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With remote and hybrid work surging in popularity, businesses have to rethink corporate spend management and financial reporting. For some organizations, this includes the travel and expenses (T&E) category, which generally includes travel and transportation, meals, entertainment and gifts. The T&E space could be worth $17.4 billion by 2027, according to Grand View Research, and it is one of the most difficult expense categories for an enterprise to keep up with.

Flurries of payments and reporting have kept CFOs on their toes, and many IT leaders are now turning to automation to solve that problem. Gartner reports that business leaders in finance expect digital technologies to dramatically transform their industries by 2026. As CFOs attempt to further digitize their finance operations, keeping this effort in line with core business outcomes poses a new challenge.

Finance automation startup Mesh Payments, headquartered in New York, recently raised $60 million in series C funding toward its goal of automating payment and financial reporting at scale. Founded in 2018 by Oded Zehavi (CEO), a former senior executive at Payoneer and PayPal, and Eran Katoni (CTO) — Mesh Payments claims it provides a centralized and automated spend platform that helps finance teams gain visibility into and control of their entire infrastructures. The company says it actualizes this by enabling full visibility, control and payment intelligence to orchestrate, manage, reconcile and reduce spending.   

Real-time financial data, all automated           

Corporate cards, often used extensively for T&E, offer little visibility over spending. Traditional spend management platforms use alerts to offer finance managers some visibility, with the option to track all payments, approvals and requests in real time, saving companies up to 20% of costs, according to a Gartner report. However, Zehavi told VentureBeat that Mesh Payments provides smart spend management with “the ultimate level of visibility by connecting to all your company SaaS [software-as-a-service] and shedding a whole [new] light on your corporate spend.”

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“We also offer more integration into organizational systems that can bring in insights that are not only driven by payment transactions themselves but also provide insights beyond how much you spend,” said Zehavi in a press release heralding the funding.

“Since day one, Mesh has focused on giving CFOs the automation and insights they need to more effectively manage their day-to-day operations,” said Zehavi in the press release. “And as companies operationalize distributed and remote workforce models, holistic visibility over company spend is even more critical.”

This will help to reduce exposure to risk and limit human error while doing away with manual filing. All of this will give CFOs real-time insights and a bird’s-eye view of cash flow status, per a report by PYMNTS in collaboration with Airbase.    

Tightening security with finance automation

Mesh Payments says it makes legacy corporate cards obsolete with its insight-driven automation platform that gives finance managers more granular control and leverage over their corporate spending. And it gets even more interesting: The company issues virtual cards that allow restricted spending.

A Nilson Report predicts that card fraud will cost the global tech industry $408.50 billion within the next decade. The report further showed that “the U.S. accounted for 35.83% of global card fraud in 2020 even though it accounted for only 22.40% of total card volume.” The numberless card issued by Mesh Payments, in collaboration with Visa, helps to reduce security risk, since there’s no visible number that can be stolen or abused by fraudsters, according to Zehavi.

If the numberless card gets compromised in any way, the finance manager can simply link a new virtual card to the physical one. Additionally, finance managers have full control over the physical card, allowing them to disable the card, change its PIN or swap the virtual card remotely, all from the Mesh Payments platform. To enjoy the same virtual capability on a physical card, the link-up can happen in a matter of seconds to any physical plug and pay card for in-person purchases.

Mesh Payments provides real-time information and tools that help financiers understand each payment, as well as a solution suitable for individual payment types, including SaaS payments, travel payment management and others.

The company’s customers include Synk, Riskified, Sezzle, Hippo and While Mesh Payments claims it’s leading the charge in the corporate spend management space, the company has competition in Airbase, Ramp, Divvy, Brex and TripActions, among others.

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