Unitas to save members millions

Unitas Wholesale is helping its wholesale members make savings of up to £6.5 million in banking charges in the next year with a new open banking partnership.

The UK’s largest wholesale buying group has partnered with EchoPay to help its wholesale members reduce the rising costs of doing business.

EchoPay enables businesses to take payments using open banking channels, rather than more costly debit and credit card providers. Typically, transfers using Visa and Mastercard cost the wholesaler 0.8-1.3% of the overall payment, while open banking is a fraction of this cost.

The service is rolling out across all Unitas members. Out of the group’s £8.5bn turnover, the service is already integrated with businesses that make up £1.3bn and this will be result in £1m savings this year. If the service rolls out across the entire membership, it will generate £6.5m savings for Unitas members each year.

EchoPay provides Unitas members with three services to take payments: branded apps where a wholesaler’s customers can pay via their smartphone; credit management dashboards that enable payments to be requested by email or WhatsApp via a branded webpage; and handheld terminals that take face-to-face payments using a QR code.

Chris Gallacher, managing director of United Wholesale Scotland, said: “As cost pressures continue to rise in the wholesale/convenience channel, it’s becoming extremely difficult to continue to offer great margins that our retailers need. We have been looking at ways to reduce our controllable costs and EchoPay has been one of the biggest successes. It really is a frictionless method to pay with payments at UWS now over £500,000 a year we can use this saving to keep our prices down for our retailers.”

Wholesalers can encourage their customers to use EchoPay with the company’s new rewards scheme – VIPayer – launching exclusively with Unitas, with gift vouchers worth £100 up for grabs.

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