Lancaster group aims to revolutionise payments system

Gary Prince

Former City trader and mobile payments veteran, Gary Prince, has left a 20-year career in mobile payments working for the world’s blue chips, to launch Vibe Pay with young entrepreneur Luke Massie.

The payments expert – whose experience includes significant projects with the likes of Barclays, O2, Vodafone, BT, VocaLink and CostaExpress – has spurned opportunities in the financial sector to go into business with Massie, the 25-year-old entrepreneur behind Lancaster-based Vibe Tickets.

As managing director of Vibe Pay, Prince is spearheading the firm’s mission to make payments simple while offering a guarantee of no fees to its customers.

A payment platform offering direct-to-bank payments to people and businesses, Vibe Pay was founded in early 2018 when changes to open banking legislation allowed regulated businesses to access UK banks’ payments infrastructure.

Prince says: “I’ve never settled for the status quo. In 2005 when a big employer told me there was no future in mobile, I knew it was time for me to move on. I have to be moving forward and making progress and I’ve never done that at such a pace as I have at Vibe Pay.

“The big players are just not geared up to give consumers what they want. Making a payment is secondary – nobody wakes up thinking they want to make payments but they do want to pay for their travel or their fuel and buy a coffee in the simplest and safest way possible.

“That’s what Vibe Pay is about. We don’t shroud things in complicated tech speak or banking jargon. We just listen to customers, feedback into our engineering team and we make things happen quickly.”

Massie, Vibe Pay’s chief executive, said: “We’ve grown Vibe Tickets into a main contender for fans to buy and sell tickets and we listened to our customers when we integrated a third-party payments provider to complete the transactions.

“It was a hassle and it cost them money. It went against everything the Vibe Group stands for. We had no choice but to create our own alternative.”

He added: “The payments market is ripe for disruption. It’s stuck in the dark ages when customers couldn’t choose, they made do with what they were offered. Vibe Pay is revolutionary in that respect.”

According to the UK Card Payments 2017 end-of-year report, almost 14.5 billion debit card transactions were performed in the UK last year, 37% of which were carried out online.

By 2020, Accenture’s Open Banking market report suggests 33% of online debit transactions will be direct from customer bank accounts, representing 1.75 billon transactions, with a value of £64.7bn

Vibe Pay aims to remove fee-charging card schemes from the process and allow consumers to pay merchants in real time, direct from their bank account, reducing online fraud and resulting in better cash flow for merchants who will receive value on funds sooner than via debit cards.