Payhawk is a cloud-based spend management solution that combines corporate cards, expenses, and accounts payable into a single platform. This makes it easy for businesses to track and control spending, automate workflows, and get paid faster.
In my comprehensive Payhawk review, I will detail the inner workings of this platform, present its functionalities, and asses its features to give you a clearer idea of its performance in managing expenses. Is it worth using? How does it compare against competitors such as Pleo, Soldo and Spendesk.
I will also consider the real-life applications of Payhawk, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses to help you decide if it is the right choice for your business.
Payhawk – My Verdict
If you want to streamline your business expense management, I’ve found Payhawk to be a solid choice. This platform supports you in keeping your company’s expenses under check while allowing you to focus on your core business operations.
If your business operates within the European Economic Area (EEA), Payhawk suits your needs well. The platform has the flexibility of spending in GBP and EUR options, making cross-border transactions smooth and effortless.
If you’re considering using credit cards as a major transaction tool, Payhawk offers a substantial credit limit of 250,000£. This limit is generous enough for most organisations. An added bonus is that they don’t conduct credit checks or ask for personal guarantees.
This can be a great relief if you’re looking for hassle-free credit solutions without the stress of lengthy checks and paperwork.
However, I strongly believe Payhawk is more suited to larger businesses. The advanced features and pricing structure of Payhawk might be overkill for a small company. Larger organisations, on the other hand, can fully harness the power of Payhawk to manage multiple employees, handle large volumes of expenses and invoices, and streamline their budget forecasting.
If you’re considering opting for Payhawk, I’d advise you to go for the Enterprise Plan. It’s not the least expensive option, but the rich feature set and scalability it provides can be a game-changer..
Payhawk’s excellent customer support can guide you on the specific features that would be beneficial for your business and assist in determining the optimal number of cards you need.
Pros & Cons of Payhawk
- Streamlined Expense Management – Payhawk simplifies expense reporting and management by eliminating the need for manual paper-based processes.
- Real-Time Visibility – The real-time overview of all company expenses allows for better cost control and fraud prevention.
- Multi-Currency – The platform supports multiple currencies and allows employees to spend in those currencies.
- Cashback – This allows you to earn back 1% of some of your expenditures.
- Easy Budget Tracking – Payhawk facilitates budget tracking and sharing and lets you keep everyone on the same page about financial limitations and goals.
- Flexible Spending Limits – You can easily set and adjust spending limits per individual, team or category.
- Integration with Accounting Software – Payhawk seamlessly integrates with most major accounting software platforms.
- Learning Curve – Getting familiar with the system may take some time, especially the budgeting tools.
- High Late Payment Fees – If you do not repay your credit card balance in full and on time, Payhawk charges high late payment fees.
- ATM Withdrawal Fees – If your employees frequently need to withdraw cash, you may find this a downside.
- Credit Limits – Payhawk’s credit limit largely depends on the business’s financial health, which could be a potential limitation.
- Limited Cashback – Cashback is capped at the business’s monthly subscription amount, which makes it less appealing for larger businesses.
- Cost – For smaller businesses, the cost of using Payhawk might be heavy.
A Brief History of Payhawk
Founded in 2018 by Hristo Borisov, Boyko Karadzhov, and Konstantin Dzhengozov, Payhawk successfully raised its first capital – a $140,400 pre-Seed investment round in July.
In February 2019, more investors boarded, allowing the company to raise a significantly larger pre-Seed round of $540,000.
In March 2020, Payhawk took another substantial leap forward and raised a seed round of $3,300,000 from an expanded list of investors.
The momentum continued well until 2022 when Payhawk raised another impressive $100,000,000 in a Series B round.
Payhawk currently has more than 1.000 customers.
Key Features of Payhawk
- Credit or Debit VISA – Unlike many competitors, Payhawk does issue VISA credit cards.
- Multi-Currency Credit Lines – Your credit line can be in GBP and EUR, which is useful if your business operates in the EEA.
