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Wilsons Auctions

This leading auctioneer uses Prommt to handle payments from online bidders across 18 locations and more than 3,000 auctions per year.

Introduction

Holding over 3,000 auctions each year, Wilsons Auctions can auction every category of asset from cars and vans, plant and machinery to property and general goods. It also has the expertise to deal with more luxurious goods including planes, yachts, gold bars, supercars, designer goods, prestigious watches and more recently expanding its offering to cryptocurrency.

The Challenge

Wilsons Auctions is a family-owned business, formed in 1936. The company has grown from a single auction site in Northern Ireland to become the largest independent auction company in the UK and Ireland with an annual hammer total in excess of £390 million.

Wilsons Auctions has eighteen sites, including nine branches in Belfast, Dalry, Dublin, Maidstone, Newcastle, Newport, Portadown, Queensferry and Telford.

In 2019, Finance Director, Paul Clarkin was looking for a better way to take card payments from online bidders. A significant proportion of such payments involved taking card information over the phone. This was problematic in relation to compliance and risky in terms of exposure to fraud and chargebacks.

Paul needed a system that would increase data security, achieve compliance with relevant regulations and protect payments from fraud & chargebacks. At the same time, Paul also felt there were gains to be made in terms of efficiency and customer experience.

The Solution

Prommt emerged as a likely solution to these challenges. The payment request platform allows staff to easily send secure, personalised payment requests via email, sms or any other digital messaging channel. It would also plug into the group’s existing payment infrastructure so no need to find a new card payment provider.

Each payment request links to a personalised, e-commerce payment page protected by 3-D secure, eliminating the need for staff to ask for card details directly, minimising the risk of fraud and chargebacks while providing successful bidders with a seamless and superior payment experience.

Built for scale, Prommt allows large, complex teams, like those across all 18 Wilsons Auctions locations, to manage payment requests at scale from different accounts with a centralised group admin function.

Prommt fit the bill perfectly and Wilsons Auctions decided to trial the solution at its flagship Belfast location. With quick onboarding and full training provided by Prommt, staff in Belfast were using the solution in a matter of days.

“Prommt has been very successful for us. We use it to take payment for all sorts of items, cars, jewellery, household items, plant and machinery, IT equipment; everything we sell. It is particularly useful when it comes to high volume, lower value items where remote card payments are common. Staff find it really easy to use. It gives customers a superior payment experience and the level of support has been excellent. I’d highly recommend it.”

Paul Clarkin – Finance Director | Wilsons Auctions

The results

The initial trial was a great success and within weeks, Wilsons Auctions began rolling Prommt out to all locations. They were able to connect multiple merchant IDs for better accounting and had single Prommt setups for each location. Meanwhile, all users and reporting are managed from one group admin account. Now, when the hammer falls at any of the group’s 3,000 annual auctions, successful bidders receive a secure, personalised payment request which makes paying easy and seamless while Wilsons Auctions are assured that payments are compliant & protected.

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