Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Fun facts about your credit card we bet you didn’t know!

Have you ever wondered if all credit cards are the same size? Or what does the first digit mean? Here are some fun facts about your plastic...


. In 2013 Brits paid around £142 billion in transaction volume with their credit cards

. Charge plates, or Charga-Plates, predate credit cards. Used until the early 1960s, they were made from aluminum or white metal plates and were the size of dog tags. The backs had a paperboard insert with the issuer’s name and cardholder’s signature. They were sometimes kept in the stores (usually department stores) and retrieved by a clerk when someone wanted to use them.

. The first general credit cards were made from paper and had a limit of $300

. The first modern credit card was introduced in 1949 in the US by Frank X. McNamara and was called 'Diners Club'. It could be used at multiple locations.

. Diner’s Club founder, Frank X. McNamara, came up with the idea one evening after dining at a restaurant — and realizing he had forgotten his wallet.

. UK’s first credit card was issued in 1966 by Barclays.

. VISA was originally called BankAmericard and MasterCard was initially named MasterCharge.

. MasterCard and VISA are a network of banks and financial institutions. American Express is its own company. Discover Card is a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley

. Credit card numbers follow the Luhn algorithm, which is a checksum test on a number. To see how this works, start from the right and double each second digit (1111 becomes 2121), and then add them all together. You should end with a number evenly divisible by 10. If it doesn’t, the credit card is not a valid card.

. Most credit cards are the same size: 85.60 mm x 53.98 mm.

. The first digit of a credit card represents the type of card: 1 and 2 are for airlines, 3 is for travel and entertainment, 4 and 5 are for a banking or financial institutions, 6 is for merchandizing and banking, 7 is for petroleum, 8 is for telecommunications, and 9 is for other assignments.

. Some exclusive credit cards are made from titanium or even diamonds!
Do you have any other fun facts about your plastic you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you!

Friday, 18 July 2014

The workplace in 2014 – a disillusioned and unhappy workforce

Half of Brits are so unhappy in their jobs that they believe their career choice was a mistake - with legal professionals the unhappiest, according to our research.

Forty nine per cent of us are seriously thinking about changing job, with 28 per cent keen to do something completely different.  24 per cent of workers are so disillusioned; they admit that they would describe themselves as ‘poor’ employees. 

The research, commissioned by Kalixa Pro to launch our Spirit of Small Business Awards which are open to entrepreneurs, small businesses and sole traders across Britain, paints a negative picture, with fourteen per cent of employees admitting that they don’t care about their job, and many admitting they hate their boss and have not been trained properly.

The top 10 unhappiest industries according to a recent poll:
1. Legal - 40%
2. Manufacturing – 37%
3. Hospitality – 36%
4. Property – 36%
5. Environmental services – 33%
6. Health – 32%
7. Telecoms – 32%
8. Construction – 32%
9. Finance – 31%
10. Government/public services – 30%

The results, don’t paint a great picture for the legal profession; 54 per cent of those working in this sector fear their career was a mistake and 37 per cent are looking at changing industry.  In addition two thirds of those working in property say their career was a mistake, while 39 per cent of those in hospitality are looking to change industry.

A further 47 per cent of employees think they have gone as far as they can in their profession and worryingly 43 per cent of 35-44 year olds say they have already hit their career ceiling.  Two in ten of us think our job is ‘meaningless’ and too stressful, with another 15% saying their hours are too long.
This disillusionment is leading seventy per cent of the British workforce to consider working for themselves.  Many people are looking for the opportunity to do something they love – nearly half (46%), in fact. A third of us admit we don’t want to take orders from others anymore, and a quarter want to make more money.
So what do we want to do? The list of dream jobs reveals the personal passions and dreams of the nation.  CafĂ© owner topped the poll closely followed by a B&B owner.

The top10 ideal jobs according to a recent poll:
1.     Cafe owner - 13%
2.     B&B owner – 12%
3.     Novelist – 10%
4.     Bar owner – 10%
5.     Chocolate/sweet tester – 10%
6.     Travel writer – 10%
7.     Photographer – 9%
8.     Gardener – 8%
9.     Artist – 8%
10.  Food critic – 8%

However, just 17 per cent think they will actually take the plunge and become their own boss.  The barriers to going it alone include not having enough money (42%), worries about the risks involved (35%), or just being too lazy (17%).

In contrast a survey of small business owners shows they have no regrets about working for themselves as 42 per cent insist they could never go back. 82 per cent would hate to be an employee and 23 per cent don’t believe they could take orders anymore.

