the central all SCA requests. As always we’re here to help if you have any questions or queries (support@fire.com).

SCA is coming and together, we’re ready for it!

Shane O’Brien, COO fire.com

Things have changed – now you can too

When it comes to change, the payments landscape, like so many other aspects of business is undergoing deep transformation. This change is driven by many factors – technology, regulation and the ever-increasing pace at which we trade and communicate. fire.com’s mission is to help businesses with this change, by providing payment solutions and accounts that enable them to change the way they pay and get paid.

Central to the fire.com solution is our digital account. Available in sterling and euro, businesses can open multiple accounts under a single profile. We change the way businesses can open accounts, so subsequent accounts can be opened in real time, and businesses can order as many debit cards as required – linking these to different fire.com accounts. This changes the way businesses can manage their accounts, debit cards and payments.

Since every fire.com account has its own account number, businesses can pay and get paid by bank transfer to/from any bank in the UK or euro zone. Our mobile app helps keep businesses up to date with real time notifications for transactions and payments to approve.

To keep up with the pace of change, systems need to be integrated. Gone are the days of logging in to see if you have been paid. With fire.com businesses can integrate their systems to their accounts and cards. With the fire.com integration businesses can update their in-house systems as lodgements arrive, build in-house applications using the fire.com account and transaction data, and initiate payments automatically via in-house systems.

Enabling businesses to build deeply integrated payment processes delivers better reconciliation, reduces errors and saves time.

We believe things have changed. We aim to help businesses change the way they pay and get paid. Over the last few weeks we have been working with some great guys to create a video that explains our message. Things have changed – now you can too.

For more information contact our sales team at sales@fire.com or you can open a fire.com business account online in as little as 48 hours. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback.

Colm Lyon, CEO fire.com

Managing business expenses with fire.com

There is little doubt that the effective control and management of business expenses is a key objective for organisations of all sizes – from start-ups to large corporates. Keeping business expenses under control can help in identifying where money is being spent, reduce manual reconciliation and errors, and make it easier for everyone involved. One of the best ways to help better manage business expenses is to ensure that all transactions are correctly recorded and assigned to the right people, accounts and projects.

More and more of our business customers are now using fire.com to help better manage their business expenses.

With a fire.com business account, it is possible to create multiple users, accounts and debit cards, so a business can link staff to specific accounts and cards. For example, a business could order debit cards for all members of a team and have all their expenses come out of the same business account. A business might also opt to open an account and order a debit card for each member of staff – each account with its own sort code & account number or IBAN. Either way, a business can set up a fire.com account in a way that best suits their structure.

Businesses can instantly transfer funds (sterling and euro) to staff expense accounts directly from their main fire.com business account. For added control and security, the firework mobile app enables users to receive a notification for each transaction made and to block and unblock lost debit cards.

If you are the CEO of a start-up or the Finance Manager of a large business, a fire.com business account will allow you better track and control staff and project expenses. You can manage how much is being spent, and what is being spent – where and by who, all in real time.

Thousands of businesses in the UK and Ireland are now using a fire.com digital account as an alternative to a traditional business current account. With fire.com there are also no setup or ongoing monthly fees.

For more information contact our sales team at sales@fire.com or you can open a fire.com business account online in as little as 48 hours. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback.

Colm Lyon, CEO fire.com

Optimising your payment processes with the fire.com payments API.

Today sees the launch of the fire.com business account payment initiation API. It is a key delivery as it now enables the complete integration of the business account with a business’s systems and internal processes.

For businesses, payment processes can be complicated and error prone. In many cases businesses often create files in order to exchange data between their systems and their bank accounts. This can lead to reconciliation overheads and delays, as data often needs to be reformatted along the way.

In designing the fire.com business account API we have tried to focus on three core functions:

  • Read Access – fire.com business customers can have multiple accounts in sterling and euro. Via the read API, businesses can easily create their own applications and display account and transaction details within their own applications.
  • Event Driven – the fire.com webhook allows businesses to receive real time data updates as lodgements are received on their accounts – so no need to log in and see if you have been paid – your accounting system is already updated.
  • Payment Initiation – with this release businesses may now integrate their own systems to set up payees and initiate bank transfers in sterling and euro from their fire.com account(s).

We hope that these developments will continue to help our business clients to grow as they integrate their systems to the fire.com business account and automate payment processes. Integration guides and documentation are available – https://www.fire.com/docs.

A key aspect of this development has been the security we have implemented. In line with PSD2 regulations and the supporting regulatory technical standards, we have implemented the authorisation and authentication of the payment initiation batches via our firework mobile app. So as a business system commences a process to set up new payees or make outbound payments to staff/suppliers/businesses, notifications are sent to the relevant users via the firework mobile app. These users then authenticate themselves to the app and may then authorise the batches (either payments or payee set up). The use of another channel in this scenario adds to the security of the payment process. The firework mobile app is available in the app stores (iOS / Android) for all business customers.

In addition to the thousands of businesses who now use the fire.com business account as an alternative to a regular current account, there are a number of platforms and alternative finance providers who are using the fire.com API to automate their funds distribution.

If you would like to hear more around how Asset Finance and other companies are using fire.com to manage their payments you can come along to UK Finance’s Invoice Finance & ABL Conference 2018 where our CEO, Colm Lyon, will be speaking.

If you think the fire.com business account API could help your business to grow, get in touch today. You can open a fire.com business account online in as little as 48 hours. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback.

Colm Lyon, CEO fire.com

4 ways fire.com is taking the hassle out of end of year taxes

You’ve made it through another end of year, your tax returns are complete, and you’ve promised yourself to be more organised next year. Being organised is a key aspect for successful tax and year-end planning and management. At fire.com we aim to help businesses plan and manage their affairs better by providing digital accounts and debit cards. Here are 4 things we suggest to help you reduce the hassle.

1. Ring fence your tax using dedicated fire.com accounts.

Firstly, why not set up an account for your tax liabilities – with fire.com, businesses can create multiple accounts. So a very easy way to manage your tax liabilities is to open a fire.com account for setting aside funds to cover an upcoming tax bill. So as you collect funds you can transfer the tax to another fire.com account – in real time, ring fencing the funds.

2. Use an online accounting package.

Consider using an online accounting package – there are numerous online accounting solutions available and fire.com is compatible with all the major providers including Xero, Sage One, Quickbooks, and FreeAgent. This will help your accountant see what’s going on and also allow you to update your accounts as you carry on with your business. With fire.com it’s also possible for you to give your accountant read only access to your fire.com account so they can keep up to date with all the necessary reconciliations as you make payments and get paid.

3. Give your staff fire.com debit cards to manage expenses.

If you need to separate out your expenses, why not order one or more fire.com debit cards and link these to specific fire.com accounts. That way you can prefund accounts for yourself and/or your staff, who can then use their fire.com debit card for business expenses – online, in store and if necessary to get cash from an ATM.

4. Stay in control with the firework for business mobile app.

With a fire.com business account, you can download the firework mobile app. This will help you keep up to date with your accounts and also send you alerts as lodgements arrive, as any of your debit cards are used or when your accountant logs in – all in real time, giving you peace of mind.

When a business opens a fire.com account, it immediately gets access to a sterling and euro account. We have thousands of businesses across the UK and Ireland who are now using fire.com to better manage their payments, hopefully making their year-end accounting easier.

You can open a fire.com business account online in as little as 48 hours. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback.

fire.com does not provide tax or accounting advice, so always talk to your adviser.

Colm Lyon, CEO fire.com