Impesa: Harmonizing Payment Management

Mario Hernández, Founder & CEO Battle lines were inevitably drawn when a new breed of fintech startups stormed the financial industry, vowing to put traditional bankers out of business. However, both parties eventually withdrew their feelings of discord, as established banks, hamstrung by legacy systems couldn’t replicate the novel services delivered by startups, and the digitally native fintechs failed to match up with the brand loyalty and scale displayed by the banks. Having traversed from competition to collaboration, today, the race is on to partner with the best disruptors in the industry. In such a scenario, Impesa, an innovative fintech startup, is reimagining expense and payment methods for business, commercial and retail customers of a bank with its state-of-the-art SaaS solutions and cutting-edge customer service. The brainchild of banking veteran Mario Hernández, Impesa largely resonates the founder’s effort to bridge the gaps in banking technology and payment solutions that he observed first-hand during his career trajectory spanning two decades. “Our aim is to empower banks with a competitive advantage through best-in-class software and customer-centric strategies that not only reduce time-to-market but also frees IT teams to focus on other critical tasks at hand such as meeting regulatory requirements or audit reporting,” explains Hernández, Founder and CEO, Impesa.

Futuristic Banking at Play

First in the series of Impesa’s fintech solutions suite is its flagship product Monibyte, a powerful cloud-based proprietary technology that enables business customers of a corporate bank to seamlessly manage and control the way credit cards are used. Initially launched in Costa Rica, the platform’s unique value proposition has taken it today to Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic. Within two years of its operation, Impesa obtained principal member licenses for both Visa and MasterCard and is currently the only non-bank credit card issuer in the region that is compliant with all government, banking, and card issuer regulations. The platform’s state-of-the-art SaaS engine easily integrates with major enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems such as SAP and Oracle and allows customers to customize card behavior instantly. For example, a credit card can be programmed to specifically cover fuel, meal, or travel expenses and an employer has full control over the spending limit and time and place of purchase, among other things.

By combining card integration with GPS in certain locations, the solution also facilitates fleet management and has the ability to set spending controls down to a precise geographic location.
“With Monibyte, a distribution company with big fleets was able to save up to $360,000 on a yearly basis out of the $6 million spent on fuel,” adds Hernández. Moreover, with Monibyte, it is easy to generate reliable expense reports while reducing accounting tasks. Above all, companies can modify the settings for every card at any time from the Monibyte web-based dashboard or using the App (available for iOS and Android) without contacting a bank. The software allows organizations to implement a number of security restrictions, control transactions, change authorization parameters, and generate reports—all in real-time, eliminating credit card misuse and fraud. “We partner with over 1,000 companies and have completed millions of transactions in just three years. With our best in class approach we have seen banks triple their purchasing volume as well as fee income from commissions in less than two years after implementation and launch of Monibyte. In my years of service in the banking world, rarely have I seen a new solution generate such high profits in the given timeframe, which speaks volumes about Impesa’s value proposition,” states Hernández.

We are constantly finding new ways to improve our products while accommodating client needs, and we achieve this through our strong focus on innovation

Covering all Ends

Meanwhile, governed by an aim to address all possible banking needs through an end-to-end integrated platform, Impesa offers Layla, a personalized artificial intelligence service that functions as a customer service agent. It allows end users to have a natural conversation with a specialized digital assistant round the clock. The solution handles dynamic dialogs through user-friendly chat channels and can make decisions autonomously and intelligently. Layla can initiate credit card or loan requests, facilitate card management, and is also capable of cross-selling, handling insurance claims, and offering coverage consultation. At present, the company is in the process of implementing more advanced features into Layla, specifically for insurance seekers. “If a customer is traveling and wants to purchase additional insurance, our AI-driven platform can address the client’s requirements through a fully automated selling process,” reveals Hernández. Layla offers unlimited scalability, integrates with Visa APIs and Banks APIs without any third-party technological intervention, and has the ability to continually learn new concepts and conversation intents.

In addition, having noticed that a common problem plaguing banks is the lack of access to efficient information for analysis of microsegmentation and revenue drivers, the company has created Brainert, a BI analytics data factory and balanced scorecard.
With Brainert, banks can attain valuable information on the lifecycle of a card holder—from acquisition, activation to usage and retention customer’s cycle details—after which Impesa creates targeted strategies to improve marketing and promotions and financial insights. The solution has already witnessed immense success and is helping several banks maximize profitability by driving revenue and cost savings. “Brainert is largely based on best practices from Visa and MasterCard and also our deep expertise in managing credit card portfolios,” says Hernández.

Designed to Win

In an instance, a bank’s corporate customer with a net income of $1 million per year saved over $110,000 in a very short time— with virtually no investment—by using Impesa’s solutions to manage travel expenses. With Monibyte, the client could impose restrictions on credit card spending and since the entire process is automated, any transaction exceeding the preplanned budget was automatically declined.

"We have completed millions of transactions in just three years"

Before taking any client onboard, Impesa conducts a gap analysis during the very first meeting to get an idea of the client’s expectations. Any software requirements, whether it should be web-based, customized, or white-labeled, are taken into consideration in order for Impesa to provide an estimate of when the integration process will be completed. For maximum user efficiency, Impesa also offers a lite version of its solution using Visa’s APIs. “We are constantly finding new ways to improve our products while accommodating client needs, and we achieve this through our strong focus on innovation which has enabled us to outperform our competitors at every step,” mentions Hernández. To stimulate an environment of continuous improvement and strong company culture, Impesa also focuses on understanding the passions of each employee in order to keep them motivated.

When a company holds the advantage of a superior product that is backed by optimum services, the potential for growth is limitless. Recently, Impesa secured a second round of investment and is fully funded to continue driving product innovation as well as geographical expansions. As a part of its growth program, Impesa is looking at extending their BI analytics tools to a larger market. The company also has an agreement with Visa to distribute its technology products through its channels, and is in the process of signing an agreement for its product distribution with a large consulting firm. Impesa also holds a deep interest in blockchain and is contemplating the prospect of adding new features around it. “Our banking background and strong corporate governance culture have proved immensely useful in picking the interest of banks and investors alike. Moving forward, we see our niche solution suite become a go-to platform for payment and expense management in the banking sector all over the world,” ends Hernández.


Stamford, CT, USA. / Escazú, Costa Rica

Mario Hernández, Founder & CEO

Offers a range of fintech SaaS payment and expense control solutions for banks and the retail industry