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    New partnership to reduce payment charges for wholesalers

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    STL Technology Solutions has partnered with EchoPay to develop an integrated open banking and card payment solution for the wholesale sector.

    The partnership means that cash & carry, foodservice and delivered wholesale operators using STL’s tilling software will be able to process open banking payments at the point of purchase. Using a Clover terminal, checkout staff will be able to generate a QR code to take payments from a customer’s mobile phone with a touch of a button.

    The main benefit for wholesalers is that payment charges are significantly reduced using open banking. Bank charges typically cost 1-2 per cent of the total payment (£18 on the average transaction in wholesale). Using open banking reduces this cost from pounds to pence.

    Across STL’s customer base, up to 30 per cent of payments are taken via cards. The move is set to have instant benefits for STL’s current customers, such as Venus Wine & Spirit Merchants, United Wholesale Scotland, United Wholesale Grocers and Lubna Foods, among others.

    When offered alongside card payments, open banking offers customers greater choice and enhances their digital payment journey.

    Ivan Durkin, Managing Director at STL, said, “Until now, electronic payments could only be processed through costly traditional debit and credit card providers.

    “However, a new generation of independent, agile suppliers have emerged to offer reliable, secure, and cheaper solutions using ‘open banking’ processes and we’re delighted to be partnering with Unitas-approved EchoPay on this integrated solution. While the technology is complex, its application is simple and the rewards immediate and enormous.”

    The partnership is rolling out in two phases. The first phase will see STL’s existing tilling software embed EchoPay technology into it. In the second phase, STL’s next-generation ePoS – STL Evo Till, due 2024 – will offer seamless integration with EchoPay via a new API (Application Programming Interface).

    EchoPay is headed by James Ward who held senior positions at wholesalers including AC Ward & Son and Forward Wholesale. “Our strategic partnership with STL is a crucial step in enabling us to help wholesalers across the country save thousands of pounds a year in banking charges,” he said.

    “Through seamless data sharing across the POS, merchandise management and accounting systems, STL’s Evo platform makes accepting and processing payments using EchoPay open banking simple and efficient. We look forward to seeing the reaction from customers as they reap the benefits of cheaper open banking payments.”

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