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Choosing your corporate credit card: 10 questions to ask the service provider

A corporate credit card is the most suitable means of payment for agile companies, whose employees are often on the move or regularly incur business expenses.

We discussed the importance of a corporate credit card in our latest article and exposed the pros and cons of using corporate cards.

There are several questions that should be answered before committing to one card provider. In the following article, you will find a set of questions that will help you choose your corporate credit card.

Do you offer physical cards?

Physical cards are typically plastic cards that allow you to make withdrawals from ATMs and make in-person purchases from merchants that accept them.

These are often MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover cards, which represent the four major global players and issuers of credit cards.

Physical cards can also be used to make online purchases.

You can order physical cards from your bank or expense manager. Most cards arrive within 10 working days after your application is accepted.

You can order as many physical cards as needed from the service provider of your choice, free of charge, or pay additional fees depending on the service provider.

There are also card providers who generate physical name cards, bearing the name of the person who will own them.

Some choose to offer travel and health insurance along with the purchase of a physical card.

Do you offer virtual cards?

Virtual bank cards are cards accessible only on mobile and on computer, which are intended for online purchases, within the limits of the authorized caps.

Virtual cards have the same characteristics of physical cards: a card number, an expiration date, a PIN code and a visual cryptogram.

When you generate a virtual card, you actually generate a unique 16-digit card number linked to your account.

Virtual cards work through a mobile application. The user must therefore download the application in order to have access to the information required to incur online expenses.

Virtual bank cards are very useful. They guarantee:

  • More control over employee spending (limit spending, set expiration dates, locked cards, single card use, and more)
  • Better security. By using a virtual card for every online purchase, you are better protected in the event of a data breach or hack.

Can we generate single-use cards?

Single-use cards are virtual cards generated to cover one-time purchases only: purchases of office supplies, rental of a vehicle, purchase of a plane ticket, etc.

They are only valid for a short time, the time to make the purchase online. This option will allow you to give more autonomy to each one of your employees, and to keep an eye on their expenses.

Can we generate cards for recurring use?

Recurring-use cards are virtual cards generated with the aim of covering recurring expenses: managing monthly or yearly subscriptions, paying the same supplier several times, etc.

They remain valid for several months or years, as needed.

This type of card helps you better organize your expenses and dedicate a specific card to each type of expense.

Is it possible to set up payment limits?

Bank cards, physical and virtual, are capped in agreement with the bank. They are limited by maximum expenditure amounts, beyond which it is no longer possible to incur expenditure by card during a specific period.

In a company where several employees pay by card, it is important to keep a certain control over each transaction, and to adapt the limits according to the spending habits of each team member.

It is for this reason that there are expense management applications that allow managers to set up spending limits on each individual card, physical or virtual.

You can even set limits according to the currency of each card.

Can we activate and deactivate bank cards at any time?

You can generate virtual cards or order physical cards from your payment provider.

You must ensure that you have advanced settings that allow you to activate and deactivate your cards in complete autonomy.

Using the mobile or web platform, the account admin can access the card settings and activate it. Some applications allow you to choose a range of card activation. This is a limited period during which the card is functional.

This feature is crucial in the event your card is stolen or lost.

What features are available for managing and controlling expenses?

One of the main advantages of paying by company card is to be able to consult in real time the expenses incurred by each of your employees, when the card is coupled with an expense management solution.

Through your expense management application, you can:

  • Monitor and control employee transactions
  • Allocate budgets to each card and assign them unique users
  • Set up an expense policy.
  • Assign managers to each budget, and give them permission to validate transactions
  • Limit spending on specific cards
  • Access the complete transaction history of your employees
  • Limit the daily card usage ranges

All these features are part of the packages corporate card providers offer.

Assess them and choose the features that you find most useful for your business. And be sure that your payment tool can grant them.

What security measures are in place?

Regulations must be put in place by your service provider to strengthen the security level of your transactions and protect your sensitive data. This involves imposing two-level authentication procedures and opting for user identity verification protocols.

3-D Secure Mode, for example, is a fraud prevention measure acting as an additional layer of security for payment cards where an authentication step is added.

To make the purchase successfully and safely, 3-D Secure asks you to provide a verification code received by SMS, a unique password, or to have the transaction validated through a mobile application.

Can we set up the PIN code for physical and virtual cards?

The PIN code of your corporate credit card is a 4-digit code that serves as protection. It is different from the CVV or CVC code (Card Verification Code) which is a security code usually made up of 3 digits and located on the back of your physical card.

You can change your card’s PIN code, unlike the CVV / CVC code, which is granted to you by the bank and cannot be changed.

Does your application allow you to manage expense reports?

Paying by corporate credit card does not exempt you from presenting your proof of payment. Although your transactions can be tracked through the mobile app linked to your card, your employees and anyone who incurs business expenses must hold on to their receipt or invoice, to justify the costs to of the tax administration.

business expense management solution, such as Expensya is designed to provide more control over the entire expense process and automate administrative tasks, such as entering and processing expenses, storing receipts, and reimbursing expense reports.

The tool that you are going to adopt must be comprehensive in order to help your teams incur professional expenses via their physical or virtual cards, but also to manage their expenses, generate expense reports in an automated way and export their expense reports to the accounts: everything is done within the same digital environment to make your life, and theirs easier.

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Learn about the trends in the “what” and “how” of employee spend, pulled from actual expense management data, in the annual Expensya barometer report.

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