Mike Milan of Truly Financial Talks About the Benefits of Digital Banking

February 14, 2022

This episode is sponsored by Bookkeep

Episode Summary

Truly Financial’s Mike Milan joins Dawn Brolin to discuss the benefits of digital banking through Truly Financial, and highlights how banking, wire transfers, and implementing company spending cards can be made easy for everyone, including small businesses! Listen now to find out how Truly Financial can benefit your business, as well as how accounting professional can help save their clients money! 

Episode Notes

What is Truly Financial? 

Mike Milan of Truly Financial joins Dawn Brolin to discuss how digital banking can be beneficial for small businesses, and how Truly Financial helps save their clients hundreds of dollars in wire transfer fees and account minimum fees.

Truly Financial is a digital banking service that allows companies to have international purchasing power, even if they can’t compete with larger businesses around them. Truly Financial solves the currency exchange problem, and keeps the transaction local, rather than across borders. 

Mike even compares the ease of their wire transfers to using Venmo—transactions are made quick and easy.

Implemented Truly Financial in Your Business

Opening up an accountant with Truly Financial is easy, and can be done online! You provide them with basic identifying documents of you and your business, and they do the rest. 

Truly Financial Spend Management Cards

Truly Financial also provides you with spend management cards that you can distribute amongst your employees, rather than having to reimburse them. You are able to set the spending limits, see all the transitions that are taking place, and these cards can even be used for employees who work overseas. 

Mike highlights how you as the business owner are given up to 2.5% cash back on most purchases, even on the purchases made by your employees; they also have no minimum account fees! 

“We’re trying to bring the perks of the big bank down to everyone.” says Mike.


Learn more at https://trulyfinancial.com/


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Dawn Brolin 0:06
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Hey everybody and welcome back to the DM Disruption, myself Dawn Brolin your designated motivator is here to help you come up with solutions for your firm, but most importantly for your clients because they’re here for you to be the trusted adviser to guide them in the right direction, and we have one of my very favorite people I’ve known for a long time. Mike Milan, is here today from Truly Financial, an interestingly awesome product, that we’re going to kind of give you a little bit more detail about what Truly Financial can do for you and your firm, but also for your clients. So, Mike, thanks so much for coming. I love you, you’re like one of my favorite people, we it’s like you’re like a brother from another mother. Right?

Mike Milan 1:28
I will tell you, I’m motivated right now, I’m already motivated, right? So if you’re if your job is to motivate me, you did it even before we got on the call,

Dawn Brolin 1:36
Bang! That’s what we’re here to do. Because really the end of the day, we just want to solve the problems of the world. And one of them is, with regards to banking, and being able to make payments and to be able to collect money and to have, you know, your employees being able to have cards and you know, doing all these things so that we can run loose, you want to make business work better, faster and smoother. So Mike, tell us all about Truly Financial, let’s get this going.

Mike Milan 2:02
And I gotta tell you what I mean, when you look at it, and I’ve got 15 years of now banking experience, you know, talking with banks, teaching bankers, talking with small business owners, and it kept coming back to the same thing of, it’s getting more and more difficult to do business globally. And it and I don’t know about you, but when I went through the MBA program, I read a book called The World is Flat, and it predicted the globalization of the economy, which is saying, you know, even the smallest business and Galesburg, Illinois, you know, could do business in India, or Pakistan, or China or any of these other places. But it’s so difficult to do that, right? It’s so difficult to do that. And not only that, when we started talking about, especially after COVID remote teams and working with other people and getting the best talent. Well, the best talent is no longer just contained in a geography, you know, inside a border. Right? It could be anywhere your best player could be in Toronto, well, how do I work with that person, when they’re the best, you know, key player. So what we’ve done is, is build products that help you not only be a hyper local, small business, but have an international beef or, international flair if you’d like that, and expand your business globally.

Dawn Brolin 3:17
Yeah, an international presence that somebody that is a smaller, smaller company, like you said, can’t kind of compete with the cost to do business globally. And I think that that’s one of the key pieces is that well, how do I even open that door? How do I even in most people would be like, well, now I got currency translation issues. I’ve got this. I’ve got banking fees, I’ve got that. So Truly Financial is opening up that door to allow people to be able to maneuver in that space. Right?

