SMB Expense Management Provider Bento Snags Major Partnership with The Brink’s Company

EXCLUSIVE – The Brink’s Company and expense management provider Bento for Business introduced a new Travel & Expense Debit Card at Finovate in New York.

The partnership is a major win for Bento, who launched only two years ago with a prepaid card for SMBs.

“The Brink’s T+E card is different from our core product in that it’s a debit card,” Farhan Ahmad, CEO for Bento, told Bank Innovation.

By having the product be a debit card as opposed to a credit card means there is no risk for the business owner, this makes the product a great fit Brink’s target audience, Miguel Zepeda, senior leader of fintech strategy at Brink’s told Bank Innovation. 

“Our target are people in small businesses who don’t typically qualify for a corporate travel card,” he said. That small business typically has between 100-1,000 employees and revenues between $10 million to $100 million.”

The Brink’s T+E debit card, as it is called, is issued and managed through Bento, whose platform lets companies set specific spending parameters for each employee and manage those expenses. The card is powered by MasterCard and issued by The Bancorp Bank.

The smart debit card can be controlled remotely through computer or phone. It allows businesses to set a spending limit for an employee by day, week, or month and restricts when and where the card can be used.

Through Bento’s online and mobile app, business owners can track the spending. It also allows the card to sync with Intuit Quickbooks, so that the expenses automatically get added to the company’s accounts. Additionally, employees can take pictures of receipts to automatically submit charges, instead of filling out expense reports.

Perhaps one of the most unique features is Bento’s two-way alert system. For example, Ahmad explained, say an employer receives a balance-low alert.

“Instead of having to go into your banking app to replenish that balance,” he said. “You can just respond to the alert by typing back – add such & such an amount to the account, and it automatically gets added in real time.”

Another useful aspect of the alerts system is that it is highly customizable.

“You can add an alert as specific as notification when X employee spends Y amount at a gas station,” he said. “And you will be alerted when that happens.”

To sign up for the card, you would go to Bento’s website and fill out the online application. The entire process takes a few minutes, and one can get instant approval. The service is live now.

The Brink’s Company, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BCO, has a market capitalization of $4.04 billion. Based IN Richmond, Virginia, it provides cash-in-transit services, such as armored vehicle transportation of valuables, ATM cash replenishment, ATM remote monitoring, etc. The company also offers payment services like bill payment processing and prepaid cards. Formerly known as The Pittston Company, it was rebranded as The Brink’s Company in 2003.

Bento for Business, which was established in 2014, provides financial solutions for SMBs. Aside from its core product, Bento Prepaid Commercial MasterCard, it also has a virtual card.

“Our vision is to build a treasury banking platform,” he said. “In the future, we aim to provide cash products, checking accounts and deposits.”

Bento has a multi-bank model, which enables it to partner with various banks on different products, as opposed to an exclusive partnership with a single bank.

Currently, Bento works with Bancorp Bank for its partnership with Brink’s  and Community Federal Savings Bank for its core products.

Bento’s app is available on both iOS and Android.

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