By: Mariah Young,

Traditionally, small and medium-sized business owners have been at a disadvantage when it comes to quality expense accounts and prepaid cards. The software that existed was targeted at large enterprise clients, solutions that just weren’t sensible for organizations that hadn’t scaled to the level to warrant attention from banks or the Oracles of the world.

Bento

Founded in 2014 by two veterans of the payments industry, Farhan Ahmad and Sean Anderson, Bento is providing a suite of high-quality financial tools for small to medium-sized businesses that can’t grab the attention of big banks.

When these two created Bento, there were lots of innovative ideas for consumer financial services, but business products were still stuck in the past—especially for tight-budgeted smaller to mid-sized operations.

“We saw a real opportunity to improve the financial health of millions of businesses by making their lives easier and saving them time and money.”

Andrew Jeon, Director of Product Management at Bento for Business

The first staple product they’ve created is the Bento Business Prepaid Debit Card.

Think of this card as an alternative to your standard business’ credit card—it provides real-time control over employee spending to improve business expenses. Additionally, you’re given the ability to set individual employee budgets and differentiate between the functionality any given prepaid card has, as well as set individual, custom controls over exactly where, when, and how much your employees can spend.Bento lets businesses manage their employee spending without compromising security, ease of use, or affordability, in turn saving their customers thousands of dollars in lost expenses and hours of administrative time.

The Problem

A key element that was needed when Bento began creating its platform was the ability for their partners (aka customers) to easily connect a bank account, and then transfer funds from their connected bank account into their Bento account. Then, using another service, the funds in the customer’s Bento account are loaded and spent using the prepaid debit cards.

If adding more funds to the Bento account wasn’t painless, then the experience wouldn’t be as enjoyable—rather, it’d become yet another process to manage. In short, Bento was looking for a partner that could provide more control over the customer’s experience in linking their bank account and transferring funds into their Bento account. The more integrated the process felt, the better for Bento.

The Solution

Dwolla’s Access API was a simple and quick integration for Bento’s team. Bento’s customers enjoy a seamless experience in linking and verifying their bank account using Instant Account Verification (IAV). Additionally, the API gives Bento better control over customer’s transfers from bank accounts into their Bento account, in turn, empowering Bento to provide a higher level of service to their customers.

“We were looking for a faster way to onboard our customers to use the Bento platform. Prepaid is a relatively new space and the act of connecting a bank account can be confusing. Dwolla helps take this confusion out. Now, customers can instantly link their bank account without having to wait several days for penny deposits.”

Andrew Jeon, Director of Product Management at Bento for Business

With a payments API at its back, Bento’s first business solution is already saving HR and accounting departments countless hours and headaches—not to mention improving the bottom line. Are you evaluating your payment software? We’d love to help. Get started by reaching out to one of our integration specialists below.

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Financial institutions play an important role in the Dwolla network.

Dwolla, Inc. is an agent of Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank and all funds associated with your account in the Dwolla network are held in pooled accounts at Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank. These funds are not eligible for individual insurance, including FDIC insurance and may not be eligible for share insurance by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Dwolla, Inc. is the operator of a software platform that communicates user instructions for funds transfers to Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank.