Is your wallet stuffed full of paper receipts? Expenses solutions such as Expensify, Concur and KDS all allow you to photograph your business receipts. You still need them to be passed through to an accounting function for processing, archive and storage. This is costly, time consuming and probably shortens the life of your wallet as well. Even if you only retain personal receipts it is still an issue. Now Revel Systems has integrated with Expensify to signal the end of the paper receipt.
Revel Systems deliver point of sale solutions for iPads. The partnership with Expensify sees receipts electronically sent direct to Expensify without the need to print anything. This is the first POS solution that Expensify has integrated into and sees the two startups forging a solution that others will surely copy. Revel already has 13 clients using the integrated solution though the company revealed little about how many receipts have been electronically sent. Oussama Mannaa, owner of Soma Eats, a cafe in downtown San Francisco and Revel client commented “This feature is easy to implement and it helps my customers transfer their business expenses automatically into reports. The partnership shows that Revel and Expensify are two companies that care about their clients and how they can stand apart from their competitors.”
David Barrett, founder and CEO of Expensify commented “This integration came about because we wanted to partner with a point-of-sale platform that is transforming the way people operate their business. Through Revel’s open API, we were able to easily integrate with the system, making it the best and most natural choice for our first integration.”
The technical details of how the integration works is slim. The inference is that a copy of the receipt is sent to Expensify where the merchant name, date and receipt amount are “SmartScanned with Expensify’s patented OCR technology”. Only if a credit card was used is the data auto categorised. This therefore appears to be the first iteration of the integration.
What will be interesting is to see how far the two companies can take the integration. If more details such as the categorisation and details of the merchant and goods can be transferred to Expensify then more information will be available to approvers. Just because an employee spends money at a coffee shop doesn’t mean that the items they spend money on should always be covered by expenses. There is also an interesting gap in the market for personal expenses as well. If Expensify can crack the paperless receipt then there is a personal benefit to having access to receipts electronically that might open up their solution to non-corporate users.
For Revel Systems, who are expanding rapidly with offices in the US, London, Singapore, Lithuania and Australia this is an interesting deal that indicates their solution is being noticed outside of their initial customer base. In joining the Expensify ecosystem they potentially can reach out to other retailers and it will be interesting to see whether retailers who use Expensify themselves consider the solution. Lisa Falzone, co-founder and CEO of Revel commented “We’re excited to partner with Expensify, a company that shares our mission of making people’s lives easier. Our fully customizable platform allows us to partner with companies like Expensify that are empowering business owners and operators to provide their customers with the best possible experience.”
In the UK alone 11.2bn paper receipts are issued every year at a cost of £32m (Source: Which). Revel are not the only Company that can offer this kind of solution but it is one of the few that is integrated into a POS solution. Several other solutions are around, but these often require additional equipment. The problem for many retailers is that POS devices are expensive to replace. They are often using archaic solutions that they have no incentive to remove. It will be interesting to see how this joint solution both evolves in terms of the information passed and stored as well as its reach in terms of activated devices.