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Expend moves into the marketplace race

UK expense and spend management solution Expend has launched a new marketplace which has been designed to support “its SME clients outside the world of expenses”.

22nd Jan 2020
Staff Writer AccountingWEB
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Expend marketplace logo
Expend marketplace

Expend officially released its newest venture to the public on Monday 20 January, following development and beta testing with its customers.

The expense platform had toyed with the idea of its own business services marketplace since Xerocon 2019, revealed Expend’s head of marketing Adam Clarke. “To our mind, we’ve solved the expenses problem, so we’ve created a marketplace for businesses that are a natural fit”.

Expend marketplace: Rhyme and reason 

The launch of the new Expend marketplace comes as new Merchant Savvy research finds that 46% of UK SMEs have experienced barriers when trying to access finance, making it difficult for smaller businesses in the country to grow.

Looking to ease this burden, Expend’s head of partnerships Kayley Hunter said the marketplace will support SMEs outside expenses and provide them with the tools they need to “supercharge their businesses in 2020.” 

With customers already asking for advice on various finance and business solutions, Hunter explained that Expend’s “hand-picked partnerships” will help its partners easily access recommended services. 

The goal of the marketplace is to provide “support with fast, flexible finance, and software to streamline the management of their day-to-day,” she added.

Expend marketplace partners 

Expend’s choice of marketplace partners ranges from cashflow, HR, and finance, to new accounting software. 

Partners begin with “businesses that seem obvious; expense and spending support platforms and fintechs like iwoca, Esme Loans and MarketFinance”, said Clarke. 

Iwoca, Tanda, Esme Loans, MarketFinance, FreeAgent, Capitalise, VAT IT, and Commuter Club have so far partnered with Expend to become part of the marketplace. Clarke added that “there are a few [potential businesses] in the process or final stages” of becoming Expend marketplace partners.  

Despite Expend’s plans to look at marketing apps and alternative platforms used by businesses, Clarke confirmed that the marketplace will be “focused on accounting-based providers”.

Martketplace perks

Expend customers using the marketplace will have exclusive marketplace discounts, extended free trials of available services, and integration between Xero and Quickbooks, as Expend’s established partners, and its marketplace partners. 

“Obviously, the idea was to give Expend users exclusive offers,” said Clarke. “And if that's successful, which we believe it will be, we'll start looking at providing deals and offers to anyone using the platform or marketplace, whether that be Costa or Gregg's, in the coming months.”

For the time being, however, Expend is focusing on providing discounts that are relevant to CFOs, finance teams and business owners first.”  

Expensive ambitions

In addition to the marketplace launch, Expend continues to update and add to its repertoire of features. By the end of 2019, Expend had launched scanning and invoice scanning features with email integrated within the system.  

Currently, Expend is testing and plans to launch payment options supported by various types of payment including PayPal, credit cards and bank transfer so the payment is not reliant on Expend’s card. Clarke explained that this move would make Expend “a completely agnostic spend and expense management platform”.

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