Mike Milan 3:46
Yea, you know, what’s funny about that is I mean, it said at you lose up to 5% of an invoice just by doing business internationally, maybe because you you do have that you do have maybe a currency exchange problem where you’re forced to convert at the time of the transaction? Well, you know, we’ve done away with that by being able to hold multiple currencies in one account, so I can exchange money when it’s good for me, I don’t have to do it exactly when the transaction takes place. The other thing is, is that a lot of like international wire, sometimes go through multiple steps where you know, you can’t go from, you know, some of the African currencies like SETI into the Japanese Yen. I know that’s kind of a big problem here in Texas, we’d have a lot of that. But as an example, you have to convert it to US dollars first, and then back into Yen. Some of there’s some of them that just don’t have a direct exchange, you have to use an intermediary. And that costs money, right? Sometimes $40 to $60 per transaction. So we want to help you save money by making it just instant.

Dawn Brolin 4:48
Okay, and so, so tell us something like that. So, if you’re a if you’re a practitioner, and you have clients that are you know, maybe even already in that global world or they’re already you know, doing A lot of transactions of business in Canada, let’s just say right, because I would think, you know, a lot of us have have businesses that have, you know, activity in Canada. So, walk through a simple scenario and how what, what is the Truly product actually do to improve that process for the client? If you come up with an example for me?

Mike Milan 5:19
Yeah, so I mean, I mean, normally, there would be a cross border transaction, right, which which you know, where the people in Canada, even though you want to send money in US dollars, they have to either receive it in US dollars, and then make a conversion to Canadian dollars, which is, again, another pain in the butt for them. That’s kind of a typical thing, right? Where you’re paying them or you’re receiving money from them the same way there’s this conversion charge. What we’ve done is we’ve created a way to conduct that transaction locally. And it’s more like a Venmo transaction, and it happens instantly. So let’s just say that I’m in Toronto, you’re there. And it was a Connecticut?

Dawn Brolin 5:55

Mike Milan 5:56
Okay. Yeah. It’s at one side of the world that I don’t know very much about.

Dawn Brolin 6:02
It is mysterious out here!

Mike Milan 6:03
That’s right. So, but think about it, like a Venmo transaction, where you can just say, I want to pay @ Mike, and I send it into Toronto, the same way that you would, you know, me with a Venmo transaction now. So what we’re doing is on the back end is, is creating a transaction that happens locally, rather than across the border.

Dawn Brolin 6:22
Got it. Right. And that’s perfect. Because that’s really, at the end of the day, what we want to do is we just want to either get paid or pay, we don’t want to have to go through, like you said, dealing with exchange rates and how to make sure that that’s all done correctly. And you know, any accounting software tries to do that. It’s not always successful, but, but just that facilitation is what you’re solving for.

Mike Milan 6:45
Right? We’re like a Sherpa, right? And then international funds, Sherpa, right, we’re gonna guide that transaction all the way through. And it’s basically, because I tell you, anybody that tries to do an international wire right now, there’s no visibility, you don’t know what happens, you don’t know when it even changes hands to another person. Sometimes it takes up to two weeks, and that could delay your goods. You know, just because no one’s gonna send it until they receive the money. So what we’re doing is we’re walking that transaction all the way through for you at the speed of banking.

Dawn Brolin 7:15
Right? So yeah, within a 24 hour period, or whatever that may be, right? Because you got that

Mike Milan 7:20
Sometimes instantaneous, sometimes it takes a day or two.

Dawn Brolin 7:23
Yeah. So now, so a client comes to you, or, you know, business owner comes to Mike and says, “Hey, I want in.” What do I have to do? How do I get how does this all get set up? Because that’s what a lot of times people will say, Well, how hard is it to get this implemented? Right? That’s typically a normal question. So tell that process,

Mike Milan 7:43
if you’ve ever opened a bank account is the same. But what we’ve tried to do is take away the, you know, the requirement to walk into a bank, sit down with a bank loan officer and go through every single process, and I forgot this paper, and then I gotta go ping pong back and forth, we email or private things. We’ve built in automation on most all of the verification of a business, right, because there’s a couple of regulations, we have to go go, you know, go by, as one is know your customer, the others know your business. And that way, we know kind of what’s happening in the business. So we have to verify who you are. And we have to verify who your business is. And that’s really done with, you know, your EIN will say, for US business, we can verify that your real business, we look at the website to make sure that, you know, if you have a website tried to determine what business you’re in. There’s certain businesses we can’t do business with, right? So and then then of course, your as a person, it’s a copy of your ID and then just gain your thing like I did with Alexa yesterday. So now like Alexa even recognizes me. So it’s really that easy. It does take a few minutes, it might take, you know, five or 10 minutes to go through the process, but it’s really point click, type in your EIN and we we go gather all the data for you.

