Written by Spencer Cowley, Writer/Editor at byvi
The life of a small business (SMB) owner is often like a trip down a long, winding road. Except, at every other bend, the trip screeches to a halt as the car pulls in for gas, or the noisy kids in the back seat request snacks, or a tire goes flat. Turns out, flat tires tend to follow when you keep launching your car off of ramps to jump through some unexpected hoops in your path.
The SMB’s journey can be a hectic one. One major factor in why startup founders and other owners of SMBs constantly work under pressure is the financial stress of the endeavor. For startups especially, the personal investment combined with the struggle to grow and earn both sales and funding makes life a juggle.
One of the core contributors of financial stress on businesses in general, but especially SMBs, is the drawback of traditional banking. Big banks are not built for small, modern, global businesses because these businesses are built beyond the capabilities of big banks.
That’s why Sandeep Todi and his team at fintech startup Truly Financial want to redefine what it means to bank for small business. A unique player in the emerging neobank scene, Truly Financial affordably offers a complete suite of financial services needed by modern businesses within a single platform. Todi believes that Truly Financial will allow small business owners to focus less on navigating through fragmented financial issues and focus more on navigating the future of their businesses.
The State of Traditional Banking and SMBs
As technology has advanced and fintech efforts have grown in recent years, banking is one industry that has failed to adapt and adopt. Heavy regulation, particularly after the economic crisis of 2008, and aging technological foundations have made it incredibly difficult for most established financial institutions to make the massive changes needed to reach the modern age. Not only that, but the rise in fintech ventures disrupting the field has also led to a lack of interested talent flocking to traditional banks.
While banks fall behind, SMBs continue to innovate and emphasize nimbleness, adopting new technologies as they emerge. The world is more connected than ever, and remote work rarely earns a questioning glance after almost three years in a global pandemic. This means that teams are stretching across time zones, geographies and currencies. Plus, the demand for faster payments is higher than ever as the PayPals and Venmos of the world help their users easily and instantly transfer money for minimal fees.
Though new services exist in the realm of fintech that support payments or money management or lending, very few companies offer the full package. This makes managing finances and time a true juggling act for SMB owners who need to utilize several different services.
Truly Financial: The All-In-One Banking Service
Todi and his co-founder, Kanchan Kumar, previously founded Remitr in 2016, a Canadian company built to enable faster, cheaper B2B payments online. In 2020, the founders began to work through an idea of how to go beyond payments and improve business banking overall.
Todi and Kumar decided to create Truly Financial as an all-in-one banking service that enables business owners to manage all of their finances from a single account, instead of having to use multiple services. This would be a one-of-a-kind service in North America, and they leveraged their expertise in software to build their own banking stack from the ground up.
Truly Financial’s complete suite of services includes a host of offerings that no other entity in the world is providing on a single platform:
- Checking accounts
- Multi-currency accounts (send and receive in up to 40 countries)
- Physical and virtual corporate Visa credit cards
- Receive payment via ACH, wire transfer, or credit card with integrations to various payment processing services like Stripe and Shopify
- Make same-day or one-day payments via ACH, direct deposit and wire transfers.
- Easy team payments in under two days depending on location
- Manage cash flow with individual spending limits and automatic balance alerts
- Two affordable pricing plans, including an option for no monthly fee and flat rate payments
- Reward system to earn cashback
Redefining Small Business Banking
As founders themselves, Todi and Kumar recognize that SMBs work differently than large enterprises. The people behind these growing companies have long needed a change to the banking systems in place.
This is why Truly Financial offers their customers a chance to bank simpler: Modern SMBs work differently with less resources, which is why they need to bank differently with greater rewards.
The Truly Financial team believes that the best way to deliver on that philosophy is through their custom-built stack of services housed within a single, streamlined platform, massively accessible to SMBs via a hyper-affordable pricing plan.
What’s Next for Truly Financial?
2022 is shaping up to be a big year for the neobank which officially launched in August of 2021. In the months since launch, Todi and his team have gained plenty of insights from their early adopters.
Todi says Truly Financial will continue to grow its internal team and amp up its digital marketing efforts, but now, the team knows it needs to continue to grow through new channels. One primary area of focus on Todi’s mind is partnerships: influencers, accounting firms and software developers are all potential partners who could help more SMBs find a new way to bank.
How Other Founders Can Learn From This Story
Todi has learned much in his years as a fintech startup founder. Among the many challenges that have arisen throughout his journey, it seems that the unexpected situations lent the greatest lessons. For example, when considering the shipping process of Visa cards to employees abroad, Todi and his team didn’t anticipate the stumbling block of a non-English speaking employee needing some additional explanation of the service.
Most importantly, Todi feels that founders should strive to know their customers like members of their own team, especially in the early adopter stage. Establishing a more amicable and genuine rapport with customers will inevitably lead to greater insights and specific feedback. Plus, it will make them feel more valued and, hopefully, earn some loyalty.
Above all, though, Todi wants other founders to remember that starting and running a business is a journey — one that can be stimulating, beautiful and filled with passion. While it’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day chaos of the road, it’s important to enjoy the scenery that surrounds the traffic.
WRITTEN BY Spencer Cowley
Writer & Editor at BYVI and Founder at Cowley Creative. Writing his way towards a meaningful impact on the world.