How dotdigital uses a single digital solution to manage business spending across countries and currencies
Anonymised cards for tracking team spending
£, €, and $ supported
Integration with Sage
dotdigital is a marketing automation platform which allows businesses to communicate with their customers across a range of channels including email, SMS, WhatsApp for Business, social media, in-app push notifications, live chat and more. CFO Paraag Amin reveals how they use Soldo to track spend around the world, and ensure employees on the ground are never out of pocket.
Since its founding in 1999, dotdigital has grown to be the UK’s largest email automation provider. Today they have over 320 employees in offices in the UK, US, Australia, Singapore, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa and Belarus, and are listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM). As the company went global, so did their spending, with employees out in the field meeting prospects, training customers or attending trade shows around the world.
‘We need to have anonymised cards, in multiple currencies, attached to powerful reporting that integrates with Sage. Soldo ticks all those boxes.’ – Paraag Amin, CFO, dotdigital
As the company went global, so did their spending, with employees out in the field meeting prospects, training customers or attending trade shows around the world. Expenses were spread across multiple geographies, vendors, and currencies. Not only did it make getting a clear view on spend near-impossible, it made it much more difficult to get cash to employees when needed.
Before coming across Soldo, dotdigital was using physical prepaid cards with another provider. But there was no reporting aspect to the service, and keeping track of spend on these cards was a manual, labour-intensive task.
The finance team had to keep a written inventory of where cards were, and how much was money was on them. There was no way to block the cards, reduce the balance, or shift it to another person once it had been loaded. Paraag says, ‘It was just like giving someone cash’.
On top of that, managing expenses across different currencies meant dealing with many different vendors and card providers. Although this solution wasn’t great, it worked, and so they weren’t looking to fix a problem that wasn’t there.
Then one day on a car ride to dotdigital’s Cheltenham office, Paraag heard a Soldo ad on the radio that piqued his interest.
Once his team had investigated further and compared it to their current solution, it seemed that Soldo ticked all the boxes:
‘It was obvious that Soldo was light-years ahead of the solution we were using at the time’
The decision was made and Paraag and his team got to work implementing Soldo and dispersing prepaid expense cards throughout a number of dotdigital’s business units.
Today, each department is assigned one of Soldo’s anonymised Company Cards to cover and track that team’s expenses. That means that they don’t have to issue a limited number of corporate cards to named individuals and then share those among the team. Team members also don’t have to cover expenses out of their own pocket.
The sales, business development, and training teams use Company Cards to cover costs when attending trade shows or travelling out to customers’ offices. The IT and marketing teams both have their own virtual cards, to cover recurring charges, licence fees, and online advertising spend. There are also three cards that are used specifically to book travel on booking platform TripActions – one each for EUR, GBP, and USD.
For cards that need a minimum balance to ensure that advertising campaigns or software licences aren’t cancelled due to insufficient funds, Paraag’s team have set up auto top-ups so that business can go ahead with minimal admin.
Soldo has also been a lifesaver during lockdown for the finance team, where it would typically have been more difficult to keep an eye on what’s being spent.
‘We’re all working from home, and Soldo gives us control over what’s happening with the cards that are out there, both physical and digital’, says Paraag. ‘It gives you comfort’.
There are quantifiable benefits, too: dotdigital’s reporting and spending processes are now more streamlined than ever.
‘With Soldo we’re saving time reporting because the vast majority of our transactions are now in one place rather than in many different sources’.
‘From a budgetary perspective, we’re using one payment solution for the majority of our transactions. We don’t need to have five vendors across different currencies or geographies’ Paraag says.
For Paraag, the switch to Soldo has meant greater visibility over spend, a more simplified expenses process, and a perfect match for the way dotdigital does business: modern, tech-savvy and internationally minded.