Online payment platform to open office in Peterborough

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Harvey Croft and Owain Hughes, founders of Pay The Trades, a revolutionary escrow service which acts as an intermediary between tradespeople and their customers

Pay The Trades, founded by Harvey Croft and Owain Hughes, is described as "a revolutionary escrow service" which acts as an intermediary between tradespeople and their customers. 

Escrow is a legal arrangement in which a third party temporarily holds large sums of money or property until a particular condition has been met.

Currently operating from their base in Grantham, Croft and Hughes have close personal and professional links to Peterborough, describing it as "an area of high growth potential [which] will be a key focus for the company over the coming months".

They are planning to open an office in the city in the next year and recruit from the local area as expands its team. It aims to employ upwards of 10 people in the coming months as it launches its accounting, legal and customer service teams.

Hughes said: “I’ve worked in Peterborough for the last year.

"I travel there every day and I’ve been really impressed by the business personality of the town. It would be an ideal place to set up an office and become part of the city’s thriving trades industry.” 

Croft said: “I have strong links to Peterborough and aim to maintain those close ties as Pay The Trades grows. My parents were both raised in the Peterborough area and I was born there. 

“As all my family lived around the area, I spent a lot of time around Peterborough growing up, meeting for big family days out.”

The business has unveiled ambitious plans for growth and, as part of its five-year roll-out plan, aims to have 10% of UK tradespeople using the service by 2026 and expects to turnover £4.15m within three years. 

The aim of Pay The Trades is to protect both the customer and the tradesperson and hopes to be a positive shot in the arm for the industry.

Rather than paying the tradesperson directly, customers pay via the Pay The Trades escrow service. Once the project has been completed, a 14-day holding period follows to ensure the customer is satisfied with the quality of the work and the tradesperson is paid without the hassle of chasing invoices. 

In the scenario where a customer is unhappy with the service they’ve received, Pay The Trades will settle any disputes by providing a review process, checking the work and offering a refund where appropriate.

Harvey Croft, managing director of Pay The Trades, said: “We’re excited to provide this solution to a market of hard-working individuals whose need for payment is overlooked. 

“We’re also passionate about ensuring customers get the quality of work they are promised and removing cowboy tradesmen from the market by bringing a whole new business process to the trades industry.”