In 2018, Payhawk began its journey at Web Summit with just an idea. Fast forward three years, it's transformed into a fintech force, offering corporate cards in over 30 countries. Andrey Bankovski, Payhawk's commercial director, reflects on their early days and their plan to revolutionise expense management.
The fintech industry has grown massively in recent years. Like with most of the world's ongoing digitalization, the growth in fintech has been borne out of the need to do things faster and more efficiently. Optimized financial processes are crucial for both b2c and b2b. And the integration of SaaS financial tools is a necessity for companies to fuel sustainable growth.
That's why events like Money 20/20 and Web Summit, that enable market leaders to exchange ideas and shape the future, are so vital. Especially now, amidst a global crisis.
At Payhawk, we've been attending the Web Summit conference since 2018. "We didn't have a working product back then," Bankovski said. "The idea of Payhawk corporate cards, backed by powerful software, was already established, but it had no physical dimension."
Back in 2018, Web Summit's event welcomed more than 70,000 participants from the tech world and introduced phenomenal speakers from names like Microsoft and booking.com. It was a remarkable event with insights into ongoing digital trends and what to expect from a future digital world. Hearing the speakers in 2018 and learning about the latest tech innovation reinforced Bankovski's confidence in the innovative product Payhawk was developing.
Three years later, our corporate cards are not only up and running but support the expense management of thousands of customers in more than 30 countries. What was just a burgeoning new product in 2018 is now a healthy reality. "We expanded to four offices across Europe and revolutionized the sector with an industry-first 3% cashback on all payments," Bankovski said.
"Of course, this year I was hearing some amazing insights at the event, but I couldn't help thinking about all of the expenses in the room too. I'm sure many of the 40,000 exhibitors, speakers, and attendees were traveling for the first time since the pandemic began, and I wondered if they had put thought into how they were managing company spending," Bankovski expanded. "Were they exhibiting, and how did they pay for their hotel, their marketing booth, their drink at lunch?"
From tech giants to scaleups, at Payhawk, our company cards and powerful financial software supports organizations of all sizes. And exhibiting at an event or summit is an excellent case in point.
We make it simple, whether a marketing team is working together, with team cards, to pay for stand production, collateral, and a video crew, or a sales team member is paying for prospect lunches, parking, and accommodation. The finance team back at HQ are happy too. Both expense claims and expense reports are available in the same tool, so they can see who is paying for what and why, and get insights into spending to compare with the ROI.
Every year Web Summit includes specific tracks based on some of the different topics up for discussion. MoneyConf was one of the tracks at this year's Web Summit and included a selection of industry leaders speaking on hot finance topics. Notably, one subject was all about cashless futures both in society and business.
"It's always interesting to watch how the other participants carry out their transactions, especially when we're all talking about the benefits of going cashless", Bankovski explained. "We met with a lot of happy customers there who were paying with their company cards. But, there were also plenty of people still practicing ancient payment methods like paying out of their own pockets and keeping all of their invoices and paper receipts… and these are people in the tech industry."
Now that extraordinary events like Web Summit are live again, business travel is back in action. So, companies need to think about how they will pay for it. Physical money should be eliminated when it comes to business spend, and most companies would benefit from going cashless. This practice saves businesses vast amounts of time and money. It also boosts the organization's spend visibility, compliance, security, and efficiency.
Learn how going cashless could make a difference to the way your business manages cards and expenses, check out the ebook.
Trish Toovey works across the UK and US markets to craft content at Payhawk. Covering anything from ad copy to video scripting, Trish leans on a super varied background in copy and content creation for the finance, fashion, and travel industries.