Q&A with TravelBank’s New Head of Product – Dan Skaggs

TravelBank is delighted to announce the addition of Dan Skaggs as our new Head of Product. Dan brings to the job more than a decade of expertise in financial services and a passion for driving innovation in B2B tech and payment sectors. He is responsible for the strategic alignment of the fast-growing emerging middle market and middle-market product strategies. Dan also serves as head of product for Middle Market Commercial Card at U.S. Bank. TravelBank is a part of U.S. Bank so it’s fitting this seasoned executive would wear two hats and develop products that bring the best of banking and the best of corporate payments and travel together to meet the needs of our clients. 

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“Dan has been a close partner over the last couple years as we integrated TravelBank with U.S. Bank, and we’re very excited to have him lead product development and strategy for TravelBank,” said Duke Chung, general manager and co-founder of TravelBank. “With Dan at the helm, we’ll continue to drive our vision forward for delivering unparalleled value and exceptional user experiences on behalf of our customers.”

Working in close coordination with Duke and the TravelBank team, Dan played a key role in creating and launching the TravelBank-powered U.S. Bank Commercial Rewards solution in 2023. He discussed his expanded role and how U.S. Bank and TravelBank are working together to improve travel and expense management for companies.  

What was the driving force behind taking on the head of product role at TravelBank?

Pre-acquisition, I had been working with and collaborating alongside TravelBank from a product perspective, and I’ve been integrated with them deeply post-acquisition. With a solid foundation of three years under my belt at TravelBank, there is a high level of comfort, respect and effectiveness that has emerged across our platforms. In this new role, I’m able to integrate my experience from U.S. Bank’s industry leadership in payments with TravelBank’s established momentum in expense and travel management. Joining the TravelBank leadership team helps everyone bring the best of both organizations to our users. We saw this with the launch of the Commercial Rewards Card, which proved that integrating TravelBank and U.S. Bank’s strengths could be effectively combined into a native application, thereby underscoring the commitment to delivering unparalleled value to our customers.

You have spent more than a decade in financial services with experience driving commercial card strategy, as well as consumer credit card, mobile payment solutions,  and payroll card  experience. How will these experiences inform your new role as head of Product at TravelBank? 

Witnessing the evolution and heightened competition in the B2B realm over some time, particularly in the tech and payments sectors, I feel confident in being able to navigate movements within this dynamic space. I’ve seen firsthand that consumer experiences have consistently pushed the boundaries of innovation, which has helped me gain a deep understanding of the stark contrast between consumer-grade excellence and the challenges with some B2B software and banking products. I look forward to bringing my consumer and B2B payment experience, as well as my close work with TravelBank, together to help improve travel, expense, and payment experiences for our commercial clients. 

In which customer segments are you seeing the most demand?

Demand for our services spans a wide range of midsize to large U.S.-based companies, reflecting a diverse set of needs. Two prevalent scenarios typically emerge: first, clients are keen on digitizing and streamlining their finance operations, bidding farewell to archaic methods such as paper-based expense tracking and outdated corporate card interfaces. Second, there’s a substantial cohort looking to transition to modern solutions. They crave enhanced user experiences, greater visibility and control over travel expenses, flexible customer support options, and competitive pricing structures aligned with the value they seek from expense, travel, and card management providers.

You have played an integral role in the strategic vision and continued development of TravelBank and U.S. Bank’s Commercial Rewards Card. Can you share more about this new card? 

The Commercial Rewards Card is our first credit card tailored specifically for emerging middle market companies – those with $10-150 million in annual revenue. Existing corporate card and expense systems often don’t meet the needs of this important business segment because they were originally designed for much larger firms. With the Commercial Rewards Card, we offer emerging middle market companies an intuitive commercial card, expense and travel management platform that automates many of the time-consuming processes they are used to. Our clients have shared positive feedback and appreciate the meticulous attention we’ve given to their customer journey, particularly in our fast and fully digital application and onboarding process, where 96% of customers rate the experience as easy or very easy to complete. 

For the Commercial Rewards segment – $10m-$150m –  why is it that no one else besides U.S. Bank is serving this businesses segment well today?

Larger companies’ solutions are designed to meet the intricate requirements of larger clients, leaving small to midsize enterprises underserved. However, current small business payment and software-led solutions lack scalability. They can’t keep up with growing companies that are adding more employees and require a more sophisticated financial setup. The mismatch between what these midsize companies need and what’s available clearly shows that there’s a real demand for custom solutions that can grow with them.

What are your plans for the Commercial Rewards Card this year? 

We’re excited to introduce several enhancements to the Commercial Rewards Card this year. These upgrades include a new rewards points program, which complements our existing rebate option, as a way to provide added value to our clients. We will also introduce improved DIY functionality, which simplifies corporate card program management for companies. With this update, users can expect improved virtual card capabilities aimed at tightening expense control, preventing fraud, and simplifying reconciliation processes. 

Additionally, we’re expanding our integration reach to seamlessly connect with the most widely used accounting, ERP, and HR platforms. And, we’re rolling out enhanced reporting and insights tools to offer improved visibility and control for finance leaders and their businesses. Stay tuned for an exciting year ahead!