Seeking Contactless in 2021: Virtual Credit Card Benefits

Corporations and consumers alike are shifting how they do business and placing precedence on contactless services. In fact, since the start of the COVID-19, 49% of consumers now prioritize businesses that offer pickup, curbside, or contactless services. The pandemic has also affected the way employees choose to make business purchases, making virtual credit cards a vital component to expense management programs.

>> Related: How Virtual Cards Merge Policy and Payments <<

If you’re unfamiliar, virtual credit cards provide an alternative to issuing employees a physical corporate credit card to cover expenses. Virtual credit cards (VCCs) leverage electronic, card-less account numbers to allow for secure online payments. For more background information on VCCs, take a moment to check out our recent blog, What are Virtual Credit Cards and How to Get One.

In this post, we’ll review the business benefits of virtual credit cards, explain why this form of payment is a finance team favorite, take a deep dive into VCC value for your organization, and share one of our favorite virtual corporate card setups that makes the transition to virtual seamless.

The Benefits of Using a Virtual Credit Card for Business

Virtual credit cards are a great option for business for several reasons. To start, VCCs help your finance team gain visibility into spend and set parameters in place to control it. Some virtual cards can be assigned instantly, without waiting for a physical card to be received by the recipient. In addition to enhanced visibility and spend control, a good virtual corporate card enable contactless payment, and integrate expense reporting.

Contactless Payment

Unlike physical credit cards, employees are able to use certain virtual cards the instant they are assigned. If a physical or in-person payment is required, the virtual card can integrate seamlessly and securely with Apple Pay or Google Pay by utilizing proprietary authentication technology. As a result, it will eliminate the need for additional bank approvals and reduce fraud.

Integrate Expense Reporting

By shifting to virtual or physical corporate cards you can take personal cards out of the equation, and the accounting team will be able to review purchases in one central location, rather than manually entering a multitude of receipts and expense report line items. As a result, transactions can be reviewed and approved far more easily. This will result in real-time visibility and an automatic sync with your general ledger for easier reconciliations.

Virtual Cards: A Finance Team Favorite

Finance teams that have access to virtual credit cards love the fact that they can control spend and visibility. Not only can they issue an unlimited number of cards, but they can also set budgets and expiration dates, track spending, and monitor compliance in real-time. Ideally, their expense management platform allows the flexibility to sync with the corporate card provider of their choice, giving finance and accounting the ability to see all spend in one place. That’s why TravelBank was built to integrate with more than 48,000 personal and corporate cards and banks.

However, don’t just take our word for it, TravelBank client Raymond L. from LendingHome notes, “I like how easy it is to add new users and easily manage their privileges. TravelBank has allowed us to track our spending with fantastic reporting and analytics.”

Corporations are constantly seeking innovative ways to keep their employees safe, while also improving efficiencies and cutting costs. From an accounting perspective, virtual credit cards are the answer to safety, cost savings, and operational efficiency as this form of payment checks the box for contactless, but also controls spend and increases visibility for finance teams.

Business Stakeholders Love Virtual Corporate Cards

Since the workforce has largely transitioned to a remote environment over the past year, employees that didn’t previously have the need for a corporate credit now find themselves needing to purchase their own office equipment and supplies. Rather than asking employees to pay out of their own pocket and submit an expense report for reimbursement, virtual credit cards are a fantastic solution.

Your finance team can issue a virtual card, set the limit and expiration date, and send the details to the employee for their use. Your employee will love it because they won’t need to spend their own money then wait to get paid back. Here are a few examples of the way stakeholders in your organization can benefit from an integrated virtual credit card:

A VCC Dream Team: TravelBank and US Bank

In case you missed the announcement, U.S. Bank’s new Instant Card® integrates directly into the TravelBank travel and expense management application. This integration makes it simple for businesses to set-up, control, and track spend in real time utilizing virtual corporate credit cards. Additionally, Instant Card’s integration with TravelBank makes managing business travel and expenses an all-in-one solution that provides employees with a safe and convenient contactless payment method.

Unlike any other virtual credit card for commercial payments, your employees are able to securely use their Instant Card immediately after it’s assigned. There’s no delayed wait thanks to green path technology.

Through this partnership, it was our goal to address the increasingly common payment challenges faced by many businesses, including contactless payments, and play a role in making sure business operations run smoothly, while streamlining expense management and reconciliation tasks.

Final Thoughts

From both a physical safety and security perspective, contactless remains the name of the game in 2021, including how we pay for goods and services. VCCs allow you to set spending limits, assign merchant category codes, and customize expiration dates to a business purpose, reducing fraud before it happens and giving your finance team better visibility and more power to control spend.

Ready to learn more about VCCs, all-in-one travel and expense management, or just want to talk about trends we are seeing? We’d love to schedule time to chat.