Vikas Panwar, CTO & Chief Security Officer
Corporate card programs are a powerful initiative for businesses to assist employees with great benefits like travel discounts and control spending. However, managing a corporate card program can be expensive and tricky. The complexity arises out of the manual processes involved in the company and cardholder onboarding, managing card controls and the elaborate and error-prone process of applying for new cards for employees.
Against this backdrop, it is imperative to understand the best practices when implementing a corporate card program. “We are trying to eliminate these problems by enabling self-service workflows for card-holders,” says Vikas Panwar, CTO and Chief Security Officer, SpendLabs, “I should be able to immediately lock my card if I lose it instead of having to call the bank.” From onboarding new cardholders and tracking spending across programs to managing individual cards, SpendLabs is a disruptor in the corporate card management space that utilizes deep learning techniques to provide insights into corporate spending, flag anomalies and offer actionable recommendations. There is a strong focus on minimalist and intuitive user experience.
Eliminating the painstaking manual processes with a solution that is white-labeled for banks, the company reaches out to banks to power their corporate card program—the bank decides on a name and logo for the product, which is powered by SpendLabs. The company attempts to cut down on the time and money spent on the manual approval of processes. “We offer a mobile-based app that allows cardholders to request credit limit, merchant category and other changes and perform certain actions themselves by connecting to the bank’s back-end systems,” explains Panwar. This reduces friction and lowers management costs.
We offer a mobile-based app that allows cardholders to request credit limit, merchant category and other changes and perform certain actions themselves
The company integrates the product with the bank’s system using APIs or files. SpendLabs also integrates with third parties such as card processors. This provides another benefit— when another SpendLabs client uses the same processor, the integration takes place rapidly.
SpendLabs’ self-service card management application proved highly beneficial to a major bank in the UK catering to small- and mid-sized businesses that was trying to modernize its corporate card portfolio. The bank wanted its customers to be able to request changes like locking and unlocking cards, requesting for credit line increase and applying for new cards independently. The bank sought a partner who could provide an intuitive, easy-to-use solution that caused minimal friction. SpendLabs launched a solution for this bank ahead of the estimated time. Its self-service cards reduced the number of customer calls and increased the issue of new cards by up to 20 percent as they were easier to use.
Another added advantage of SpendLabs’ offerings is its fraud detection solution. “We are actively working on the identification and reporting of frauds with more accuracy than is currently provided by utilizing proprietary machine learning algorithms,” says Panwar. The company aims to detect data anomalies and offer a top-of-the-line fraud detection solution to its customers.
An expense management system is the next major project on the horizon for this company. “We have many pieces of this solution already in place—card transactions, workflow approval, reporting framework and the like, which makes expense reporting a natural product adjacency,” explains Panwar, who believes that the company can create a fully functional end-to-end reporting software and provide it as an add-on to the corporate card management solution. The company also plans to build a recommendations engine that aids in predicting parameters for new credit cards. “The idea of virtual cards also appeals to us due to its advantages over plastic cards and other security benefits,” says Panwar.