Imagine — or maybe even remember — how your team would make payments pre-company cards. A few years ago, they had to phone through on a landline or get written approval, maybe get something stamped, dig out the cheque book, hang on to an illegible handwritten receipt, and so it goes on.
Now, the cheque books are banished, and corporate cards have helped make work purchases easier than ever for your team. But what about when they forget their card, or even worse if it's been stolen. Here's where smartphones and digital wallets come in. The modern phone is a jack of all trades, allowing your colleagues to pay and transfer money conveniently and safely (as well as all of its other functions).
From the simple exchange of products and services to the advent of mintage, paper money, and finally digital payments, one thing is sure — payments have evolved substantially. Despite the considerable changes, the demands mostly remain the same: convenience and safety. So, how do the current trends in payments comply with these needs?
In recent years, the industry has seen a large influx of electronic payment options, which are set to continue growing. By the end of 2021, digital payments in Europe are estimated to reach a transaction value of $260 billion, as per data from Statista. According to the same study, the transaction value for 2025 will almost triple to reach $775 billion.
A massive amount of these transactions occur through digital wallets, and forecasts predict that this trend will become increasingly popular, particularly in European and Asian markets. Denmark and Sweden, for instance, are already on their way to becoming among the first cashless economies in Europe, while Hong Kong and Singapore are leading in Asia.
Business digitalization seeks to optimize internal processes through technology and present additional opportunities for increasing value or revenue. The use of digital wallets is just one way that a business can start to transform digitally, providing they have the appropriate financial software to support them.
Digital wallets or e-wallets are applications that allow users to store their personal credit card or company credit card information. They then use a mobile device to pay; instead of paying with a credit or debit card, this makes for a much faster and more secure process than traditional methods, as there's no need to carry around cash.
At a time when everyone is looking to enhance and simplify daily processes, it's no surprise that payment options offering flexibility are increasing in popularity. Users can track their real-time transactions without the need to open their online banking applications.
There's no doubt that the best company cards have the support of powerful software. Software that automates tasks and helps the finance team (and users) avoid manual data entry, saving you and your team money.
With solutions like Payhawk, you can get one-click accounting integration, automated expense reports, and our special Team Cards feature, all of which make managing business payments clearer and more straightforward.
Team cards, for example, are an innovative way to gain control and total transparency over your team budgets. They're essentially shared budgets that correspond to company cards. Each card linked to the shared budget can be used to spend, each user can view the spend, and each transaction is visible. Meaning team managers, and the accounts team, can easily check on spend in real-time, every time.
Another unique feature is our expense categories, which give you a way of classifying spend into specific areas relevant to your business. Let's say your salesperson, Peter spent £63 on a train journey for work, his spend will be categorised under 'transport.' And it could be even more prescriptive with a 'train' category.
These categories are useful because when you want to find a specific transaction or check your spending trends, you can do so in a matter of clicks.
The best corporate cards make spending easy and expense management even easier.
With Payhawk, team leads can set spend limits, keep informed of each payment, and see all outstanding expenses simply using one tool. Adjustments such as issuing a new card can be made in real-time and, in the case of virtual cards, used instantly.
Compliance is an easy win too. The cards and app are easy for employees to use, so they want to use them. Then, as the policies are already built into the solution via the app and platform, breaking the rules is hard, meaning compliance is high.
After HR, subscriptions are one the largest cost centres in mid-sized businesses. Therefore, a tracking tool for this type of cost is crucial.
Payhawk's subscription feature allows finance teams to create clear forecasting for recurring payments and to spot duplicate or unused SaaS payments quickly.
"The subscription feature has enabled us to take immediate actions to avoid unnecessary spending. We were immediately able to identify which subscriptions are not required anymore and trigger cancellation on time."
— Lenka Bartuskova, Finance Manager
The best company cards come with software that integrates seamlessly with your ERP and accounting system by syncing your expenses, ensuring that all the expense data is pushed accurately with no error.
ERP integrations mean fast and efficient reconciliation and a pain-free month-end close, freeing up time for work on initiatives that will drive the business forward instead of managing fiddly expense processes.
We recently launched a direct integration with ERP Oracle NetSuite, one of the most used systems for Enterprise business. Our direct integration enables finance teams to push all expense information and have real-time reporting in just a few clicks.
Whether approving a fund request in seconds or getting real-time visibility over team spend, the best corporate cards can be managed so that everyone who needs company money can get it instantly and stay within the rules.
No waiting for sign-offs. No phone calls. Just immediate access to company funds via automated, real-time software. Your employees feel empowered, and your finance team has complete control of the money spent.
Book a demo if you want to learn more about simplifying your business finances with company cards and a powerful software solution.
Maggie has been an integral part of our journey from a modest three-person marketing team to where we are today. A jack of all trades, she navigated through social media, directed various video campaigns, and started our customer marketing function. Outside the office, she embraces the challenge of being a mediocre snowboarder.