Dawn Brolin 8:52
Which is awesome. Because I had an experience, just I would say, I think it was like last maybe May, April or May. And I was going to set up a new bank account, right? And with Bank of America, you can you can set up a new account online, you know what? The process is awful. The process is brutal. Any of your banks, your, what we’ll call your “historical native banks” that we’ve had, you know, at the corner of, you know, Main Street for years, even they haven’t solved for exactly what you’ve already solved for. You know, you go you set up the account and you give them some stuff, but then you got to wait for the signature paperwork to come. So you can they they’re not even using E signature of Bank of America for this process. But you’re just like what, so the big count takes like three to four weeks to just set up because they’re gonna mail you the papers to sign and then you mail them back. And I mean, it’s just insanity. Like it just doesn’t make sense. So that is a huge solution that truly financial is solving when people want to set up a bank account. Bang, just go on there, get it set up, and then go Talk about the card. So we got businesses who have employees who, you know, need to get paid and need to pay for things or whatever. Tell us about the cards and the card process.

Mike Milan 10:08
Yeah, I tell you, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s one of those things, it’s, it’s the new way of doing business, right, it’s a way for you to not only give your team some authority, some responsibility, but also help them be accountable with Spend Management cards, right. So it’s, it’s, it’s as easy as just typing in your name, and sending you out a card, then I set the transaction limits that you can spend per month, per category, per transaction, I can set all those limits for you. But I can also, you know, have visibility, and I can see what you’re doing instantly. So as you make a transaction, I see it happening as it as it works. So you can do that across your team. And what’s interesting is that we can also issue cards across the border. So if you find that perfect employee in Canada, or, you know, Warsaw, Poland or Singapore, you can actually bring them on your team and and pay them much like you would in their local currency or in your own. Right. So it’s one of those things that we’ve really solved for that way. What I do like about it, is that our corporate cards, right that these these SmartLink, we call them smart link, which is linking my employees to my account, right? So SmartLink is our spend management system. But our corporate cards are unlike any debit card. So think about the debit card, where you just go use it for your everyday purchases. And that’s kind of our tagline is, you know, your everyday domestic and international purchases, right? That’s kind of what we’re, we’re working with. You actually were given cashback up to 2.5 % on everything. You can’t get that with a debit card, right? That’s one of the reasons why we give you a corporate card. And believe it or not, if you go try to apply for a corporate card, most banks have minimum requirements, they got minimum, so much on daily deposit or so much on your annual revenue. None of that, right. We’re trying to bring the perks of the big bank down to everyone. We’re really what we’re trying to do. It’s like getting a discount on every single thing you buy. Right? So..

Dawn Brolin 12:01
I’ll fight you for the quarter in the parking lot like you and I will be fist fighting for that quarter.

Mike Milan 12:10
Yeah, here’s, here’s the cool thing. Remember, the SmartLink accounts? Yep, everything your employees are purchasing rolls up to the main account. So they’re not getting the reward, you are right, even when they’re out, they’re spending on your behalf.

Dawn Brolin 12:22
And that is really powerful. Because if you think about it, umm, having employees, like, you know, say, Okay, we’ll just reimburse you. So a lot of companies do that. So if you have clients out there, people were listening, you have clients out there that are that have employees using a personal credit card, and a lot of like you said, a lot of the smaller businesses, and I’m saying smaller, a million and under people who are a million and under who have employees, and they use their own credit card, you reimburse them. They’re getting that either cashback depending on what kind of card they have credit card, on a credit card, they’re getting cashback and they’re getting or and or points or something. Right. So and I think that that’s a really big deal, the business owner, should be the one enjoying those perks, and those that cashback and how that all works. Because really, at the end of the day, that’s their money. Right? And so and they’re paying for them, and make the purchase. So they’re, they’re getting paid to go make the purchase, and now they’re getting cashback on their cars or points. Now we say no, I’m paying you to go do this thing. But I’m going to enjoy the reward, which is that the cashback?

Mike Milan 13:30
You know, it was fun is that a company I’d worked for prior, they took all of the money and then put it towards the party at the end of the year. Right. I mean, the the employees ended up getting it back in one way or the other. But I thought it was a great way to finance a, you know, company perks with those types of purchases.

Dawn Brolin 13:49
Absolutely. And I do I love also the fact that you don’t have fees, because that is what I mean statement fees. And just if you don’t have your you know, maintain your minimum balance, you’re going to get a fee for that. And then then the payments. Okay, let’s talk about the fees for when you pay somebody, right? You don’t have fees when you pay somebody.

