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Bento for Business is a startup company that has launched a prepaid card for small business that cannot get or do not want to use a credit card, it announced this week. A write up in Forbes explains why the company created the card.
The Bento MasterCard is designed specifically to help small business owners manage employee spending. The card is prepaid, so it’s a debit commercial card, not a credit card. It allows a business owner to set spending limits for each employee by day, week or month, and different limits can be set for different days. The platform also allows business owners to specify where an employ can make purchases.
The founders of the card make the case that prepaid cards offer a solution that avoids the problems of needing to apply for business credit or using personal credit cards for small businesses. However, one of the problems facing many small businesses is a disconnection between revenues and operating expenses. Some companies may need credit for the cash flow. That said, by allowing spending controls and prefunding of expenses, Bento would be a useful tool for those companies that can and do manage their expenses closely. It also could serve as a tool for people who have saved to fund a sole proprietorship for example, and want to segment money from their personal accounts. Bento says that it plans to eventually offer all the financial tools needed to run a business. It should look into connecting invoicing and electronic payments to the card so that it can become a toll for getting paid as well as making payment
Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group
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