"Our travel expense reporting is now automated, and our finance team doesn’t have to chase invoices or waste time on simple, manual tasks."
Matabato Kimani Head of Operations
SumUp is set to become the first ever global card acceptance brand
The company enables businesses to accept card payments in-store, in-app and online in a simple, secure and cost-effective way. With no recurring costs, and lower-than-average payment processing fees, it’s no wonder that SumUp has brought their state-of-the-art payment solution to 31 unique markets worldwide, including Brazil, the US, and 28 European markets.
With over 1000 employees in nine office locations, the state of travel at SumUp is incredibly complex. Every week, there are half a dozen trips taken between the company’s largest offices in Sofia, Bulgaria and São Paulo, Brazil, alone.
“Travelers enjoy being responsible for what they’re booking, and they like picking the best options, according to their preferences, inside of their budget.”Matabato Kimani, Head of Operations at SumUp
The problem with booking on leisure travel sites
Before discovering TravelPerk, SumUp’s office managers would book trips for the travelers. The office managers acted as the go-between for the travelers and the finance managers who were in charge of approving the final cost.
The process looked something like this: A traveler would send an email to an office manager about an upcoming trip. The office manager would reply via email with different options, wait for the traveler to respond and then request that finance approve the trip before booking it for the traveler. Sometimes, though, when the trip needed to be booked quickly, office managers would have to choose trip details in order to move things along quickly—meaning that travelers might be stuck with layovers or lodging that they didn’t like.
When startups grow fast, sometimes problems scale even faster. The above travel management process is commonly used in the early stages. In addition to losing time with back-and-forth emails, businesses using time-intensive, manual approvals also lose money, since manual approvals always lead to higher flight and hotel costs by the time the trip is booked.
At one point, there was a SumUp company trip of 300+ employees traveling to a single destination and the airline carrier that the company booked with had mass cancellations. With everything on their shoulders, the office management team experienced an absolute nightmare situation and spent endless hours manually re-booking every flight.
Drastic reduction in administrative hours, more freedom for travelers
Through friends at a different company, Matabato Kimani, Head of Operations at SumUp, heard about TravelPerk and was excited to implement the platform. “Whereas before a traveler might be booked into a hotel that was not really to their liking, travelers now have the freedom to book what they want, especially when prices are good,” says Kimani.
In terms of impact, that simple shift (from administrators owning the booking process to travelers now owning it) has caused quite a big ripple effect. “I would say that our office management team spent 40% of their time in the past on travel booking and management,” says Kimani, “and now they spend 5% of their time on the same activities.”
Fortunately, the shift in ownership hasn’t caused a shift in burden. It’s so much faster for travelers to simply book what they want as well, rather than to go back and forth. “Travelers enjoy being responsible for what they’re booking, and they like picking the best options, according to their preferences, inside of their budget,” says Kimani. One of the big time savers (in addition to knowing your own preferences better than anyone else!) is that TravelPerk allows you to securely save traveler’s details, so you don’t have to re-enter them for every trip.
“Our office management team probably spent 40% of their time in the past on travel booking and management. Now they spend 5% of their time on it.”Marco Azzusi, Office Manager
What the finance team loves? Automatic expensing and consolidated invoicing
Removing the need for the operations and office management team to act as a middleman in the travel booking process, keeps finance in the loop in a more streamlined way. “Everything gets pushed automatically to finance,” says Kimani. “In terms of financial planning, using TravelPerk has really improved our processes.”
For trips requiring approval, the finance team receives an automatic email from TravelPerk. There’s no need for the traveler to write one manually. This makes things quicker for everyone.
The finance teams also enjoys faster end-of-the-month workflows. Getting one travel invoice in one place has been a huge time saver. “Our travel expense reporting is now automated, as we’ve integrated TravelPerk with Spendesk,” says Kimani. “Our finance team doesn’t have to chase invoices or waste time on simple, manual tasks.”
Fintech companies with big missions hate wasting time and money on old-school business travel management. Now with TravelPerk, SumUp has greater visibility and control while making business travelers happy at the same time.