They say write what you know.
So, early in 2019 – which feels like a lonnnnng time ago – we published a blog post called How Pleo Uses Pleo.
Using examples from their own work, a handful of our people showed off how they manage spending with their Pleo cards. Not just what they buy, but what Pleo meant for how their team worked.
And since we published that article, well, things have changed. Our business has grown, teams have evolved, new people have joined and coolest of all, our cards now do even more.
So it felt like a good time to meet the team and discover How Pleo Uses Pleo… now.
Evangelos – Community Lead, Copenhagen
The beating heart of our Copenhagen HQ is our office hero Evangelos. He keeps our home base ticking over beautifully for our team – and any visitors.
It’s a lot of work and means there’s a huge variety in how Evangelos uses his Pleo card.
Just look at this list of things he regularly pays for: “Several types of milk for coffee; lots of things for lunch, like napkins; beers for Friday drinks; stamps, balloons, bubbles if we need to celebrate. Not to mention painkillers, hygiene products and office supplies.
“Oh, and I help to do that for our satellite offices and remote workers too!”
OK, that’s a lot, but it’s outside of the everyday purchases that Evangelos and his card really shine.
“I can use Pleo to send flowers to people who are sick or going through a tough time, or to organise a baby basket for any new parents in our team.”
Told you he was a hero.
Uta – Sales Team Lead, Berlin
Before the lockdown curtailed movement, travel accounted for most of Uta and her sales team’s spending. Working in sales is, after all, about meeting people.
As the world reopens, it’s time to hit the road again. With Uta’s Pleo card, booking those trips – whether it’s around Berlin, to other places in Germany, or to our Copenhagen HQ – is straightforward, and risk free with travel insurance.
“Big journeys by plane or train can be booked online with ease, while shorter trips in a taxi or on public transport just need a tap of a card at a payment terminal.”
But as we’ve worked hard to establish ourselves in Germany, Uta’s spending has been about more than just getting where she needs to go.
She’s also been spending on those little flourishes that help new customers and contacts know how valued they are.
“One of our favourite clients was – and probably still is – busy as hell recently,” says Uta.
“So we sent him coffee from our favourite Berlin coffee roasters (who is also a client of ours) because despite being so busy, he always helps us with questions and whatever else comes up.”
Sam – Customer Success Manager, London
As Uta’s coffee gift shows, a Pleo card can empower people to be creative in their day-to-day work.
Going the extra mile to build customer loyalty and establish your brand is easier when it doesn’t involve faff and red tape.
Take our Customer Success Manager, Sam Kelley, who’s part of the team that works closely with our customers.
Sam says: “I use Pleo to help me do stuff that would seem a bit strange – but it’s stuff that has really worked out for me.”
Recently, that’s meant branching out into creating video content.
It might seem an unusual step for what is, fundamentally, a CX role – but it’s helping Sam make the most of his industry knowledge and network. He gets to learn some new skills and push himself, meanwhile the Pleo brand gets a measurable boost amongst a target audience.
Buying a green screen with his Pleo card and paying a small amount for subtitling has meant Sam’s videos really make a splash. They reach people who might not have heard of Pleo otherwise and engage partners keen to know more about what we can do for them.
“It’s empowering to have the freedom (within a lot of reason) to do things that can really help me push my part of Pleo on,” says Sam.
Jessie – Head of People, Remote
It won’t surprise you to hear that our People Ops team use their Pleo cards for a lot of fun team activities.
But for Jessie, a Pleo card helps her to drive the Future of Work agenda forward in the People team.
“The Pleo card is a great example of a progressive workplace benefit that can be scaled globally. One of our values is trust: we trust our employees — we never ask them to spend out-of-pocket.”
The fact that this benefit is borderless and focuses on delegation helps Jessie and the team to build our benefits with this mindset.
“For example, everyone gets a budget for lunch, which is one of our benefits. Those based in physical offices get it catered and don’t have to Pleo anything. Those of us remote, however, can Pleo our lunches every day — we share in the HQ benefit, empowered by our Pleo cards”.
Laith – IT Manager, Copenhagen
Now, some of us might break out in a sweat at the mere idea of forking out wads of company money. But for an IT manager, it’s just part of the job.
For Laith, the real value of his Pleo card is the freedom to make big purchases without having to jump through the hoops of traditional expense management.
“I regularly use my Pleo card for big purchases,” says Laith. “Mostly it’s for onboarding new starters and opening up new offices as we’ve grown.”
The adjustable spending limits on Pleo cards mean Laith can be given more budget when he’s tooling up an office.
