‘Spending solution gives employees the feeling that they are valued’ – FM.nl





Fintech Pleo was founded in 2015 and has grown to more than 20,000 customers in just a few years.

Paper receipts, a lot of manual work, late payments, declaration is still a difficult process in many organizations. Automation and digitization have many practical benefits for both finance and employees. It can even improve the relationship between employers and employees, said Haresh Bajaj, product manager Pleo

The company offers a combination of a debit card and app for the billing process, mileage refunds and all monthly subscription costs. Fintech was founded in Denmark in 2015 and has grown to more than 20,000 customers in a few years. It is now expanding rapidly in other European countries and has just gained its appearance in the Dutch market. The company is a so-called card issuer. This means that it can issue Mastercards, just like a bank for example. Money can already be put into what employees can spend.

App and a Mastercard
Bajaj describes how Pleo works in practice. “If an employee travels to work or goes out to dinner with the team, they often have to pay out of pocket. This means collecting all the receipts, entering the dates manually and then waiting a month or more for the money to be refunded. We provide employees with an app and a Pleo debit card. Every time they make an expense for their work, the transaction comes in the app. Then they only have to take a picture of the receipt. ”

If the employees still make a payment themselves, for example with cash, Pleo offers the opportunity to get the money back immediately. They also take a picture of the receipt for this, after which the money is immediately transferred from the Pleo account.
Business costs can increase significantly, by Bajaj from personal experience. A meal can cost several hundred euros. “It feels strange to use your own bank account for that. You have to pay for the business while doing something for the business. That’s why I think you can have an emotional impact with Pleo. You give people the feeling that they are valued and it helps them stay much longer. That is our vision. “

Finish with crafts
Pleo makes life easier for employees, but it does the same for the finance department. By having real-time insight into all expenses, getting approvals to run automatically and exporting expenses to your accounting system, the manual actions disappear.

“It is no longer necessary to chase employees for receipts. In addition, the manual interconnection of receipts and bookings that finance teams often still have to make disappears. It allows them to focus on strategic issues, such as how they can ensure that the company grows, ”he says.

Insights can also be gained from the data, which can lead to cost savings. Think about terminating certain subscriptions that employees hardly use. Another example is that it seems that a particular restaurant or hotel is popular with employees. The organization can then see if it is possible to negotiate a discount there.

Pleo gives employers control over the expenses that employees can incur. With a few clicks on the Pleo account, limits can be set, but also adjusted. “Suppose someone has just started working and you do not want to give more than, say, five hundred euros a month, you can set it. If someone still needs more space, this can easily be increased on the Pleo account. You can also set the size of a single transaction, ”explains Bajaj.

Great digital understanding
The app was introduced in the Netherlands a few weeks ago. The response in the market was very encouraging. Two things struck him, Bajaj says. “The first is that the Dutch get along really well in English. Although we have a Dutch service, people here are very comfortable with English. The other is that many new customers are fine with just trying Pleo even without our support. There is great digital understanding. You can also see the older games with their Apple Watch here. That’s why customers tell us ‘let me try it myself, I’ll get back to you afterwards’. ”

During the test phase in the Netherlands, the company also found that it should immediately offer a virtual card for smartphones and have an integration with Apple Pay. “We saw that many of the first transactions were made with it and not with the physical card. Our focus is therefore on the virtual card and on Apple Pay. ”

Partner platform for accountants and bookkeepers
The vast majority of parties using Pleo are individual customers. However, a growing activity in the company is to offer the services through accountants and accountants. Pleo has a partner platform for this, where they can connect their customers to Pleo at once. This makes the work of the accountant or bookkeeper easier and thus avoids a lot of manual work. In addition, they can better understand for customers how the company’s expenses develop per. day. This service is growing rapidly and there is great interest from this profession, Bajaj sees. If they connect customers to Pleo, they often also switch to their own declaration process.

When Pleo enters a new market, it initially always focuses on smaller SME organizations. “We are trying to create a good offer for the smaller segment in new countries. Only then do we take the step up. Only when we understand the market and create value for those customers will we grow into the larger customers. If you do not do it that way, you risk being too busy chasing the next big customer. We have always done it that way, and we will do it that way in the Netherlands. ”

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