At the heart of virtual B2B payment tech is the virtual credit card, also called single-use credit card or one-time use credit card. They give corporate payment administrators more control over purchases and enhanced visibility into spending—but that’s not all. As an electronic payment method, virtual credit cards support a digital payment strategy. And because they seamlessly flow through a paperless, automated, and more streamlined transaction process, virtual card payments are inherently more secure and require minimal, if any, manual touch-points.
Still, virtual cards are an emerging payment method, so questions in the B2B marketplace remain—from faulty perceptions to flat-out myths. To clear up some confusion and highlight even more reasons virtual payments should earn a spot in your company’s corporate payments mix, let’s explore some things you didn’t know about them. Virtual credit card payments…
1. Are Processed Just Like “Card Not Present” Plastic Credit Card Transactions
Virtual credit cards contain the same info as plastic cards: the standard 16-digit card number, an expiration date, and a CVV number. They even have recognizable brand names, like American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Citi—and those of other banks with multinational card programs. And virtual card payments are sent through the major credit card network, so if a supplier accepts plastic card payments, there are no new processes for them to adopt.
2. Are Perfect for Infrequent Corporate Spenders
Not every employee who travels for work or makes a work-related expense carries a corporate credit card. Virtual credit card payments are a great alternative to plastic, cash, or even invoicing for both everyday and bigger ticket items. They’re convenient to use and simple to track, making budgeting and expense reporting easier for management and employees alike.
3. Offer Exceptional, Unprecedented Transaction Control
With virtual payments, customization is the name of the game. Payment administrators can set controls limiting how much the employee can spend, which specific supplier or merchant category they can use (e.g. airlines or office supply stores), and when it can be used (e.g., this afternoon or next month). This aids in planning, budgeting, and back-end reporting while also reducing exposure to payment fraud.
4. Can Make a Big Impact on Cash Flow
Faster payments mean faster receipt of payments, and that can mean special payment incentives from suppliers. Not to mention, virtual card payments are less expensive than checks and ACH transactions. They’re digital and require less handling, and less handling means lower costs.
5. Support Strategic Accounting
Virtual transactions deliver unparalleled information that’s really appealing to Big Data lovers, who use it to understand spending patterns, optimize processes, and manage supplier relationships. In other words, they help further an accounting department’s most strategic initiatives. A virtual payment yields detailed remittance data that goes much farther than what’s provided through ACH, wire transfer, and other legacy methods. What’s more, aside from enabling smoother transaction matching, reconciliation, and reporting on AP’s side of the equation, data generated from virtual payments can provide suppliers with access to transaction product codes, quantities, description, and tax information.
For more on virtual payments, you might enjoy Promoting Virtual Cards Among Your Suppliers and 5 Reasons Your Suppliers Love To Receive Virtual Payments.