Local independent card payments business and Taunton Chamber of Commerce member PayDough.me collaborates with charitable and not-for-profit organisations supplying expertise, free equipment and systems support to help them better navigate uncertain times.
When Kevin Smith set up his business in 2021 after decades in the banking and fintech sector, it was all about setting himself apart from industry norms. In a heavily sales-orientated sector such as card payments, winning the next deal traditionally comes first, and the customer is second. Kevin’s aim was to operate differently, making sure clients are treated fairly and offered independent, impartial and easy-to-understand advice, backed up with in person, dedicated support.
In the very early days of business, PayDough.me was called on to support the Rotary Pop-Up Christmas Shop in Taunton town centre, and Kevin admits that seeing volunteers able to use the tills quicker and more efficiently in what would otherwise have been a cash-only operation, was something that has stayed with him. The experience helped him shape his offering, to service those who don’t fit the typical commercial model that the big brands capitalise on. “Customers appreciate our expertise and integrity, and the peace of mind that we are there, by their side, actively helping and taking away the burden of card payments – irrespective of whether they function as a business, charity or community organisation” says Kevin.
“I’ve built community give-back into my operational model and proactively look for opportunities to enable charities and community groups to do more and raise more. I appreciate the impact of covid on the fundraising ability of charities and community organisations – which has only become more difficult as we become more of a cashless society”
A good example of this is PayDough.me’s work with Somerset based charity School in a Bag, who fundraise in order to distribute vital school supplies to disadvantaged children around the world. PayDough.me offered expertise, card payment equipment and onsite support for their 2022 Home Farm Fest weekend, and Kevin will be back onsite this year. Volunteers felt like professionals, attendees spent more – contributing to a record income-generating event. “Every penny we raise goes straight back into our charity and Home Farm Fest 15 was our most successful to date” says founder and CEO Luke Simon “It raised a whopping £82,500 for our charity, and over half a million pounds in total!”
Since then, PayDough.me has also supported a big Taunton community Party in the Park transform takings from cash-only to card, a local school modernise their tuck shop so they can sell more and help fund key activities for the school, as well as offering free technology to enable Taunton Pride to fundraise with tap-to-donate card machines located around the festival site at Vivary Park.
Currently, Kevin is using a number of the card terminals he keeps in stock for short-term and last-minute hire, to come to the rescue of two Taunton organisations desperate to take card payments, but stuck between high costs and poor service.
Fellow Taunton Chamber of Commerce members Liz Hutchin and Jenny Keogh, who work tirelessly for the Arts as GoCreate Taunton were struggling with transactions at the popular Arts Market running from the new Arts Hub at Flook House “We were being badly let down by our card system, with no support available and this was impacting on customers’ ability to buy from us – nothing was easy. Thanks to PayDough.me we don’t have to worry anymore, and visitors to the Arts Market now have better and more reliable ways to pay”
Also being supported are the team behind the brand-new Ukrainian Shop and Cafe in the Orchard Shopping Centre, with Kevin donating a card terminal with built in bespoke ePOS so the Ukrainians can take payments quickly and efficiently as supporters visit the premises.
“At the heart of all communities are these organisations that do so much good. Payment technology is readily available to not-for-profits and charities, but they need to know where to look and learn how to use it” concludes Kevin.
“PayDough.me sees it as our duty to help, and we take away the pain by understanding, building, then producing a process tailored to the organisation. Due to our flexible setup in the payments industry, we are uniquely placed to help in this way. Our terminal management system allows us to code and deploy terminals in minutes and we get so much satisfaction from seeing volunteers able to bring in funds quickly and easily”