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Virtual Cards

Why you need to use virtual cards to cut down your businesses costs

June 13, 2024

Streamlining accounts payable (AP) processes is a critical strategy to optimize operational costs. Traditional methods, reliant on checks and physical cards, often have hidden expenses  associated with manual tasks, fraud vulnerability, and delayed payments. Virtual card cost emerges as a powerful solution, making up an estimate of 50% of all B2B payments in the next decade. Here are some reasons why:

Tighter controls

Virtual card costs are more manageable because they offer great control over business expenditures. Each card is generated for a specific transaction or vendor, allowing businesses to set precise spending limits and expiration dates. This level of control ensures that employees and departments adhere to budget constraints and prevents unauthorized expenditures.

Customizable limits:

Businesses can set spending caps tailored to each transaction, reducing the risk of overspending. This ability to customize spending limits helps to enforce budgetary discipline across departments, thus optimizing virtual card costs.


Virtual cards can be generated for single-use or recurring payments, offering flexibility while maintaining control.This specificity ensures that funds are used only for their intended purpose, reducing the chances of misuse.

Real-time monitoring:

Transactions made with virtual cards can be tracked in real-time, providing immediate visibility into spending patterns and helping to identify potential issues early. This real-time data allows for swift corrective actions, enhancing financial oversight and managing virtual card costs effectively.

Reduced fraud

Fraud is a significant concern for businesses, and traditional payment methods often leave them vulnerable to various threats. 52% of large companies in the past two years have experienced some type of fraud.  Virtual cards, however, are designed with robust security features that help  reduce the risk of fraud.

Unique card numbers: 

Each virtual card has a unique number that can be used only once or for a specific vendor, minimizing the risk of card number theft. This single-use nature makes it difficult for fraudsters to reuse card information, protecting virtual card costs from fraud-related losses.

Limited exposure:

With predefined spending limits and expiration dates, the potential cost is contained, even if a virtual card is compromised. This containment strategy ensures that the financial impact of fraud is minimized.

Advanced security features: 

Many virtual card providers offer additional security measures such as tokenization and encryption, further safeguarding transactions. These features protect sensitive information from unauthorized access and cyber threats.

Decreased administrative costs

Managing corporate expenses through traditional methods often involves a significant amount of administrative work, from processing invoices to reconciling accounts. Virtual cards simplify these processes, leading to considerable savings in time and money.

Automated expense reports:

Virtual card transactions can be automatically recorded and categorized, reducing the need for manual data entry and minimizing errors. This automation streamlines the expense reporting process, allowing staff to focus on more strategic tasks and optimizing virtual card costs.

Streamlined reconciliation: 

With real-time transaction tracking, the reconciliation process becomes faster and more accurate, freeing up valuable resources for other tasks. This efficiency reduces the time and effort required for month-end closing activities.

Reduced paperwork: 

The elimination of physical receipts and invoices not only saves on paper costs, but also helps businesses move towards more sustainable practices. Digital records are easier to store, search, and retrieve, enhancing overall administrative efficiency.

Additional benefits

Beyond the core advantages of tighter controls, reduced fraud, and decreased administrative costs, virtual cards also offer several other benefits that can contribute to overall business efficiency:

Improved vendor relations:

Faster payments and streamlined processes can enhance relationships with vendors, potentially leading to better terms and discounts. Timely payments build trust and can result in preferential treatment or negotiation leverage.

Enhanced financial visibility:

Detailed transaction data provides deeper insights into spending trends, helping businesses make more informed financial decisions. This visibility supports better budgeting, forecasting, and strategic planning, ensuring that virtual card costs remain controlled.

Flexibility and scalability: 

As businesses grow, virtual cards can easily scale to meet increasing transaction volumes without the need for additional physical cards. This scalability ensures that payment processes remain efficient regardless of business size.

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The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own legal counsel, tax and investment advisers. 

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