- Easy Card Management – Payhawk lets you order, freeze or cancel your cards from the platform, making your experience simpler and safer.
- Virtual Cards – To add more safety, you can issue temporary virtual cards to make punctual purchases online.
- Custom Spending Limits – You can set spending policies and limits for specific employees or teams, to streamline your budget management.
- Travel Expense Management – The platform includes a dedicated travel expense platform, making managing your team’s movements easier.
- Budgeting Tools – Payhawk’s budgeting centre lets you track spending in real-time to make financial planning easier.
- Easy App Integration – Payhawk is compatible with more than 50 accounting software.
- Cashback – Payhawk cards have a cashback program up to a fixed amount (your monthly subscription)
- Payment Control – You can approve invoice payments directly from the platform. Payhawk will make sure to handle the transfer.
Who is Eligible for a Payhawk Account?
The basic eligibility criteria to open a Payhawk account are:
- Business status – Payhawk does not serve individual users. Your business must be registered and have a physical address. Payhawk supports Sole traders, partnerships, limited companies, public companies, non-profits, and government organisations.
- Geographical location – Payhawk accepts companies from European Economic Areas (EEA), the UK, and the US.
- Business Type – Your business must not fall under their list of prohibited businesses, often including high-risk industries like gambling or weapons manufacturing.
- Age – You must be at least 18 (or the age of majority in your jurisdiction).
How to Open an Account with Payhawk?
- Visit Payhawk – Visit payhawk.com and book a demo with the team
- Create your Account – Input your details and business details (name, email address, physical address, directors’ info…)
- ID Check – Payhawk will send you and your director an identity verification. You will have to send a photo of your ID and a selfie. Allow 24 hours for Payhwak’s team to verify your ID.
- Start Using Payhawk – Once Payhawk’s team contacts you, you can use the platform.
- Deposit Limit? – If Payhawk stills need additional information from you, you will have a £250 spending limit until the beneficiary owners of your business and the rest of the directors are identified.
Payhawk’s Fees & Charges
Payhawk’s fees and charges are articulated around 3 plans, each bringing additional features and perks. Their main fees and services are structured as follows:
Pricing and Services
|Service / Fee||Premium Cards||All-In-One Spend||Enterprise|
|Subscription||£199 per month||£299 per month||Custom|
|Expense Card||£9 p/m per card||£9 p/m per card||Variable|
|Physical Debit / Credit Cards||✅||✅||✅|
|Virtual Debit / Credit Cards||✅||✅||✅|
|EUR & GBP Account||✅||✅||✅|
|Free SEPA in the UK||❌||✅||✅|
|Customer Success Specialist||❌||❌||✅|
VISA Card Transaction Fees
|Transaction Fee||Debit Card||Credit Card|
|UK Transaction Fee||£0||£0|
|International Transaction Fee||£0||£0|
|UK ATM Withdrawal||0.5% (min. 2€)||2.99% + 5€|
|International ATM Withdrawal||0.5% (min. 2€)||2.99% + 5€|
|Foreign Exchange Rate||1.99%||1.99%|
Is Payhawk Safe to Use?
- Certified Platform – Payhawk is certified with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which ensures your funds and data are safe.
- Data Protection and Fraud Prevention – Payhawk has built controls across the platform to ensure your personal data remains safe, secure, and compliant with GDPR.
- Segregation of Funds – The funds you deposit to Payhawk do not enter their account. It is directly sent to authorised e-money institutions, which means Payhawk never receives, holds, transfers or comes into possession of your funds.
- Powered by VISA– When using your Payhawk cards, you’ll be protected by VISA’s zero liability policy.
- Advanced Security Features.
- Biometric Identification – Fingerprint or facial recognition provides a highly secure way to log into your app.
- 3D Secure – This added layer of security for online transactions send a notification to approve the transaction directly in-app when required.
- Virtual Cards – For additional safety when making punctual payments, you can use virtual cards, keeping your main card details private.
