Barbershops may not seem like a huge market, but the country has around 130,000 of them and 20,000 use a barbershop management system called Squire. It handles bookings online, sends clients reminders when it’s time to book an appointment, pays hairdressers even if they don’t have bank accounts, and also gives them an easy way to use debit payments to pay for their salon rental. chair.
Many hairdressers lack bank accounts and convenient access to basic financial services. As a result, they often have uneven cash flows and irregular earnings that can lead to financial challenges, says a case study from Linkthe banking as a service (BaaS) company that provides the financial technology behind Squire.
“We partnered with them to offer a Squire card that allows barbers to get paid in real time, their pay and tip go directly to the barber card,” said Roy Ng, CEO of Bond. In the past, many barbers had to take out payday loans to get by between paychecks. During the pandemic, many customers paid for their haircuts with cards or contactless phones, and tips often went to the barbershop instead of the barber.
“For barbershops, this capability gives them a competitive advantage to hire more barbers,” Ng said, “and Squire gets an exchange fee for the shop owner.”
Squire co-founders Songe LaRon and Dave Salvant, owners of a barbershop, chose Bond to handle financial operations, rather than take 18-24 months to build their own. Bond delivered a fully compliant checkout module integrated with the store management software within a few months.
“We chose Bond as our partner because we were confident that they could quickly and successfully launch Squire Card,” said Salvant. Squire is considering a credit card next and will turn to Bond for that too. Bond is a BaaS platform that enables organizations to integrate next generation financial products into their existing customer experiences using i2c.
“We are an integrated financial platform agnostic,” said Roy Ng. “We partner with different technology providers, several different banks, and work with a variety of KYC providers.”
But the only payment processor they use is i2c, which provides both credit and debit payments.
“We are the only mainstream BaaS that has live customers with both credit and debit,” Ng said. “Debit is very important, really fundamental. And on the credit side, we’re excited to have commercial credit clients. And we provide a credit builder card for a fintech that has over 600,000 customers.
“Currently we only work with i2c. We wanted to partner with someone who could move quickly and had a lot of technology. we selected them several years ago and so far we are happy”.
The major banking platforms offer payments, but many of them have different technology for separate products they’ve developed over the years, while i2c has only one technology, explained Jim McCarthy, president of i2c inc.
“We are not replacing the client system, we work with software companies, the software company could be a neo bank that wants to address a certain segment, like the creative economy, for example, where their clients earn income from YouTube or Instagram.” McCarthy said. “And if that software company wants to build a digital bank to serve that segment, we provide a platform. We are not replacing legacy, but providing infrastructure that did not exist. We provide an abstraction layer that makes it easy to launch the product, and then we work with multiple banks to provide the actual regulated banking services.”
The company is global, he added, with operations in Japan, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean.
“We can support, debit, prepaid, as well as consumer credit capabilities, commercial credit, fees and charges,” he said. “The big two have too many platforms that are not connected and are based on Cobol. If you can’t quickly adapt to changing market conditions, you’re in trouble. You need modern cloud-based infrastructures that are simple. We have a platform and a code base for all the capabilities that I described.”