Colin Swain, Global Head of Product at Kalixa Group, commented: “It’s shocking to see that so many people are unhappy in their jobs, but great to see that some are turning their dreams into a reality.  Sole traders and small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK and as such Kalixa is committed to supporting the growth of this vital part of the economy.  We are delighted to launch Kalixa Pro, which will provide the UK’s sole traders and small businesses with a cost effective way to take card payments, designed to give them the freedom to help grow their businesses.”

Michelle Mone OBE, owner of Ultimo and an ambassador for Kalixa Pro said: “With many disillusioned employees thinking of a change of career, it’s important to remember that running your own business is hard work!  Of course, that’s not to say the rewards don’t outweigh the more difficult times.  If you are looking to set up alone, don’t be under any illusion that it’s the easy option - a third of small business owners are making less money and working longer hours than they expected.”

From July 16th, the Spirit of Small Business Awards are open to entrepreneurs, small businesses and sole traders across Britain and will reward eleven exceptional small businesses across the country. Each of the eleven winners will then be in with a chance of scooping the overall Outstanding Small Business of the Year Award which comes with a grand prize of £10,000.  To enter, visit:

For more details on the research, please go to:

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Kalixa Pro Launches the Spirit of Small Business Awards

Awards to reward and recognise Britain’s small businesses and sole traders

Kalixa Pro, the small business mPOS solution, today launched its Spirit of Small Business Awards. The awards are designed to celebrate and recognise the very best entrepreneurs, small businesses and sole traders in Britain and strengthen Kalixa Pro’s commitment to support the ambitions and growth of Britain’s best small business talent.

Are you a mobile beauty therapist looking to expand your business this year? Or perhaps your family run cafe could do with a cash injection?  You may be a self-employed accountant, nursery owner, market trader or taxi driver, or have you just taken the first steps to fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming your own boss? Whatever your small business story, Kalixa Pro want to hear from you!

From today, the Spirit of Small Business Awards are open to entrepreneurs, small businesses and sole traders across Britain.

The panel of high calibre judges, including Michelle Mone OBE, one of the UK’s most successful female entrepreneurs and owner of international lingerie brand, Ultimo, will reward eleven exceptional small businesses across the country. Each of the category winners will be given a cash injection of £1,000 and a business support package including a bespoke corporate photography session, website build or optimisation, and a money can’t buy mentoring session with Michelle.

But that’s not all, each of the eleven winners will then be in with a chance of scooping the overall Outstanding Small Business of the Year Award which comes with a grand prize of £10,000.

Colin Swain, Global Head of Product at Kalixa Group, said: “It’s been a tough few years for small businesses but despite all the challenges they face, small businesses and entrepreneurs continue to prove themselves to be the backbone of Britain and a vital part of our economy.”

“We are delighted to be supporting the success and growth of Britain’s small businesses with the launch of Kalixa Pro and the Spirit of Small Business Awards. Kalixa Pro has been designed to make taking card payments easy and cost effective for small businesses, helping to solve their cash flow challenges and increase sales and the Spirit of Small Business Awards is just another way we are offering a helping hand for the nation’s small business owner,” added Swain.

Michelle Mone OBE, entrepreneur and Spirit of Small Business Awards judge said: “If you are a small business owner or sole trader struggling to achieve a healthy cash flow, you are not alone – as an entrepreneur myself there are very few issues I haven’t faced and I know that it’s not always easy!  I’m proud to support Kalixa Pro and the Spirit of Small Business Awards which help and recognise those businesses that are going the extra mile – whether that’s through amazing ideas and entrepreneurship, ensuring customer retention and year on year growth or simply launching a fantastic business idea or concept.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the array of great business talent we have here in Britain and spending time with the eventual winners to help them drive their businesses forward,” added Mone.
The categories for the 2014 awards are:

National Awards

Best Female Entrepreneur, Best Male Entrepreneur, Best Young Entrepreneur, Best Sole Trader 

Regional Awards

Best Small Business – South East, Best Small Business – South West, Best Small Business – Midlands ,
Best Small Business – North West, Best Small Business – North East, Best Small Business – Wales,
Best Small Business – Scotland

Grand Prize

Outstanding Small Business of the Year

The above awards open today and will close on 4th September 2014. The eleven winners will be announced the week commencing 29 September 2014. To enter, visit:

The public vote for the overall Outstanding Small Business of the Year Award will open the week commencing 29 September 2014, and will see the eleven national and regional winners whittled down to one grand prize winner of £10,000 – chosen by you! The overall winner will be announced on 15th December 2014.   
For more information or to order Kalixa Pro visit