Your company may use virtual cards for vendor payments – and now, some providers are looking to bring them into the business travel world.
As most finance pros know, virtual cards, or “ghosts cards,” each have a unique 16-digit number that’s typically used for a single transaction.
They’re often regarded as one of the most secure e-payment methods, since most of the time, they’re only used for one particular item of a certain dollar amount. These tight controls don’t leave much room for fraud or noncompliance, which is a top concern for T&E.
And of course, there’s no plastic involved – which is a big selling point right now in the age of COVID-19, where health, safety and touchless options are a top priority for companies.
How do they work?
So, how are virtual cards making their way into the business travel world?
- Unique numbers: A new virtual number is generated before each transaction a traveler makes on a trip.
- Limits: You can set a specific charge limit for the virtual number, as well as an expiration date.
- Availability: The card can be activated and deactivated based on when the employee travels for business.
What are the benefits?
Many companies already provide their employees with corporate cards. And virtual cards could be the next step toward more compliant travel expenses.
Some of the benefits for CFOs and their companies, per payment technology company Conferma Pay, are:
- touchless, safe interaction for travelers
- no possibility of loss, like with physical corporate cards
- less risk of fraud or account hacks
- no reimbursement or cash advances, saving your team time
- easier reconciliation, and
- real-time visibility into transaction activity.
Though the idea of virtual cards for business travel is newer on the scene, forward-looking CFOs will want to keep it on their radar. Is it a payment method that could benefit your company? Is your card provider planning to add this kind of technology in the future? Considerations like these will keep you on track with this T&E expense trend.