Goodbye Stripe charges. Hello easy payment journeys.


min read

Goodbye Stripe charges. Hello easy payment journeys.

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We spoke to Wijay, owner of WIS accountancy, about how iwocaPay took away the payments pressure for his business, and his clients’. 

Part time gig turned leading cloud accountancy firm

WIS started because a group of young graduate accountants working for investment banks during the financial crisis wanted something to fall back on whilst banks were going under overnight. 

“It was crazy; you’d wake up in the morning and check on Bloomberg or Reuters or CNBC to see if your bank is still alive, because all the banks were being sold or going under. We thought, if we get made redundant from our job, it's best to have something as a backup plan. So that’s why we started WIS!
It started as a part time gig or business venture: weekends and evenings, helping some clients do tax returns. Then, in 2012, my first business partner had a youngster and was finding it hard having a full time job and doing on the side, and said ‘you know what, ‘I’m going to take the punt and go full time’. Then in 2015 I too went full time and we built up a small team of accountants in Sri Lanka (because that's where we’re all from). We decided we could also cross sell mortgages to our clients, so we became mortgage brokers too! One of my business partners ran the mortgage division for us; my other business partner started running a pensions and wealth management division (he was an independent financial advisor); and I take care of the accountant side of things. We started off with contractors and freelancers, then IRF 35 happened a couple of years ago, which is when we diversified ourselves into SME clients. We do general accountancy but a lot of our clients are in IT or fintech.”

“We don’t like hidden prices”

How does WIS stand out from other accountancy firms?

“Transparency. We don't like hidden prices. One of the things we found out when we started the business was that accountants were charging clients per phone call. We wanted to move away from that. We’re one of the few in our industry who have fixed pricing, and our clients then get unlimited calls and a client manager.
We always add extra services for our clients for free. We refer them to insurance partners, payment partners and other tech tools. We trial out lots of tech tools ourselves, so we love telling our clients about them, and offering to help them through our partners. 
We’ll be really transparent if the clients want anything extra that we need to charge them for. But, we always put the relationship first. We know for example that getting a mortgage can be the most stressful time of your life, so if the bank cancels a client’s mortgage, we’ll sort it out free of charge rather than asking for £50.”

You won’t find paper in the WIS offices, but what you will find? Exceptional client support. 

Wijay talked a lot about how WIS became digital. But, this doesn’t mean everything is online; whilst all the onboarding and verification can be digital, they see all their clients face to face.

“One day a week we have a ‘digital day’, so we come to our office and focus on our integrations and digitalisation. You won’t find any paper in our office. When a client signs up with us, they get a digital engagement letter with signatures. All our onboarding and verification is digital. But interactions – we see all our clients face to face. This of course stopped in COVID, but now it’s back again. People don't just buy accountancy from us – they buy other products like mortgages, pension and wealth management. So, the relationship goes a very long way. This is the culture we’ve set in our team too, so (for example) we’ll pick up any call we get within two rings, and answer emails within 24 hours.  We often become good friends with clients because of how we’ve helped them on their journey. 
A lot of our team members go through our training partnership and become ACCA qualified working with us. We take a lot of pride in that, because a lot of hard work goes into training, retaining, and looking after them. Happy staff equals happy clients. 
So suddenly, the massive difference is that we have a really good team that looks at the clients’ needs and plans.”

“People want tech driven tools, but they don’t want to build a relationship with an app”

This is where iwocaPay comes in. Wijay was increasingly keen on the open banking space, and first started helping his clients with our Flexi-Loan, offering it to those who struggled to get funds from high street banks. When we launched iwocaPay in June 2020, Wijay helped us test it out!

“I’ve always been into Open Banking. We were developing our own software for clients back in 2015, and you had to pay a massive amount of money just to get a bank feed, so I stumbled across Open Banking. I knew it’d be the future. We signed up to Xero naturally when it became a thing, and I loved that I could fill an application for my clients for small business finance with iwoca through Xero. I love trying out new stuff so it was great being one of the first iwocaPay users when you launched that too."

“Using iwocaPay means I save money (fewer Stripe charges!), and clients find paying with iwocaPay easier than with Stripe. Win win.”

iwocaPay solved problems for Wijay as a seller, and his clients as buyers. 

“We were using Stripe at the time, but Stripe is expensive. And it’s just not as smooth a journey for customers using it either; they have to log into their bank account, copy and paste their card details (etc.!), and go between different journeys.  When we started offering iwocaPay, there was a massive switch from Stripe to iwocaPay; I’d say 80% changed over. I remember you showed me the payment journey and I said, ‘Wow, this is super cool. No disjointed journeys. Just aprove, approve, approve! And the bonus of having the option of making three payments!” I integrated it with Xero. It was so easy to set up. No coding. I love it. And because I've done it for my firm, it was quite easy for me to sell it to my clients and I knew they’d love it too! 
So I save money on Stripe charges, AND clients find it easier with iwocaPay than Stripe. Win win.”

iwocaPay removes the pressure from a) cash flow problems and b) having to get payment plans

“With the current economy, environment and business world, the best things out there are those that really help businesses get cash exactly when they need it. The present value of money can be quite different to three months down the line. So, cash flow is key. And iwocaPay takes the risk out of managing it; your client gets three instalments to split the cost, but you get the cash right away.

I love how quickly you can set iwocaPay up too. No forms. Everything happens through that journey you started. The client doesn't feel the pressure of going through a drawn out process to be able to access these payment plans.”


Article updated on:
March 29, 2023

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