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Corporate travel management platform Lola.com has introduced Lola Spend, a budget and expense management solution.
Lola.com now has two offerings: The new Lola Spend as well as Lola Travel, the new name for its travel product. Lola Travel will continue to operate as it has been, CEO Mike Volpe said.
Lola Spend is built on the same platform as Lola Travel, and the two products are integrated, though clients don't have to use both. With Lola Spend, finance teams can set budgets for each group in a company. Then, the budget owners can manage expenses by category, team and individual employee.
Each employee is given a Visa company credit card, called a Lola Card, according to Volpe. It updates in real time and only permits employees to spend within their budget and on permitted merchant categories (for instance, an employee tasked with digital advertising would not be able to use their card for meals). Because of this process, Volpe said, expense reports are eliminated.
"It makes employees' lives easier," Volpe said. "It makes finance teams' lives easier. It keeps everyone on budget."
Lola Spend is free to users. Each time a Lola Card is used, Lola.com makes a small amount of money on the interchange, enabling it to fund the Lola Spend product.
According to Volpe, Lola.com headed into 2020 with a strong year of growth behind it, but things changed in March when the pandemic hit. Revenue fell, and new customer signups went down. But the company had two things in its favor in a team prepared to drive innovation, and cash in the bank to fund that innovation.
"We had heard from our customers about additional problems sort of related to travel, but not exactly about travel, that we had done a lot of research on," Volpe said.
Many of those questions revolved around budgets and expense reports, so the company set out to address those questions, leading to the creation of Lola Spend.
Originally published by Travel Weekly.
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