To Catch a Thief (No, Not an Employee)…With Bento

Getting More Than You Bargained For

Kevin signed up for Bento because he recognized that there had to be a better way to control employee spending, but what he experienced thwarting a thief surprised even himself in the power of the new business prepaid cards.

The Boston Area Door Company (BADCO) installs commercial garage doors in and around the Boston area.  Owner, Kevin Pearce, manages a team of 5 installers who need fuel to power their service vehicles and occasionally make in-the-field planned and unexpected purchases.

Before signing up for Bento, Kevin would either make all purchases himself, or withdraw $300 from the ATM and drive to employees to dole out cash for purchases. All of which took a lot of time away from running and building his business.  As in so many service companies, Kevin’s wife manages all accounting functions.  Beyond the time Kevin’s wife wasted chasing down receipts (some of which would never surface), without receipts BADCO would have to pay tax twice, as they couldn’t deduct tax on undocumented purchases.

Now with Bento, each employee has a Bento card and BADCO has an electronic paper trail of all purchases; when a tech has 5 purchases, they can now capture 5 receipts using Bento’s new mobile app and their smartphone camera.  Kevin’s company runs a lot smoother, as employees can be funded remotely, and the time and money savings are significant.  Kevin has even set up real-time purchase alerts that he receives via SMS text message on his smartphone, which is where our story takes a turn.

Kevin’s wife volunteers at a local high school and dropped her Bento card while donating her time at the school.  A student picked up her card and decided to listen to, well, let’s just say, not the angel on their shoulder, and head over to their local Dunkin Donuts to satisfy their sweet tooth.

Kevin was immediately notified of this purchase via a Bento SMS text message alert, which he had configured to trigger on any purchase or decline.  Knowing his wife was not the doughnut type, he quickly connected with her and shut off the card via the Bento website and his smartphone browser, minimizing damages and preventing further spending. “I have had a corporate card compromised and felt completely helpless,” says Kevin. “Without real-time text message alerts, it could have been a lot worse. But with Bento, I get unmatched visibility and feel in total control.”

While preventing further damage was a victory in and of itself, Kevin was also able to share the time of the SMS text message alert with police who used it to match against the timestamp of the security footage at the retail location to aid in ID’ing the suspect.  Book’em Bento!

As is often the case, business owners sign up for Bento as the solution to one problem, and quickly discover that it solves for additional and sometimes unexpected scenarios. For BADCO, Bento’s business prepaid cards were a simple solution to a nagging problem, but quickly became a “must have” business tool, as insatiable as a sweet tooth.