Corporate Card Payments

Corporate or business credit cards are dedicated financial tools created for organizations. They offer a regulated way to fund corporate expenses, including travel, entertainment, and office supplies. Unlike personal credit cards, corporate card payments can be issued to a company rather than an individual employee. 

These corporate travel payment cards often display the company’s name and logo. It’s usually the company’s responsibility to supervise and control their usage.

Advantages of Using Corporate Card Payments

Implementing corporate card payments offers multiple benefits. These include:

  • Enhanced Control and Visibility: When you use corporate cards, you gain better control and visibility over your company’s spending, reducing the chances of unauthorized or excessive expenses.
  • Streamlined Expense Tracking: The detailed transaction data makes it easier to manage your expenses, saving you from manual data entry and errors. 
  • Improved Cash Flow: With extended payment terms offered by corporate card payments, your cash flow improves as you delay the outflow of funds for business expenses.
  • Employee Convenience:  Your employees will also find it more convenient as they won’t need to use their personal money for work-related expenses, making them happier while reducing their administrative work. 
  • Reward Programs and Discounts: You can benefit from rewards and discounts that corporate card programs often offer, potentially saving you money on overall business costs.
  • No Requirement for Employee’s Credit Check: When a company applies for a corporate travel payment card, the approval depends on the company’s financial health, so there’s no need to check the credit of individual employees.
  • Security and Fraud Protection: Corporate cards have enhanced security features to protect against unauthorized transactions and financial losses, giving you peace of mind.

Pre-Implementation Preparation

You must do the following prior to implementing corporate card payments in your company.

Assessing Your Company’s Needs

  • Identify Expense Categories: By categorizing expenses like travel, office supplies, and entertainment, you gain clarity on corporate card payments and where you’re spending your money, helping you tailor controls.
  • Spending Volume: Analyze your spending patterns to determine whether you need advanced expense tracking and reporting features, especially if you process a lot of transactions.
  • Employee Usage: The number of employees with access to corporate cards directly affects the need for controls. You might need stricter oversight to manage your finances effectively if you have more cardholders.
  • Company Size: Your expense management priorities may differ depending on your company’s size. Smaller companies often prefer simpler solutions, while larger enterprises might require more advanced features and seamless integration.
  • Compliance and Regulation: In regulated industries, ensuring corporate card payments comply with specific regulations is essential. This is crucial for legal compliance and reducing potential risks.
  • Future Growth: Consider your growth projections to ensure that the corporate card program you choose can adapt to your changing expense management needs as your company expands. This helps maintain efficiency and control.

Selecting the Right Card Provider

To select the right provider for corporate card payments, assess the following.

  • Card Features: Take a look at the features offered by each provider. See if they offer customizable spending limits, real-time expense tracking, detailed reporting, and options to categorize expenses according to your needs.
  • Evaluate Fees:  Check out the fees associated with corporate travel payment card providers. This includes annual fees, transaction charges, and any costs for foreign transactions. Make sure these fees fit within your budget.
  • Cashback/Rewards: Look into whether the provider offers cashback or rewards programs. Some providers offer cashback on specific categories of expenses or reward points that can be redeemed for various benefits. Evaluate the terms and benefits of these programs to see if they align with your company’s spending patterns and goals.
  • Credit Limit: Additionally, inquire about their flexibility in adjusting credit limits on corporate card payments as your business grows or experiences fluctuations in expenses.For instance, some modern corporate card providers like Brex and Ramp have gained popularity for their flexible credit offerings, which may be particularly advantageous for startups that may not meet the stringent credit requirements of traditional banks. 
  • Customer Support: Look into the quality and responsiveness of customer support from each provider. This is important for getting help with any issues related to your corporate card program.
  • User-Friendliness: Consider how easy it is to use the provider’s online platform or mobile app. An intuitive interface is important for managing your expenses smoothly.
  • Security and Fraud Protection: Ask about each provider’s security measures and fraud protection to ensure they meet your security requirements.
  • Integration Capabilities: Confirm whether the provider’s services can seamlessly integrate with your accounting or expense management software.
  • Reviews and References: Seek reviews and references from other users to get valuable insights into each provider’s performance. This can help you make an informed decision.

Steps to Implement Corporate Card Payments

After you choose the corporate card, your service provider will assist you in integrating it into your ERP and expense management systems. Next, you must do the things listed below.

Setting Clear Policies and Guidelines

Common policy elements may include:

  • Spending Limits: Maximum amount employees can spend on corporate card payments.
  • Expense Categories:  Travel, internet, etc., to sort expenses.
  • Receipt Submission: Processes to submit receipts and documents related to expenses made on corporate card payments.
  • Approval Process: Steps to get approval for expenses that go beyond specific limits.

Card Distribution

Distribute the corporate travel payment card to authorized employees based on their roles. Further, maintain a secure and organized system for card issuance and retrieval.

Employee Training and Onboarding

The employee training for corporate card payments should involve the following:

  • Getting Started: Make sure everyone knows how to set up their cards and turn on alerts for expense tracking.
  • Card Basics: Help your team understand things like how much they can spend, tracking their spending in real-time, and knowing how much credit they have.
  • Using the Card: Stress the importance of only using the card with approved vendors, sticking to spending limits, and following company rules.
  • Security: Teach your team how to prevent theft, what to do if the card is lost, and how to avoid fraud.
  • Reporting Expenses: Explain how to properly ask for and make changes to expense reports.
  • User Responsibilities: Tell your team what they need to do, like keeping receipts, not going over spending limits, and submitting reports on time.
  • Money Management: Educate your team on spending wisely and staying within their set budgets.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Show how important it is to follow the rules of  corporate card payments and what happens if they don’t.
  • Regular Monitoring: Encourage your team to always watch their card transactions using available tools and alerts.
  • Support: Provide contact info for questions or if there are problems or emergencies.
  • Know the Updates: Remind your team to stay informed about any changes to the policies.
  • Lost or Stolen Cards: Make it clear that they should quickly report any lost or stolen cards.
  • Consequences for Violating Policies: Explain what can happen if they don’t follow guidelines and stress why it’s so important to do things right.

Customizing Expense Categories and Tags

Customizing expense categories and tags involves:

  • Creating categories (e.g., travel, meals) and tags (e.g., project codes, client names) tailored to your company’s specific needs.
  • Assigning categories and tags to transactions during expense reporting.

Expense Reporting and Tracking

Utilize expense management software to streamline corporate card payments.

The software helps in:

  • Real-Time Tracking: Monitoring transactions as they occur, providing visibility into current spending.
  • Automated Reporting: Generating reports automatically, streamlining expense reporting.
  • Receipt Management: Capturing and storing receipts digitally for easy retrieval during audits.

Reconciliation and Auditing

The reconciliation process involves:

  • Comparing corporate travel payment card statements with expense reports.
  • Ensuring that transactions match and that expenses align with policies.
  • Rectifying any discrepancies or errors found during the reconciliation.

Overcoming Common Challenges of Corporate Card Payments

Fraud Prevention and Security

  • Encourage cardholders to keep their cards secure and immediately report lost or stolen cards.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication for added security.
  • Regularly review transaction data for anomalies and investigate suspicious activities.

Expense Policy Enforcement

  • Clearly communicating consequences for non-compliance.
  • Implementing progressive disciplinary measures for repeated violations.
  • Conducting thorough investigations when necessary.
  • Providing feedback and coaching to help employees adhere to policies.

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It’s time to supercharge your savings and simplify your travel payments. 

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