Aug 23, 2023
3 minutes

Corporate cards in 2024: A comprehensive overview

understanding corporate cards in 2024
Quick summary

This article was updated in January 2024 to include the latest data.

Corporate cards are an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. If using the right solution, finance teams can use them to support employee expense management, add insight to decision-making, and implement robust cash flow control. These key benefits make them a super valuable asset for finance departments, but how do they work? In this blog, we’ll explain everything you need to know about corporate cards in 2024 and how they can benefit your company.

Table of Contents

    A corporate card is a payment card issued by banks or credit unions to organizations instead of individuals. It typically allows authorized users to make business expenses without using their own credit cards. There are many corporate card solutions on the market. For those with connected expense management software, business benefits include improved efficiency, reduced paperwork, enhanced security features, fraud protection, and more.

    The basics of modern corporate cards

    Corporate cards are often used for business-related costs such as travel expense management, entertainment, per diems, office supplies, and more. They provide detailed reports on what was purchased and who purchased it so that finance teams can track and complete accounting quickly and easily.

    The terms of each card may vary depending on the issuer. Still, most corporate cards have features like expense reports, rewards points, or cash-back programs that allow the business to save money and increase efficiency when making purchases.

    Learn how ATU saved over 2 million on VAT with Payhawk

    Nine essential features of modern corporate cards

    Modern corporate cards are a fundamental tool for businesses. And when part of a wider spend management solution, they're even better. Spend management solutions like Payhawk, offer a range of features to improve financial management and operational efficiency, including:

    1. Spend control: Implement spending limits and control categories to manage budgets effectively.
    2. Custom spend rules: Apply rules and limits by department or location.
    3. Real-time expense tracking: Instant capture and categorization of expenses.
    4. Automated expense reconciliation: Simplify the reconciliation of business expenses (and supercharge it with OCR technology)
    5. Advanced security measures: Card freezes, fraud detection and compliance with international security standards for transactions.
    6. Seamless integration with your financial systems: Compatibility with accounting systems for efficient financial processes.
    7. Global usability: Accepted by major networks like Visa for international use.
    8. Customizable approval processes: Adapt workflows to suit company policies.
    9. In-depth reporting tools: Offer comprehensive spend analysis and insights.

    These features, found in solutions that include modern corporate cards, are vital for managing expenses and operational flexibility, reflecting the evolving needs of today's dynamic business environment.

    Corporate cards can save quantifiable time and money, too, with card controls and smart software connections, including:

    Why invest in corporate cards in 2024?

    Looking to streamline corporate finances by implementing a corporate cards solution within your organization? Some of the biggest benefits of corporate cards in 2024 [1] , include:

    1. Enhanced fraud protection and security: Corporate cards provide an extra layer of security against fraud as they are not tied directly to an individual’s bank account or personal credit card information. This helps protect both the company’s finances as well as its reputation should fraudulent activity occur. Instead of using one card/account to manage all company expenses, your employees now have their own cards with custom policies
    2. Improved cash flow control: Corporate cards enable finance teams to manage corporate spending on a more granular level (allocating spend by department, role in the company, and multi-entity management across several currencies.)
    3. Accounting automation: Corporate cards can help reduce paperwork by streamlining the expense report process. With features like custom card limits, card auto-blocking, and custom expense approval workflows, accounting teams can prevent unnecessary overspending, get real-time reports and insights, and save two hours per day while still ensuring that necessary purchases are made in a timely manner.
    4. Direct integrations with company accounting systems: With real-time detailed reports from the issuer and direct integration with most expense report software systems, it has become much easier for companies to keep track of spending without manually entering every transaction into their accounting system.
    5. Employee corporate card rewards, perks, and cashback: Companies looking to save extra dollars on their translations would be happy to learn that many corporate card issuers offer rewards and perks, such as cashback or partner discounts, to cardholders. Such rewards can be used as an employee benefit or to offset business expenses

    In conclusion, corporate cards offer numerous benefits for businesses, large and small, from improved efficiency to increased security against fraud. If you’re looking for an easy way to manage your company's spending while still maintaining proper oversight over expenses, then consider investing in corporate cards.

    How do corporate cards work?

    Businesses leverage corporate card providers to issue cards in the business's name rather than an individual employee. This means the business is responsible for repaying the balance rather than the individual cardholder. The business can then set up a system for reconciling expenses and ensure they are being incurred for legitimate business purposes.

    Companies give corporate cards to employees for various reasons, primarily to streamline and simplify the expense management process. Transactions with a corporate card are traceable and can be easily monitored for fraudulent activity. Additionally, businesses can set up alerts and notifications to monitor spending, credit limits, and other activities on the card.

    A popular trend of recent years that shows no signs of waning in 2024 is to use virtual corporate cards for online transactions. A virtual corporate card is not quite the same as a physical card but instead has a virtual card number that cardholders can use for online transactions. The number can be generated for a specific transaction or vendor, providing an extra layer of security and control over expenses. These cards can also be easily connected to employees’ devices via third-party mobile payment service providers, like Google Pay and Apple Pay.

    Unlike physical cards, virtual cards can often be used almost instantly, allowing a business to empower its employees to make payments for work in just seconds. Depending on the provider, virtual cards also feature the same card controls as physical card, including card freezes, spending limits, and more.

    Whether you decide to go for a physical or a digital card, both can greatly simplify the expense management process, increase control and accountability, and provide enhanced security over traditional methods of payment.

    Bringing the magic of corporate cards together

    Corporate cards are a game-changer for businesses, revolutionizing expense management and financial control. Companies give corporate cards to employees to streamline and simplify the expense management process, increase control and accountability, enhance security, increase productivity, and gain various rewards and perks. With Payhawk's innovative corporate card solution, managing company expenses is a breeze.

    Discover how our advanced corporate card features, including enhanced fraud protection, improved cash flow control, and seamless accounting automation, can propel your organization to new heights.

    But don’t take our word for it. Read how AIOPSGROUP saves two hours per day with Payhawk. Or book a demo to see for yourself with a guided walkthrough of the solution that addresses all of your questions and unique needs.

    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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