ExpenseMatters : The Source for Expense Management

ExpenseMatters Attends and Reports on Finovate Conference

By on June 10, 2015 in Industry News with 0 Comments

Recently, ExpenseMatters had the opportunity to attend the Finovate conference as a member of the press. We were quite pleased to be able to attend this industry-leading conference and report on a few of the relatively new players in expense management.

One thing that quickly became apparent is that there are a couple of new prepaid card solutions in the field attempting to shake things up a bit. Although not directly classified as expense management providers, they categorize themselves as expense management and work to control expenses on the front end. A couple of the primary vendors that we noticed include Dash and Bento.

First, let’s take a look at what Bento has to offer. We observed that while many booths were packed and Twitter feeds exploded, there wasn’t a lot of hoopla around Bento at the conference. We were pleased that it presented a refreshing and new UI. This firm’s ability to auto-categorize and custom tag expenses and cards is, in our opinion, pretty cool.

The guys from Karmic Labs, or Dash, and their product were quite impressive. We took full advantage of the opportunity to speak with them at length. While there was somewhat of a sense that their marketing campaign has not yet fully evolved, our gut is telling us that they are working on a couple of big initiatives surrounding the card and expenses. This is a firm that is definitely worth keeping an eye on in the future. Overall, we found their product to be nice looking and user-friendly. When it comes to providing eye candy for the admins who really only want to see reports, graphs, and charts, these guys know what they’re doing. We were quick to notice that Dash also has a couple of things that we believe to be quite valuable, including the ability of users to request funds while on their device. Dash’s big announcement during Finovate is that it has developed real-time integration with Xero. We believe that Dash is working on adding loyalty rewards.

We were also pleased to be able to check out Note from Aurora Financial Systems while at Finovate. Unfortunately, at least for right now, there is not much known about the prepaid card product. With that said, Note does appear to be entering into the expense management space.

Each of these companies offer prepaid card solutions used to manage expenses and cash disbursements. In a technical sense, Finovate is ideally geared to allow innovative companies to demonstrate newly developed solutions. Unfortunately, what we found is that there did not appear to be much in the way of new innovation in this field during the conference. For instance, PEX Card and Insperity have been providing a solution with most, if not all, of the functionality of Bento and Dash. PEX Card has been offering the same types of services since 2008. It is the unrivaled leader in the market, offering a prepaid Visa to the nonprofit, enterprise, and SMB sectors. Insperity began providing a prepaid MasterCard product in 2013. With that said, the solutions offered by Dash and Bento are hardly innovative or new.

Expense management is too important for most companies to leave to chance. Given the new banking regulations, it seems prudent for decision-makers to lay their odds on established providers rather than taking the risk of a new provider.

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