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The Runa Insider: May 2023

The Runa Insider: May 2023

The Runa Insider is a monthly webinar series where we share updates and demo new products & features to ensure you make the most of Runa. 

Our May 2023 webinar introduced Runa's new brand approval process. Watch the show for:

  •  Runa's brand approval process (01:45)
  • A roadmap of upcoming gift card payout types and countries (06:57)


Related Links

Read the full transcript of this webinar below.

Runa Network Changelog: Stay up-to-date on new gift card brands and payout types to the Runa Network.

► Check out the blog on the New & Improved Brand Approval Process



Eleanor Hermon (00:00):

Thank you for everyone for joining today for the next installment of The Runa Insider Webinar, we're really happy that you could join us. My name's Ellie, I'm a Senior Product Marketing Manager here at Runa, and we also have Aidana, who's a Strategic Relationship Manager, who'll be speaking a little bit more about how we're evolving our network later on. This session is being recorded so we'll share it later, and you do have the opportunity as well to ask questions through the Q&A box that you should be able to see on your screens. So here's the agenda for today. We're going to be speaking about our new and improved brand approval process and then speaking also about the product roadmap for the rest of the year, talking about the new products and payout types that we're adding to our network and new countries that we're expanding into as well. And then we will have a chance to answer your questions towards the end.


So the Runa Network today, we offer an industry-leading network of merchant partners and different payout types, including gift cards, prepaid cards, and increasingly, subscriptions and donations products as well. We have approximately 1,350 retailers in our network today in almost 30 countries and various currencies, and we'll hear more about that later. With that in mind, as we're expanding this even further, it's really important for us that you are able to get access to all of these products as smoothly as possible. So that's why our team's been working so hard to improve this process, to give you instant access to many brands and where more information is required to try and get you faster decisions and reduce the amount of work that you have to do to do that. And that's what we're going to show you today.


Runa's Brand Approval Process

So if you just bear with me a second and I will show you how it works. Great. So please note that this is actually just a prototype, but it will give you a very good idea of what it would look like in your own portal to get access to these products. So from your main page of the product catalog, you go in and click Request Access. 

From here, you're able to filter by the countries that you're looking for. So let's say I'm based in the UK, so I want to look at products that are available there. The next step shows you which products are going to need further information, which are these ones up here. Down below, there are three additional products, so Apple, Starbucks, and Visa prepaid cards, which do require slightly more information, which is in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, which many of you may be familiar with already. Again, with this, we're trying to make that as smooth and streamlined for you as possible.


We send a template with the questions that you need to answer and you can fill it out from there. But going back to the other products, so in this demo we have 73 products available that require some sort of approval. Down here, you click Next. This first page of the form is designed to be as simple as possible, with some basic questions about your company and then some drop downs and some clickable options. So my colleague has kindly filled out this demo already. 

This page of the form is for brands which you can be automatically decisioned for through our approval engine. So you only need to fill this out once and then where this applies, you'll be automatically approved or decisioned for other brands that fit into the same category. So the next page as you go through, this asks for a little bit more information and this is for brands that have a tighter process. Here, you have the opportunity to fill in as much information as you can really about your business and how you intend to use the gift cards or other products.


It's important here to add in as much information as possible, which will hopefully get you a decision a lot faster. It also asks for product screenshots. So for example, if you are sending rewards via email, what would that email look like? Or if it's going to be displayed on your website, which other brands would be positioned there with it? So again, as much information as possible. In some cases, brands might need more information above and beyond what's put into this form, in which case, they can reach out to you with specific questions for you to answer. 

This is all managed directly in the portal. So they won't be reaching out to you directly, but it will be managed through Runa. And you'll get an email that looks something like this. You click through. You can see where more information has been requested. So let's say for H&M, you can click Provide More Information. There'll be a message specifically from the approver directly to you and you have the chance to add in more information here.


Once you hit Send, that is again sent back through Runa. And it's important to note that you can't edit this after it's been sent, so that gets sent directly to the brand. You hit Send, and then if you go back to look, H&M has now been moved down here. So back to the standard process. Once you click Next, you submit that form automatically and then you can see here the status of other brands that you've applied for or you're in the process of applying for. So you have a real-time status update as to how they've been approved. 

So what's changed? 

So with the new brand approval engine, you'll be able to be auto-decisioned for brands based on the information that we already have in our system, so it cuts out a lot of work for you. Some brands will still require more information and you'll need to fill out the form that I just showed you, but you only need to fill out the form once. And as we add more products to our network, we'll automatically add them to your catalog if you qualify for that product.


When you are approved to use a certain brand or product, that will immediately be added to your catalog and you can start to use it right away. Plus, the other great changes that we have; status updates now so that you can see, as you can here, what is the status of any brands that you've applied for. So going back to our deck, we're reducing the amount of work for you, hoping to give you immediate and automatic access as much as possible, realtime approval status so you can have access to brands as soon as they're added. So I'm going to hand it over to you, Aidana, now who is going to talk a bit more about the product roadmap for the rest of the year.

