If your company has adopted virtual credit cards as a digital B2B payments method, chances are that not all of your supplier partners are on board—yet. As with all new technology, widespread acceptance takes time and education. You may have suppliers who have moved away from paper checks and now accept certain types of electronic payments but still haven’t made the transition to virtual payments.
Debunking the Virtual Myths
Many organizations don’t know that if they’re already accepting credit card payments, there are no new processes for them to adopt. In terms of transactions, the main difference between a credit card and a virtual credit card is that the latter isn’t tied to a tangible piece of plastic.
When it comes to data security, there’s an inherent comfort in the credit card network virtual cards use for processing. Unlike check and wire payments, virtual payments do not require bank account information. This means sensitive information is more secure and less likely to be stolen or lost. What’s more, virtual card administration involves built-in controls—and it’s even possible for them to initiate payments on the supplier end without the need to send invoices.
Boosting the Virtual Learning Curve
Aside from easing any of their concerns about accepting virtual card payments from you and other customers, communicate with vendors about the advantages of virtual cards. You can call or e-mail suppliers to gauge their readiness for accepting virtual card payments—tell them you’ve implemented the method and have recognized business benefits as a result. If your new process is more streamlined and enables your accounting team to focus on more strategic initiatives, that’s something they’d likely appreciate. Likewise, if your organization has saved money since adopting a paper-free A/P system, your suppliers will want to know more.
Emphasize the efficiency and bottom-line benefits of accepting virtual card payments. First and foremost, they’ll have faster receipt of payments—and the impacts on their cash flow can be significant, depending on the volume of payments they’re receiving from you or other customers. Additionally, virtual card payments are less expensive than checks and ACH transactions. And since transactions include detailed remittance information, their accounting teams will get deep insights into payments after settlement with the bank and credit card company.
Enjoying Virtual Partnerships
To maximize the benefits your organization can get from paying suppliers via virtual cards—powerful transaction data and prompt-pay vendor discounts, to name two—you need more of your vendors to accept the form of payment. You’re already seeing the advantages, so share your experiences and see if you can’t help move some of your suppliers into the virtual payment-sphere.