What ways of controlling corporate spending are new and trending now?
Businesses are currently adjusting and reworking their spending control strategies. All due to the challenges the pandemic bestowed upon them. Multiple people now work remotely, and the tendency will continue.
Not only that, but businesses now tend to hire more niche specialists, raising their number in companies.
These led to the rise of more sophisticated, cloud-based analytical tools for spendings control. We are talking about solutions for collecting spending data, its analysis, and even prognosis on how much more you are going to spend in the future.
Thus companies, and rightfully so, build their strategies around such products or shift from their old analogs to them. Being a part of spending control measures, corporate cards are becoming more sophisticated.
Let me give you some examples. Providing separate departments and employees with corporate cards allows for better, more precise budget control. Depending on the department’s needs, you can adjust limits per card to avoid overspending.
Overall, these cards will function similarly to the prepaid ones, as they are attached to separate IBANs. Tracking spending is also easier with in-built analytics tools. And some fintech companies even allow adjusting where cards will be used based on merchant category codes. For instance, the cards can’t be used for online gambling, etc.
Why do businesses need corporate cards in the first place?
Cards are still one of the top payment methods worldwide for good reasons. They are accepted almost in every shop and can be easily used online. Moreover, you can track all the outgoing and incoming transactions with these. The last one is often a key element to wise corporate spending.
No matter the size of your business, you can’t manage the corporate expenses yourself – sooner or later, you will delegate that to your staff. And you sure should not do so using physical currency – cards are much better for that purpose. So, you will be getting all the information on outgoing payments, when and where they took place. All the data received is easier to analyze when it comes to planning spendings and taxes, of course! This, in a nutshell, is why you need corporate cards.
How to start using corporate cards?
The process is simple: go to the bank or to a fintech company that provides such services. There are two ways you can get said cards. For one, your employees can start separate accounts at the bank, and businesses can order cards in their name, attached to separate but dedicated IBANs (or accounts). Once it is done, you, as a business owner, can transfer funds to your other business IBANs, which are tied to cards of employees for their certain corporate expenses.
Another option is far less common but provides more tools for spending management. You need to find a provider that offers a shared corporate account. Meaning that the company’s CEO will be the main account owner and have the ability to grant their employees access to it. The account will also have cards linked, so funds can be distributed to different spending necessities. Still, I believe that having separate accounts and separate cards attached to them is the safest and most convenient option for corporate spending control. It is easier to watch over and analyze.
Genome offers both options.
What would be the potential problems in the implementation of corporate cards? How would you recommend solving them?
What’s crucial is to take a close, careful look at the bank or fintech you want to order cards from. The main points are the card types and requirements.
First and foremost – the card type. I strongly recommend you go only for corporate debit cards. With credit cards, it is much harder to control spendings and potential debts caused by overspending – your employee can make the mistake of not tipping up a card in time, and you will have to pay extra because of it. You will feel far more secure when operating with your earned funds exclusively, not credit ones.
I advise you to evaluate the lead use case for said cards to determine which will cover your needs best. You can conclude that virtual cards are a better match for you and your employees, but keep in mind that not all fintech companies provide these. Or, if you decide to go with traditional plastic cards, take notice of the dispatch time.
Make sure the bank you have chosen can provide as many cards as you need. Not all financial institutions can issue multiple cards for one company, so if you think that your business will be hiring significantly more people in the following years, be aware of how many cards will be available to you.
Also, if your company uses multiple cards, it might be necessary to automate this process. Solutions for this issue are not as common on the market, but Genome offers card order and management APIs essential for this part.
What can Genome offer in terms of corporate cards?
We provide corporate debit Visa cards in virtual and physical forms. And as mentioned before, we can issue separate cards for each of your employees or open a shared business account for the company. In the latter case, the company’s owner can offer other employees access to the account. As a result, they are assigned different roles, such as financial director, accountant, and analyst. Each has access to various account features depending on their field of work, which allows securely and cleverly sharing of the workload within the account. You can order virtual and physical cards linked to said account for your staff to use.
You can even do both: let some staff start accounts, get our cards to accept salaries, and separate funds for corporate spending, and keep a different business account for the main budget and run it with authorized employees.
As for card types, here are some differences between them you need to take into account:
Virtual corporate Visa cards and all their data exist entirely inside Genome, protected with our security tools. You can keep the money in EUR, GBP, and USD, and exchange them within seconds between your accounts. Our virtual cards can be used for online transactions and Google Pay payments at stores and other places that have the necessary equipment. One of the main advantages is that a person can open and start using a virtual card within minutes, as they will just need to confirm their data. All the incoming and outgoing transactions information is saved and can be easily tracked using our analytics tools. You can get ten cards per account or more, as we can adjust this number in our system.
Physical corporate visa cards are everything our virtual cards are and more. Both are debit cards, but a physical card is made of plastic. As you can imagine, the card can be used anywhere in the world where Visa is accepted, and they can be used for online purchases too. The cards support EUR, USD, and GBP currencies; You can also order multiple cards, depending on what your business needs.
The order process is similar to virtual cards, but you will also need to provide your address, as we deliver the cards to any EU country. You don’t have to pick them up from the bank branch. Physical cards are as secure as virtual ones and you can even request that we don’t print the card number, CVV, and your name on it. This way, if it gets stolen, no unauthorized person can use it. All the data is always stored inside Genome.
Do businesses need additional financial services if they get corporate cards?
The main thing here is the bank accounts – something that corporate cards are attached to – but you always get the account first and then your card. I would recommend looking into security features you can enable to better protect corporate funds.
For instance, we at Genome, in addition to your business account, offer a security token. It is a physical device that allows the double authorisation of each outgoing payment from your account, in addition to authorisation inside Genome.
So, if a business account owner has the token, no payment can be made from the account or card if they don’t confirm it via the token. It is a great security measure that prevents your employees from overstepping boundaries when spending corporate funds, which unfortunately happens sometimes.
And, if necessary, the owner can leave the token to the person they trust if they go on a vacation or a business trip.
And besides such a feature, we have all safety tools in place, such as dual approval, 2-factor authentication, etc. We also provide access management, a service that allows your staff members to access your business wallet – completely securely – to manage your corporate finances together. The employees are assigned different roles for different purposes.
To sum up, my advice here is to look deeply into what security services are coming with your corporate cards – you can never be too safe!
About Daumantas Barauskas
Daumantas Barauskas is the CEO of Genome. He is a fintech expert with ten years of experience in business development and implementation of new technologies.
Genome is an Electronic Money Institution licensed and supervised by the Central Bank of Lithuania. Genome makes the online opening of personal, business, and merchant accounts quick, simple, and secure. The onboarding and accounts management is entirely online. An individual or a company can start a wallet at Genome and open up to 15 dedicated business IBAN accounts in different currencies: EUR, USD, GBP. Clients can exchange currencies, make domestic and international money transfers, always overlook all the finances, and more. Genome offers corporate Visa cards to companies to pay their employees and contractors for marketing and other business expenses.