30 May 2024
4 minutes

How to use digital corporate cards as strategic payment tools: A modern business guide

Finance team using Payhawk Digital Cards As Strategic Payment Tools
Quick summary

Digital corporate cards are key to modern financial management. They simplify payments and offer features that support corporate spend control and visibility. This article explores how these virtual tools have become fundamental for smart corporate spend management, driving increased visibility for more intelligent decision-making and beyond.

Table of Contents

    What's the big deal with digital cards, then? In a nutshell, they can help transform how businesses like yours manage company finances. Of course, not all providers or solutions are created equal, but typically, digital cards will provide real-time expense tracking, enhanced spend control, and detailed analytics that can drive more informed financial decisions.


    Are you getting the most from your corporate card program?

    What is a digital corporate card?

    Just like physical payment cards, virtual cards for employees are issued in the company's name and aren't linked to an employee's account. In terms of use, they're similar to a conventional plastic credit or debit card, except that they are virtual. In other words, they allow employees to make payments for work directly and fully remotely with any NFC-enabled device without the plastic.

    Your team can use these corporate cards for all types of business expenses, including office equipment or travel expense management. When employees get virtual cards, they typically request them via an online application. Then, they get a unique card number, meaning that all the virtual charges can be completed as usual and directly aligned to the appropriate corporate account.

    Who are digital corporate cards meant for?

    Digital corporate cards are now an essential part of the modern business toolkit. And, as long as you access them via a broader spend management solution, they can help simplify spend management by providing critical efficiency-driving functions, including:

    • Efficient expense management: Centralise and record all your employee transactions to make it easier to keep detailed control of business expenses
    • Process optimisation: Simplify your accounting procedures by automating the invoice reconciliation process and eliminating manual employee reimbursements
    • Control and policy setting: Set spending limits and integrated corporate spend policies to gain greater control over how funds are used
    • Secure remote access: Get remote access to company funds through secure platforms, which support real-time monitoring and control

    Are virtual corporate cards secure?

    For those unfamiliar with how virtual corporate cards work, security can be a concern. However, security is a top priority for companies who use virtual cards.

    And at Payhawk, secure corporate spending is a fundamental part of our product. Our virtual cards are protected by advanced security measures, including:

    • Two-factor authentication. This incorporates robust authentication systems that require multiple levels of verification to authorise transactions
    • Spend control features and card auto-blocking. By setting spending limits and controls in cases of emergency or suspected fraud, you can block or deactivate unauthorised transitions before they occur
    • Detailed transaction logging. Virtual card expense management software provides a detailed record of all transactions, making it easy to quickly identify suspicious activity

    These three layers of security ensure the integrity of transactions and the protection of corporate funds. For the most reliable measures, it's essential to use top brands of digital corporate cards.

    More virtual corporate card advantages

    Apart from security, digitised corporate cards offer a few more benefits than conventional plastic cards; here we've summed up five of the biggest:

    1. Flexibility and agility. Virtual cards are digital, meaning you can generate and assign corporate cards to your employees instantly without postage costs or delays. As a result, you can quickly distribute cards across the organisation, meaning your coworkers can pay for what they need way more quickly, promoting agility and flexibility.
    2. Greater control and transparency. As mentioned above, virtual payment cards offer more control and visibility over your business expenses (depending on your spend management provider) as they provide detailed real-time data on each transaction.
    3. Cost reduction and sustainability. Eliminate costs associated with issuing and sending physical cards (commissions, material expenses, etc.) and support the environment by reducing the use of plastic.
    4. Enhanced security. Digital corporate cards often include advanced security levels with functions such as tokenisation or multi-factor authentication, reducing the risk of fraud on their virtual cards.
    5. Adaptability to virtual environments. Virtual cards are ideal for today's business environment, where teams can work remotely and need immediate access to financial tools.

    Virtual corporate cards offer lots of advantages, making them a valuable asset for spend management in today's digital landscape. They provide a convenient, secure, and flexible solution for businesses across all sectors.

    Why would your employees want to use corporate virtual cards?

    Finance teams love virtual digital cards because of the above. But non-finance coworkers love them, too! And here are the five main reasons why:

    1. Convenience and ease of use. Employees can access their virtual cards instantly through mobile applications or online platforms, simplifying the issuing process for everyone in the organisation.
    2. Personalised control. You can set individual spending limits and spend policies for each employee or department to easily adapt spending limits to your team's unique needs and responsibilities.
    3. Automatic expense recording and categorisation. Virtual cards streamline the expense documentation process by automatically recording the details of each operation. In other words, they streamline the accounting and reconciliation processes. Your employees no longer need to store receipts!
    4. Safety and security. Integrated security layers protect both your company and your employees. As a result, they provide a secure environment for transactions, enabling finance controllers to spend with certainty.
    5. Ease of corporate travel expense management. Allowing international transactions and online payments is ideal for employees who need to manage certain expenses during business trips or for online subscription management.

    Virtual corporate cards are the ultimate multitasking tool for employees. They provide both flexibility and security in one convenient package, streamlining tasks and effortlessly boosting your company's productivity.

    G2 user and Payhawk customer Simon R., says:

    My favourite thing about Payhawk is how cards and virtual cards are issued. This can be the most frustrating process with a bank or card provider, but with Payhawk, it literally takes seconds, and I am in control of the process the whole time. Customer service is excellent, and their training helped me easily set up our business on the system. I use it multiple times a day.

    Payhawk's virtual employee corporate cards

    Now, onto what we do... At Payhawk, our corporate cards are part of a comprehensive and efficient solution to help you manage your business expenses. Our customers love the virtual cards, highlighted top features including instant configuration, detailed control of expenses, ease-of-issue, custom expense policies, and reinforced security.

    Paul Schwarzenholz, Zenloop Co-Founder says:

    Payhawk cards offer security, budget allocation, accountability and accessibility. Plus, we can see every transaction in real time.

    In short, our corporate cards massively simplify financial control for large and growing companies. Want to learn how these cards could transform your financial management? Take a leap and schedule a demo today.

    Virtual cards: FAQs

    Here are the top four most frequently asked questions about virtual cards.

    Trish Toovey - Content Director at Payhawk - The financial system of tomorrow
    Trish Toovey
    Senior Content Manager

    Trish Toovey works across the UK and US markets to craft content at Payhawk. Covering anything from ad copy to video scripting, Trish leans on a super varied background in copy and content creation for the finance, fashion, and travel industries.

    See all articles by Trish →

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