* Posts by bencurthoys

6 posts • joined 25 Oct 2009

UK.gov tempts SMEs with tasty framework, then slaps them in face

bencurthoys

We just failed to make the shortlist for a tender we'd been working on for over a year.

We started off by being recommended by another local authority to our potential customer. We went in a did a demo. We established that they liked our product better than their current one, and all the other ones on the market they'd seen. We were cheaper than everyone else too. Then they started on a tender process that I'm sure cost more in admin time than the total value of the contract, and finally the person who would actually be using the software was told that they couldn't choose, because we weren't a big enough company to be permitted to do business with the government.

Details available on request. It's not just that I'm pissed off with losing the work, though that smarts - it would have been a big deal for us and we'd have been able to do it really well, It's the combination of that with the empty lies that central government tells about encouraging SMEs that really gets my goat.

4
0

Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

bencurthoys

Everyone's claiming that everyone would avoid this tax by dealing only in cash, or by batching up all their transactions to a monthly central clearing house, or whatever.

But that the moment there is ALREADY a transaction tax on basically all B2C transactions. The credit card company + payment gateway takes between 1% and 3.5%+20p per transaction. If my business took cash payments, Barclays would charge me 0.9% to deposit cash in my bank, and I'd want to consider hiring security to move it to the bank, and buying a safe to keep it in on my premises. Giving a tiny percentage to the Government wouldn't make any difference to my cash handling costs.

Admittedly, BACS is free, but I don't see everyone buying their daily groceries by BACS to avoid the fees. The convenience of the credit cards wins out, even when it costs merchants money. Why would an additional 0.5% or whatever on those fees cause everyone to abandon existing, convenient systems?

Perhaps B2B is different, and the sums are certainly larger, but if it cost me 1% to receive a payment by BACS, that wouldn't be enough for me to want to get the train to my customer to take payment in the form of a big bag of cash, which I would then have to worry about storing securely, or have to pay to pay into my bank anyway. That convenience is worth way more than 1% to me.

Whilst I'm not certain that a transaction tax isn't loopy - the Payment Card Industry provides the infrastructure that allows Credit and Debit card transactions, and funds it from a transaction tax which no one really objects to. The Government provides the infrastructure that makes all commerce possible - the existence of a stable currency and the rule of law, for a start, so it's not obviously to me why they haven't as much justification to claim a transaction tax as Visa and Mastercard have.

2
0

Beta tasting: The Elder Scrolls Online preview

bencurthoys

Having played a bit of ESO, it turns out I never wanted a MASSIVELY Multiplayer Online Skyrim. I just wanted a Multiplayer Skyrim.

https://plus.google.com/113973259536823369089/posts/fM5DHWzL9Bv

2
0

Why a Robin Hood tax on filthy rich City types is the very LAST thing needed

bencurthoys

I do pay £1 or more to take cash out of an ATM, unless I walk well out of my way to a free one.

If I want to pay cash or cheques into my Barclays business account then the bank will charge me 1.5%, on top of my costs of securely transporting any cash to the bank.

If I want to take credit card payments online then between the payment gateway and the credit card company I'll be paying about 1.5-3% + 20p per transaction.

All of these payments - including cash, which is largely perceived to be "free" - have frictional costs from the business's point of view, and we seem to cope with that ok.

If VISA can charge 2% for providing the infrastructure that makes credit card payments possible - servers and security and communications and so on - then why can't the government charge for making currency possible - the rule of law, the royal mint, trust in the pound as a medium of exchange?

8
1

UK.gov coughed over £2 MEELLION in data breach fines in the past year

bencurthoys

When the government pays fines, who does it pay them to?

1
0

Windows 7 - The Reg reader review redux

bencurthoys

"better than vista"

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/windows_7.png

http://xkcd.com/528/

0
0

Forums