And subscriptions, so important to modern business, can add up too.
“I run all the company-wide software subscriptions on my Pleo card,” says Laith. “Notion, G-Suite, Office365, Slack, the list goes on.”
“Having all of that spending in a single-pane view? Super convenient. If I had to spread subscriptions out on different payment methods? Super annoying.”
Bene – Head of Performance Marketing, Copenhagen
Social media ads are crucial to so many companies today. They boost brand awareness and unlock new customers, as well as offering the kind of data-driven insights that can make a real difference.
But vital for those campaigns is setting a budget and sticking to it. Monitoring your spend to make sure you’re getting a real bang for your buck.
For Benedikt Bürig, our Head of Performance Marketing, Pleo offers “a really convenient and centralised place to keep track of costs – particularly at the end of the month.
“Custom limits add a level of safety and help us avoid overspending,” he adds.
“Pleo makes regular reporting to our finance team totally redundant since they see ad platform invoices in real-time.”
And since Pleo cards have evolved from prepaid cards to credit cards, they’re accepted by Google Ads. Which, we probably don’t need to tell you, is a pretty big deal.
Miia – Associate Product Manager, London
This past year has proven just how important it is to keep your team connected as we all work from home — and sometimes a Zoom quiz doesn’t quite cut it.
As we creep up to a year of working remotely, our Product Manager, Miia, has been creative when it comes to team-building exercises to keep morale high.
“I’ve always been a person who loves parties, bringing people together, food and cocktails, and this is something that I brought into Pleo. I’ve organised additional activities to do with the team in the UK office, something bigger quarterly.
“I also planned a company cook-along, where people joined from across the world and could Pleo their ingredients. As a product manager, especially with a remote team, you want to bring the team together. And what better way than virtual experiences or beer tastings?
“Small things matter - whether it's ice cream or a refreshing Coke during the afternoon, with the Pleo card I can easily make my colleague’s day better. That small purchase can turn around a lot, and with a Pleo card I feel that’s the most powerful thing.”
And planning fun activities isn’t the only thing Miia has used her Pleo card for. “I’ve used Pleo to book a course as I just changed roles and wanted to ramp up my skills. After just one chat, I signed up for a course that has been so impactful on my development journey.”
Aiyana – Country Manager, Madrid
Growing a company like Pleo in markets like the UK and Denmark where we’re established is tough. Doing it in countries where we’ve kind of just arrived is even tougher.
But Aiyana Moorhead, our new Country Manager in Spain, isn’t just taking that challenge on – she’s using her Pleo card to remove time-draining admin from her considerable workload.
Her spending runs from the practical (sorting an office space, once business is more normalised) to the more intangible (coffees and lunches with market experts, customers and clients to inform what we do).
A new market often involves using freelance or part-time talent as we find our feet and localise our product. By giving them their own Pleo card, Aiyana helps them to maximise their productivity and feel part of the growing team.
Outside help doesn’t stop there. With her Pleo card, Aiyana can organise events at the Madrid office, to help get the word out there about Pleo and lock in our place in the market.
Jeppe – CEO and co-founder, Everywhere
Even as Pleo has grown, its key value for our CEO is the same as it is for most CEOs that love our cards.
“We have different teams set up in Pleo based on departments. Managers of those teams are then responsible for the expenses of their own team,” says Jeppe.
“I still have an overview of all spending, but use the analytics view to follow the spending patterns and have better overall oversight.
“Automatic reminders within Pleo makes sure employees attach missing receipts, so we don’t have to ping them. Having all things in place is crucial for us and makes our yearly audit a lot easier.”
But there’s a Pleo feature that really, really helps Jeppe to do his job. It’s tags.
“Expense tags are a very valuable feature for us, as we can track not just department spending, but specific projects in more detail.”
New hire – you tell us, just about anywhere …
It’s not just seasoned Pleo’ers that get Pleo cards.
Along with the introduction of our Bricks onboarding programme last year, we also instated new rules around which employees get Pleo cards. Answer: all.
Yes, all 250+ of us!
As soon as a new employee contract is signed, sealed and delivered, we ship out a Pleo card to the new starter. They get the chance to play around with Pleo before they arrive for their first day at work – buying any work essentials they need in the meantime, plus booking any travel or accommodation required as part of their onboarding.
Beyond the aspect of spending efficiency, handing over cards to every Pleo employee allows for each individual to have a deep-rooted understanding of our product and the overarching mission we are on: to become the interface of spending for forward-thinking teams.
PS We would be remiss not to mention that we’re hiring right now. Come show us what you can do.