When describing the PEX Card Service, one of the biggest challenges is communicating differentiating factors effectively. People are familiar with credit cards, they understand debit or check cards, those who have worked in large companies know what a p-card is. When it comes to our service – we are a blend of all of the above so it takes a moment to realize that there are distinct differences which we created to service small to medium businesses (SMB). Here are a few of the basics:
1) Prepaid, not credit or debit. Credit cards have an underlying credit line. Each card can be set with an indivudal limit but nothing prevents the cardholder from spending all of it in one go. Debit cards are linked to checking accounts. Funds are deposited into the account and cards issued share the balance. To issue cards, most banks require that employees sign signature cards authorizing use and also providing check-writing authority. In this case there are multiple access points to deposited funds – other cards, ATMs and checks. Prepaid cards are independent of credit lines and checking accounts. Cards are reloadable for ongoing use, there is no ATM access, no checks and no credit lines, making the service accessible to businesses that want to control employee use.
2) We segregate all balances – there is a main corporate balance created with a deposit from the company's corporate checking account. Admins disburse funds to cards as necessary to create individual budgets per cardholder. Because all the balances are separate, individual card spending will have no effect on other cardholders.
3) Spend rules are available to automate spend monitoring. Admins can setup card-use profiles according to job function and necessity. Merchant category spend rules automatically block or authorize transactions at approved locations only. Daily spend limits regulate how quickly a cardholder can spend through a budget. For example, a card may have $2,500, be allowed to spend at travel-related locations (airline tickets, taxis, etc.) but has a daily budget of $250 per day for a five day trip.
4) Automated account top ups minimize the frequency of top up requests from cardholders. Certain individuals can be setup to start each day, week or month with a specific budget. Others can be set so that once their balance is low they can have funds added to a max amount as necessary.
5) We post all activity in real time to provide the most up-to-the-minute information on cash position. All spends, transaction holds, etc appear as they occur so an admin can tell what is going on with employee cards and funds on deposit.
One of the most important startups should do from the earliest point on is clarify the differentiating factors of their service and make them really simple for people to understand. Investors, potential customers and employees need to know what they are getting involved with and have the key points down so they can spread the word.