Back To Basics
A quick recap on what a virtual credit card is and why they are in such demand. Simply put, a virtual credit card is like any other credit card number except it does not live on plastic. Because of that, a number of features are possible. The card numbers can be dynamic meaning that a new card # can be applied for each transaction. This can greatly reduce fraud and also automate the reconciliation process. The card numbers can also be locked down to a certain merchant type (only hotels for example) and the life of the card can start at the beginning of travel and finish at the end of the trip thereby having a very narrow scope for spend.
With all those capabilities, it is highly advantageous for companies as they reduce risk on out of policy spend and can more easily to cater to all personnel including generation Z who may have challenges establishing credit, subcontractors, students, etc. And you can automatically tie the charges (hotel, air, ancillary, car rental) to rich data like cost centers, GLs, and project numbers.
Compliance Post Covid
With recent renewed optimism of a post covid world, business travel will begin again. Many publications are indicating increased travel happening already. From airlines to cruises, travelers are coming back. For the corporate travel world, many people will be taking their journeys for the first time in the last year. Some experiences will be new such as wearing masks on flights and additional protocols for cleaning and hygiene. And some other experiences will be new again such as adhering to company travel policy.
After not travelling for some time, companies will likely have to re-establish those good behaviors with their employees. Unmanaged travel and out of policy bookings could possibly increase as people start booking travel again. Virtual cards are a great way to help put the guardrails on that spend.
Virtual Card - Traditional Credit Line
Covid affected many industries, not just travel. Some industries were able to thrive while others are holding on to survive. For the latter, those companies under financial strain have the additional problem on maintaining a strong credit rating.
For many virtual card providers, the ability to create a virtual card is not from your existing plastic credit card or account but from establishing a new credit line. While we are in a very optimistic and encouraging time, the economy still is weaker due to Covid and some companies could fail on credit approval.
Fortunately, new capabilities are coming to help mitigate that issue. Technologies which can leverage your existing banking partner and existing credit can help provide the virtual credit cards you need without the hassle of applying for a new credit line. Utilizing your own credit not only removes the risk of denial but also enables you to start using virtual cards faster.
Virtual Card - More Banking Options
The travel industry is continuing to evolve with payments changes globally. Alternative forms of payment are getting more attention. And while there seems to be a cool factor with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Etherum, the challenge is that they are not widely accepted. The benefit of a virtual credit card is that it is still a credit card number which is universally accepted.
New offerings are coming to the market which will help expand banking options so you can use your own bank and your existing credit card. Extend, is a great example of this as they offer multiple financial offerings within their mobile friendly platform. We are pleased to say that we have partnered with Extend to offer those capabilities in GraspPAY as well. With this partnership, our clients will have the benefit of GraspPAY’s automated reconciliation with rich data (PNR fields plus 99 Udids) and the option of Extend’s mobile platform and extensive banking relationships.
GraspPAY has quickly evolved to leverage those capabilities so whether you prefer to use a new banking partner that specializes in virtual credit cards or if you prefer to have technology to connect to your existing bank, GraspPAY can help.