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Payments firm vows to stay on road to growth after buyout

PUBLISHED: 09:41 04 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:32 04 June 2018

Chris Billing, managing director of Snap Account, speaking at a Future50 event last year. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography.

Chris Billing, managing director of Snap Account, speaking at a Future50 event last year. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography.

Being bought by an international energy company will give a fast-growing payments technology firm the impetus to keep up its expansion, says its managing director.

Norfolk-based Snap Account has been bought by fuel supplier Certas Energy off the back of rapid growth in sales.

The company provides a system which allows managers of goods vehicle fleets to pay for services such as parking, washing, roadside assistance and the Dartford Crossing without individual drivers being required to pay in person.

The 30-strong team including the three directors will remain in place at Snap and managing director Chris Billing said Certas would give it the financial muscle to speed up its plans. He said: “It started out as us talking about a commercial development and went from there.

“Certas can help us to expand at a tremendous rate as it has huge resources.

“We are a very successful business in our own right and very profitable so it makes sense for all of us.”

Mr Billing said Snap had grown turnover at a rate of 50% a year for several years, and 37% last year, and was on course to increase by 50% in 2018 to around £18m. Using licence plate reading technology Snap, a Future50 member, enables payments to be taken from fleet managers for a range of services without the need for individual drivers to carry cash.

The company, which is based at Blofield Heath, works with nearly 3,000 operators across Europe, including companies such as Jack Richards and Son and Bartrum Group, covering 70,000 vehicles.

Mr Billing said its software reduced costs and removed the need for receipts or petty cash.

He said: “In the old days you would pay by cash and then claim it back but now you get one bill a week which makes it easy for fleet operators to manage costs.”

The system also allows managers to limit usage of services such as vehicle washing.

Mr Billing said that there were plans to add at least half a dozen staff over the next year.

Angus Blundell, director of marketing at Certas Energy, said it was an exciting deal for the company.

He said: “This is an incredibly exciting acquisition for all of us at Certas Energy, combining our class-leading distribution services with an innovative and forward-thinking payment solution for HGVs.”

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