Expense management of employees has always been a challenge for employers. Even for the employee, saving bills, sorting them out and getting them in place consumes a huge amount of time. Most business expenses are still made in cash, and the management has no real control or visibility into how their money is being spent. Additionally, accountants spend days reconciling stacks of paper receipts and spreadsheets.
Indian startup, happay, is looking to solve this age-old issue through its mobile-enabled payments platform. The solution consists of a prepaid VISA card that can be controlled through a web platform and a mobile app. Employees spend using the happay card and record expenses on the employee mobile app while the company controls the card – through the web or the admin app. The company can specify how much money is on each card and how the card is used. These features reduce the time required to file the claims, makes it paperless and enables business to import expense data in the required format.
Explaining the need to create an expense management solution for the enterprise, Varun Rathi, Co-founder at happay, says, “Unlike consumer payments, there has been no innovation in the B2B payments space in India for a long time. The choice of payment options available to businesses are still the same as they were decades ago. Cash and paper still rule the roost. Transactions are slow and painful, often leaving companies in the dark about the status of cash flows. Corporations are asking for change but banks are not able to deliver the transparency, efficiency and flexibility that businesses are demanding. We wanted to be the change.” The card is accepted in any place where VISA is accepted, whether online or offline. Users can use the card on PoS terminals, mobile payments or even withdraw money from any ATM. As these cards have a spending limit of Rs 10,000, they require no KYC, so there is no headache of collecting documents.
As happay’s solution is mobile-enabled and cloud-based, it enables accurate reporting – from data capture to recording of data in the backend. . Employees spend using the happay card and record expenses via the employee mobile app. The solution hence can provide real-time visibility on expenses for the business due to real-time filing of expenses by the employees.
“Employees do not need to remember an expense ever again. happay generates the expense report for the individual. All
employees have to do file the expense using the mobile app where they can also differentiate between the kind of expense made. One can also take a photo of the paper receipt and sync it on the app,” states Anshul Rai, Co-founder and CEO, happay. Organizations can see purchases as they occur on both the web platform and also on the mobile. The admin or the finance personnel can track and know exactly when, where and by whom the expense was done. The team can reconcile expense reports, attached with digitized receipts in minutes.
Organizations also have a greater control over expenditure. They now have the choice to load or remove money, switch on/ off cards and approve/reject expenses in real time through web or mobile, through a single click. Companies can also use the analysis tools to identify spending trends and patterns; control costs and plan budgets with better accuracy. The app also enables easy reconciliation, as expense data can be easily imported from happay to the organization’s accounting software in a format that they require.
Happay believes that there is a huge market opportunity as most businesses use paper-based processes for recording expenses. “Even today, in 8 out of 10 organizations, expenses are reported and managed manually, using spreadsheets. Small businesses face particular issues with respect to expense management as the money to run the business comes from the owner’s pocket. Considering that we have over 48 million SME’s in the country and growing, we have a huge untapped market laid out for us. Our cards can be issued to anyone from an office assistant to the busy salesperson, making it an easy option for small businesses,” states Varun Rathi.
Happay has seen good traction, and the startup has signed up with customers in over eight verticals. “Our aim is to be the CFO’s best buddy. Any expense or payment going out of the company will be recorded and accounted for in real time and the CFO will get real-time visibility on the mobile app. For example, he could get an answer to ‘How much did Bangalore Sales team spend for travel and lodging till the 15th of this month’ with just a few few clicks on the app,” states Anshul Rai. AngelPrime recently announced an investment of half a million dollars in this startup.
Currently, the focus is on business expense management but the final goal of the firm is to bring all non-salary related business payments on to their platform.