So, is it safe? Yes, Payhawk implements every standard security measure necessary to ensure your funds and data are safe.
Is Payhawk Good for International Payments?
Payhawk has a fee-free policy on debit and credit card payments abroad, which makes it a decent option if your employees travel frequently.
With Payhawk, you can decide to spend in GBP or EUR without fees.
However, be aware that you will be charged for ATM withdrawals and that payments in other currencies will incur a 1.99% FOREX Fee.
So, is it good? If your business operates in the UK and the EEA, and you do not use much cash, Payhawk is a great option.
Does Payhawk Give Credit Cards?
Yes, Payhawk does provide VISA credit cards. These come with a £250.000 credit limit (based on an assessment) and GBP and EUR credit lines.
Payhawk credit cards come with zero interest, which makes them a solid alternative to traditional offers.
Payhawk does not conduct personal credit checks, and you won’t need a personal guarantee to apply.
Be careful >>> late repayments of your credit are subject to a fee of 4% per annum above the Bank of England’s base rate.
What’s the Payhawk App Like?
Payhawk’s user interface, both on desktop and mobile, is designed with simplicity and intuitiveness in mind. Its clean lines, muted colour palette, and minimalist design make navigation effortless.
A simple navigation menu on the top right gives you access to the platform’s “apps”: expenses, subscriptions, cards etc.
From the app, you can capture receipts instantly with your phone’s camera and upload them directly. This simple feature drastically simplifies expense reporting and reduces mistakes.
Managing your corporate cards is also seamless: you can issue, load, and control virtual and physical company cards directly from the app. The individual spending limits and categories make it easier to manage company-wide policies without adding complexity.
The ability to make and receive payments directly within the app and in multiple currencies is a boon if you operate internationally, and the integration of payment approval workflows also adds a layer of security and control over your finances.
Finally, Payhawk offers some great reporting features. The app can generate detailed reports on company-wide spending, giving you a birds-eye view of where your money is going. It can even predict future spending based on past data, helping you plan better.
I particularly liked Payhawk’s invoice management feature, which allows you to scan and import your invoices directly from the app. Some businesses treat a lot of invoices on a daily basis, but Payhawk makes it way easier.
Payhawk Customer Reviews
87% of Trust Pilot reviewers award Payhawk 5 stars, with 4% giving a one-star rating. Positive reviews speak of a “quick service“, “excellent support” and “user-friendly platform“.
Some of the one-star reviewers mention “fees charged in excess” and “payments not working with certain providers“.
What are the Alternatives to Payhawk?
|Monthly Cost (Standard Account)||£199||£0||£6 per user||£0|
|Monthly Cost per Card||£9||£6||£5||£5|
|Accounting Software Integration||✅||✅||✅||✅|
|Fee-Free Spending Abroad||✅||❌||❌||✅|
|Fee-Free ATM Withdrawal Abroad||❌||❌||❌||✅*|
What is Payhawk?
Payhawk is a solution designed to help businesses manage their expenses and payments efficiently. It provides a robust platform that combines credit cards, payments, expenses, and cash flow in a single interface. With Payhawk, businesses can issue company cards to employees, automate expense reporting, manage invoices and receipts, and have a real-time overview of their spending.
Is Payhawk Safe?
Yes, Payhawk is designed with safety and security in mind. It employs advanced encryption technologies to protect users’ data and transactions. Payhawk also complies with financial regulations to ensure safety.
Can Payhawk be Integrated with Other Software?
Yes, Payhawk can be integrated with various accounting, HR, and ERP software solutions. These integrations allow for the seamless transfer of financial data, saving time and reducing the risk of errors in data entry.
Is Payhawk Suitable for Small Businesses?
Yes, Payhawk is suitable for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses. It offers scalable features that can adapt to the needs of growing businesses. Small businesses can benefit from Payhawk’s ability to streamline financial processes, automate expense reports, and provide real-time visibility into company spending. However, I believe some cheaper options exist for small businesses.