JOBS are at risk at one of Herefordshire's biggest employers as the company looks to make major changes.

Bill payments specialists allpay confirmed that they will be "exiting the manufacturing of secure bank cards by the end of the year".

The company, which is based on the Whitestone Business Park, near Hereford, told the Hereford Times this would "leave manufacturing positions at risk".

In a statement, allpay said "all options were being looked at to minimise redundancies" and that the company would "do its utmost to retrain and redeploy staff into new positions".

It added that consultation with employee representatives are to begin very soon.

allpay said the manufacturing environment was proving "ever more challenging to make returns" and that new investments would focus on the company's core mission of digitising payments using the new payments architecture to "create innovative cloud-based payment services".

Tony Killeen, allpay's managing director, said: "This realignment of allpay's focus and investment will best position us for long-term growth and competitiveness, however business decisions that affect the lives of our employees are extremely difficult."

The proposal does not impact on allpay's bill payment collection or prepaid card divisions where it supplies services to more than 50% of local authorities, collecting and disbursing nearly 200,000 payments a day on behalf of more than 800 clients.

And the company confirmed the plastic card manufacturing division represented less than 5% of the group's overall turnover.