You know that feeling when you’re a parent, and you get to be there to see your children grow, become stronger, smarter and, eventually, celebrate their greatest accomplishments? It’s a similar feeling to the one you get when you’ve worked hard on a project like the Rydoo mobile app from day one, just to see it become the #1 expense management app on the market.  

My journey at Rydoo started in 2018, two years before the current app was first launched, as a Quality Assurance Manager within the mobile team. I was introduced to a team with the right skills, energy, and ambition, and we all knew that by working together, we would be able to achieve higher grounds with our mobile app. All we wanted was to improve the user experience for our customers. To find a way to make expense management easier for them. It was just a matter of time until we got there. 

A year into my journey, it became clear to the team that our mobile app was a great asset for Rydoo, something our customers valued and used more often. And as a company that believes customers come first, we also realised that it was time to make a change. 

A journey of collaboration

Rydoo launched the previous version of the app when it was still called Xpenditure in 2014. It was on Xamarin, and while it worked for us at first, the team soon encountered some challenges due to its complex dependencies.   

These dependencies meant that whenever we modified or fixed something, we risked causing unforeseen issues within other app parts. That’s why, a year into my journey, the team understood the need to search for alternatives that could improve our app, enhance user experience, optimise performance and ensure consistent and reliable performance.  

The new version also meant that the app became more customisable and more manageable to cater to the new requirements and trends customers were looking for. Around this time in 2019, Product Manager Pedro Souto joined the team. One of the first projects he worked on, with the support of mobile tech lead Michael Gobbers, was identifying what changes needed to happen and how we could create the best possible version of the Rydoo app. Michael then discovered a better alternative called Flutter. 

Pedro and Michael then proposed to rewrite the app using this new framework. Flutter won over the team as it provided higher stability, flexibility and, above all else, speed.  Speed, we would soon understand, would become one of Rydoo’s biggest assets. As soon as the team got the approval from leadership, the transition to Flutter began. 

Our mobile team worked closely together to transform the Rydoo mobile app user experience. Pedro and Loucas, Product designer, crafted a new navigation and UI from scratch.  Developers turned that product vision into a reality by implementing the optimal solution, while Quality Assurance made sure it met all the requirements and edge cases. 

Starting something new when the world hit pause

During this time, the unexpected happened: the pandemic hit the world in full force, and our whole company also dealt with the consequences of what this new reality brought over. While many faced challenges along the way, especially with remote work, the mobile squad took this opportunity to work even harder on a project that would bring us great joy in a time of uncertainty.  

At the time, the team working on this project spread across four countries — Belgium, Poland, Ukraine, and Romania —so remote work was no stranger to our squad and didn’t hinder our progress. We kept thriving and working together to launch something new, fully confident of what our new app could bring to our customers.   

Rydoo’s new and improved mobile app launched on the 20th of November 2020. It felt like the start of something new, the beginning of bigger things to come. 

Customer Support at its finest

At the time of the launch, Rydoo’s new mobile app ensured a smoother and more reliable user experience. Our development team was able to start introducing new features and enhancements without the limitations the previous software platform imposed. Faster performance, quicker navigation, shorter response times and a more responsive and faster scanning process were some of the main highlights of this revamped version

Artificial Intelligence (AI) played a more significant role than ever in the new system, with our enhanced receipt scanner taking centre stage. Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Rydoo’s new app could now read data from receipts in under 3 seconds and auto-populate all the information necessary to submit an expense with more than 95% accuracy.   

But it took a while to get to where we are today, as it happens with most systems. Our customers’ feedback was essential for Rydoo to become the highest-ranked expense management app. While we knew the system brought a lot of great benefits to end-users, we were also aware that when launching something new for the first time, some requests for further improvements are bound to arise. For that reason, in the first few months after the launch, customer’s help in pinpointing areas of improvements was essential to enhance their experience of the platform.  

At this time, the Mobile team took a proactive approach, often taking customer calls and working closely with the developers to solve the reported issues. Combining all this valuable feedback with the capabilities of Flutter would become essential for the Mobile team to enhance the app’s performance and user experience quickly and effectively, leading us to where we are today. 

Becoming the #1 Expense Management App

By understanding customers’ needs and pain points, we’ve always been able to tailor our system to meet their expectations. As the team closely monitored customers’ feedback, we soon understood what made customers keep using Rydoo. Managing expenses was that easy; all they needed to do was open the app, submit an expense in seconds and go about their lives. Managers could approve them wherever they were, and if any follow-up was needed, it could be done with just a few swipes. 

It didn’t take long for us to start noticing a promising trend: more and more users were submitting 5-star reviews on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Soon enough, we reached a 4.9 score on Apple and 4.8 on Google, which made us the number one Mobile Expense app on the market, a testament to our team’s dedication, hard work, and user-centric approach. But we all knew there was much more to do in the future.   

Launching Rydoo Cards and a look at the future

In March 2023, we announced the launch of our brand-new feature: Rydoo Cards. Smart expense cards in physical and virtual formats allow employees to avoid out-of-pocket expenses while providing more budget control for managers and finance teams.

When Rydoo announced the feature, a core of the mobile team worked closely together to take on new responsibilities within this project. It was a smaller, more focused group, but our approach stayed the same. We were still determined, confident and ready to work together.

For Rydoo Cards, the Mobile team had to work closely together with multiple teams to make it possible to implement and guarantee a successful launch. The goal was simple: customers had to be able to manage cards on the mobile app and receive real-time notifications on transactions, and we managed to do just that. Combined with all the other capabilities of the app, this reinforced our commitment to have helpful and user-friendly software. 

And while we’re happy with all our achievements thus far, we know there’s a lot more we can do in the future, especially with the great advancements of Artificial Intelligence. This technology has brought forward a new world of capabilities that can make Rydoo an even smarter, more efficient, and more capable expense management solution.   

We want to stay at the forefront of expense management technology, and for that, we want to keep focusing on efficiency, accuracy and speed and improve our software’s intelligence. We will continue to strengthen auto-filling capabilities to allow our users to streamline their expense submissions.

For approvers and controllers, introducing a feature that highlights the potential expense risks and out-of-policy expenses is one of the most significant projects Rydoo’s team is currently working on. Maintaining compliance has become a pressing topic for most organisations, and introducing a new module that can streamline this process through the power of AI will deliver great value to our users, who can focus on other projects while maintaining compliance.  

Our mobile team will continue striving to push boundaries and be the best mobile expense app in the market. If the sky is the limit, the mobile squad will hop on the closest rocket to try and reach the galaxy. By working closely with our customers and integrating more AI capabilities into our product, we want to continue enhancing our system to automate the expensing process as much as possible, reducing our users’ workload to almost zero. But we have some special things brewing that will be coming your way very soon — stay tuned for upcoming updates!