We seek to drive beyond industry best practice in everything we do, and set the standard as an innovative business partner. This includes the way that we think about our own sustainability programme, and the positive impact that we can have in communities where people use payments to support their day-to-day lives. We evolve our Responsible Business programme to recognise current social and environmental impacts that could affect our business and our surrounding communities.
Achieving Vocalink’s vision of shaping the global payments landscape requires the right partnerships. The acquisition by Mastercard will unleash new opportunities and new synergies by leveraging the footprint of a leading global brand. This is an exciting step for the company and one that will make us a global leader in payment technology.
Due to our strength and success, more and more people are joining our company, so we put a huge focus on revamping our office environments to facilitate new ways of working. Recently, we’ve worked closely with our colleagues in Rickmansworth to replicate what we did at our London headquarters, and at our Yorkshire office to deliver an open plan, flexible working environment, improving cross-team collaboration.
Our ongoing commitment to improving the working lives of everyone at Vocalink has already delivered results, not just in terms of positive internal feedback, but also in terms of the success the business has recently achieved.
In recognition of our efforts to improve and develop the working lives of all our colleagues, in 2016 Vocalink was awarded Gold against the Investors in People (IIP) 6th generation framework. The independently assessed award includes stringent measurement of a company’s performance across 27 themes in nine different areas. Vocalink was ranked as ‘High Performing’, the highest possible level, in ten out of the 27 themes, including all three themes in the ‘creating sustainable success’ category.
The assessor’s feedback report showed that since our last assessment in 2013, colleagues now consider our culture more open, participative and collaborative, and that people feel more involved in decision-making and planning. In 2016 we also retained our 1 Star Best Companies Staff Satisfaction rating, achieving another of our corporate objectives as we ended the year.
Our products deliver real social impact. Our IPS solution continues to gain traction overseas, empowering global economies to move money in real-time, and our current account switch service has managed more than 3 million account switches in the last three years – offering more choice and opening up competition within the UK market.
Amongst these new services, Pay by Bank app, launched in 2016 with Barclays Pingit, allows payments to be made in real time, directly from a customer’s bank account via the mobile banking app. By tapping into the popularity of mobile banking apps in the UK, Pay by Bank app delivers a more secure payment option. Similarly, Paym, our mobile person-to-person payment solution offers a revolution in enabling small or micro payments between mobile devices, with a fast, easy identification and selection process for payees.
And our Accura system is currently providing data and insights to financial institutions, helping them to fight the growing problem of global transaction fraud. Further afield, Thailand has seen more than 1.3 million people register for their new national identity scheme for all Thai citizens – ‘PromptPay’.
We focus on developing community links so that we’re more engaged with local businesses and small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s). Working in partnership with our local Chamber of Commerce, we’ve improved our understanding of local suppliers and services and how we might use or support them. For 2017, we’ve moved away from having a stand-alone objective, and this year Responsible Business forms part of each company-wide objective – reinforcing the fact that the impact we have on society and the environment is an essential aspect of all our business activity.
As a critical national infrastructure it’s important that we operate in a sustainable way in everything we do. Our data centres account for approximately 80-90% of our energy spend each year, so it’s important that we consider the efficiencies of our infrastructure. We have undertaken many upgrades including a data centre cooling system and the installation of a heat recovery system to improve our air conditioning. We’re proud to have maintained our zero waste to landfill status and to be members of Simply Cups, the UK’s only collection and recycling service dedicated to turning paper cups into second-life materials.
We recognise the long-term benefits of giving something back to our local communities, so we offer all colleagues one volunteering day per year to share their skills and expertise with one of our local charities or a cause of their choice. For many years Vocalink has also supported young people in local schools through Young Enterprise, with our people volunteering as Business Advisors to share their knowledge and insight.