Aidana (06:57):

Runa’s Product Roadmap

Great, thank you Ellie. So yeah, hello everyone. I'm Aidana from the Partnership team here at Runa, and I'm thrilled to share with you our product roadmap that you can see on this screen for this year. And as you know, at the moment, Runa operates in almost 30 countries, but we have ambitious plans to expand our network, ensuring we grow together with you and we're unlocking new opportunities for both sides. 

So our goal is to support your sourcing needs by bringing new products from around the world and make sure that you've got access to your favorite products in new countries from one source, which is Runa. And this year, we're proud to announce that we will be able to add approximately 1,000 products to our catalog, spanning across 42 countries. And among these, 21 countries are completely new and they're going to be available for you in the upcoming months until the end of this year. And as you can see, we'll be focusing on expanding in Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and South America mainly.


And we are, in fact, already in the final stages for some of these countries, and we'll keep you informed about their availability. So expanding into new countries also means dealing with new currencies. So to address this, our Product team is working hard on rolling out a forex feature for our valued customers in the next couple of months. So you'll hear about it more from our account managers. And this exciting development means that you only need to maintain one float in your preferred currency, whether it's USD or GBP or euro, that will make you able to conveniently exchange currencies to make purchases in any new currency that we are going to roll out that you would need. And we definitely value your feedback and we're striving to cater your specific needs.


So if you'd like to request products from other countries that you can't see on this list or have specific product requirements in some specific countries, our dedicated account managers are there to assist you. So simply reach out to them and we'll consider adding your request to our next roadmap, and hopefully we will present them in our next webinar for you. So that's it from the Partnership site. If you've got any questions, you can definitely drop them here and we will try to answer them in the Q&A question. But that's it from my side now.

Eleanor Hermon (10:06):

Brilliant, thank you, Aidana. And yeah, good point, we're all really excited about our FX capabilities being added to Runa. So there will be an upcoming webinar, so if you've been on the mailing list for this webinar, you'll hear about that one as well. So we'll be excited to talk about that future next. 

So as we mentioned, the team's working really, really hard to add new brands and payout types to the network. The best place to stay up to date is the network and feature change logs, which are linked here, they'll be sent in an email to you after, and you can see exactly which brands are being added to which country. We are also excited to share that we have another webinar this month, on May 25th. This is not a product webinar, but we'll be diving into a special session on the State of HR Reward & Employee Recognition, based on some research that we've recently conducted.


We'll also be joined by Joel Tobias, who's an Employee Benefit and Rewards Expert, from Perkbox as well, so we hope you can join us for that. So thank you for joining. We do have just about five minutes for some questions, so if you have any, please pop them in the chat. So I see one.


Questions about The Runa Network

"What FX rate will you use when switching currencies in the float?" 

I don't have your name here, it says anonymous, but if you're happy to type it, we can check on that and come back with you because it will vary. The next question is: 


"Are you currently in Brazil and Mexico? And if not, when?" 

So Aidana, I'll hand it over to you for that one.

Aidana (12:07):

Yeah, I can definitely take this one. So we are working on bringing Brazil and Mexico to our network list. Brazil and Mexico are not live yet, but we're really close to launching them. So hopefully, we will see Mexico definitely rolling out maybe next quarter. Brazil is also really close to being launched, which we expect to be live probably towards the end of the next quarter. 

So we'll definitely announce when the new countries are live, but these two are definitely at the top of our list and they'll be launched soon. So please, yeah, check in with your account managers and they'll let you know on the exact dates.

Eleanor Hermon (12:52):

And the change log as well.

Aidana (12:54):


Eleanor Hermon (12:57):

You're welcome.

Aidana (12:58):

Yeah, no [inaudible 00:12:59].

Eleanor Hermon (13:06):

So Sean, I think this is a question for you. 

When is the new brand approval process available through the Runa dashboard?

Sean (13:15):

So at the end of June, we should have this for all customers to be able to take advantage of. We're looking forward to doing that and looking forward to you using it and hearing your feedback on how the portal works.

Eleanor Hermon (13:32):

Thank you, Sean. Well, I think there are no other questions coming in at the moment, but please let us know if there are any. And to Sean's point, if you do have feedback on the new brand approval process, we'd love to hear it. This is built specifically with our customers in mind to make it as easy as possible for you guys. So we want to hear if it's working for you. So thank you very much, everyone, for joining. If you're able to, we're looking forward to seeing you at the next webinar on May 25th. Otherwise, we'll have another Product Feature Webinar in June and you'll be notified about that. Thank you.

Aidana (14:15):

Thank you.