Mike Milan 14:09

Dawn Brolin 14:10
And that’s it globally, your the wire transfer fees, if you’re doing wire transfers, or doing any of those kinds of things, you’re paying 50 bucks, 75 bucks sometimes for those transfers. So if you have clients that are doing that, what’s beautiful about it, not only are we are we opening up the ability to do that global economy and global global payments, but being able to take clients that now already do that I thinking of one of my clients, he’s uh, he does a lot of work in Canada. And so he’s selling like these huge structures and things like that. For him to be able to pay for the goods and things that he’s doing, he’s going to be the next phone call that I make because he’s he could really benefit from this product for sure. So I want people as they’re listening, think about the clients that are working globally. And that are you you’re going to be doing tax returns soon. Then those of you who are listening, that are bookkeepers that are watching these fees come through, pay attention to the fees, because they are they can get big me. Some people will say to me, I don’t want to accept credit cards because I gotta pay fees. Well, you know, here’s your solution. We got it, we got solved already done.

Mike Milan 15:18
There you go, there you go. But, you know, it’s when all of our prices are listed right on the website, you know, I TrulyFinancial.com And mostly, everything’s free. Now, we got some value limitations, right. I mean, there’s only so many, you know, international wires that you can do in a month. But our limits, I think, are probably more than I would do anyway, you know, you know, between then I can look it up to be exact, but we’ll say you get 10 free, right? Who’s doing 10 of those a month? I mean, yeah, so, but we have to two programs. One is the free program where the limits are a little bit smaller, right, you may be three transactions here are 10 transactions there. And then we have a $25 month per actual fee and a bank account, we charge you $25 a month, but you get a lot more of those free transactions, you know, like 25 or so a month. So I mean, more than most people do anyway. But $25 a month, one time is a lot better than what you just said, $50. Every time.

Dawn Brolin 16:15
Exactly. Exactly. And you know, you know, Truly Financials and business make money to people, it’s, you know, we all are, that’s what business is about. But it but the cost that cost that reduction in fees, is going to can be substantial for some of your clients. And so you’ve got to, you know, and I was on another podcast with Allison Ball with Liscio. It’s client experience that we need to be more aware of. And I mean client experience in that, what can we bring to the table to them to say, Hey, listen, we’re going through your taxes, or I’m doing your books, and I’m seeing all the wire transfer fees that you’re paying, we got to do something different here. And so, you know, that is where we become the hero to our clients. And here’s a great example of where you can bring this product to your client say, Hey, listen, we watched all your fees, we gotta, we gotta do something different here for 2020. Great place to start with Truly Financial for sure.

Mike Milan 17:11
Well and I’ll tell you, I mean, I know I should be transparent. We’re saying, Okay, well, we’re giving you all these fees, right? We’re just we get a lot of different free transactions. And you say, Well, how do we make money? Well, if you look at our card, we’re a visa partner. So every time you use it, you know, we’re getting a piece of that transaction, which doesn’t come out of your pocket, it comes out of your vendors pocket, right. If you go to Walmart, if you go to Exxon Mobil, I mean, we’re getting a piece of that transaction, you know, through Visa.

Dawn Brolin 17:37
Yep. And you know, it’s interesting, too, because people don’t think of that, like the merchant fees. They think, Oh, I’m just Visa just gets my 3.2% or whatever, whatever the fee may be. There’s so much there’s a lot of components built into that 3.2%, and Truly Financial happens to be one of them for the Visa. But again, you’re not It’s not like your rates are going up. It’s not that’s not the situation. So it’s just the Visa is got this partnership. So it’s I think it’s an awesome solution. I think it’s something that we should be, we should have this in the forefront of our mind as we go through tax season. And as we go throughout the year, I mean, you can save your client two grand, that’s a lot of money, you save your clients, in some cases, probably five $6,000 in fees that they’re paying now. And so keep that in the forefront of your mind as you move forward through taxes and move forward through 2022 to keep it in the forefront. Like any last thoughts?

Mike Milan 18:29
Hey, we want to be your bank. That’s where it is.

Dawn Brolin 18:34
We want to be your bank. Truly Financial Mike Milan, we can sing my land is your land. That’s how I know. In my mind, every time I land is your land. Will you ever said that to me, I was like I’ll never pronounce your last name wrong again. Mulan, which I think is a Disney movie or something. But it’s Milan. So like, so much for spending some time with us today. Again, the DM Disruption is all about shaking your coconut and getting you to think about doing things differently. And yes, period. The world is changing. You can either fight against it and get left behind or you can join the fight and make changes in your business and with your clients. And Truly Financial is one of those components that you go we gotta shake it, put it in your head, so you’re thinking about it. And thank you again so much for listening. Mike, thanks so much for coming here today. And we will see you on the next DM Disruption. Thanks again, everybody. Thanks



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