Revolutionary Strategy: Transforming Banks into Clients – How Fintech Torpago Outshines Brex and Ramp

Torpago, a commercial credit card and spend management provider, is no different, but with one caveat — banks are who it builds technology for, particularly community banks. “We started as a competitor with Brex and Ramp, as well as American Express and Capital One,” Jackson told TechCrunch. The Torpago Powered By tools and infrastructure enable means that those banks’ to customers don’t have to leave the bank’s brand domain to get sophisticated fintech features. Banks have all the customers, and they have all the card volume, but “they have the absolute worst credit card tools and technology,” he said. Since making the shift to banks as customers, that was whittled down to 300 companies while it goes after bank customers.

Fintechs have become known for using technology to revolutionize the customer experience, even giving traditional banks a run for their money (pun intended). Torpago, a provider of commercial credit cards and spend management services, is no exception. However, what sets them apart is their focus on community banks, rather than competing with other high-profile platforms like Brex, Mercury, and Ramp.

“Our competitors are more like Fiserv and Finastra, companies that offer software solutions to community banks,” Torpago founder and CEO Brent Jackson explained. “We started off competing with Brex and Ramp, along with American Express and Capital One, but we quickly realized that this wasn’t the market we wanted to target.”

In 2023, Torpago launched their “Torpago Powered By” product, which encompasses all of their features designed for small businesses but is tailored for regional and community banks with less than $20 billion in assets. The platform allows these banks to offer their own branded credit cards and spend management programs without forcing customers to leave their banking domain.

The company takes pride in being a partner, rather than a competitor, to banks. As Jackson said, “Banks have all the customers and the card volume, but they lack the technology and tools to maximize their potential.” With Torpago’s offering, banks can provide sophisticated fintech features, improve the customer experience, and potentially generate more fee income.

In addition, Torpago has an advantage over its competitors when it comes to data sharing. “Other providers were struggling to provide banks with comprehensive reporting and insights into their customers’ spending habits,” Jackson shared.

Torpago currently works with three banks and is onboarding six more over the next six months. The company recently secured $10 million in Series B funding on a valuation of $55 million, with participation from Priority Tech Ventures, EJF Ventures, BankTech Ventures, and other existing investors. This brings their total funding to $18 million, including a $6 million Series A in 2023.

Over the past year, Torpago has been focused on rebuilding its infrastructure to cater to banks. This includes implementing artificial intelligence, such as large language models, for underwriting, credit memos, and risk scores. The company also plans to launch an AI-powered chatbot for corporate travel booking next quarter.

Carey Ransom, managing director of BankTech Ventures, explained the strategic partnership between Torpago and the banks in their ecosystem. “We know this isn’t a winner-takes-all market,” he said. “There is a huge need for an upgrade in the commercial card and expense management space, and Torpago’s unique approach sets them apart from the competition. Working with and through banks is a great way for them to differentiate themselves.”

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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