By Colleen Black, Partner
Despite the fairly long history of modern day credit cards, beginning in the 1950s, corporate payment continues to be a hot topic at industry events. With innovation in security, chip technology, virtual cards and mobile technology, how does a corporation stay informed and know when it’s time to put their corporate card program out for bid? There is so much more to consider besides rebate. Here are our team’s top five reasons for a competitive bid:
- A Change in Corporate Profile Due to a Merger or Acquisition
A merger may trigger new priorities and goals as well as a new profile. A significant volume increase is certainly a reason to expect an improvement in your financial arrangement with your card provider. Depending on the situation, it may also trigger a need to explore new options. Even without major changes, it is a good idea to benchmark your program with other like companies to see if you are best in class.
- A New Global Footprint
As your travel expands to new countries, your credit card process may become fragmented. What do you do when your preferred corporate card does not have coverage in certain markets? Travel managers facing this situation are well advised to look into a competitive bid to fit their company’s needs, whether those needs be met by a global card provider or by regional solutions.
- Fraud Issues
What is your frequency of fraud? How often are travelers inconvenienced due to cards being hacked? With improvement in security and technology, it may be time to look at new and improved options such as virtual cards or mobile payment if fraud issues are an issue for your program.
- A Better Solution for Hotel or Infrequent Traveler Payment
Do you have travelers without a corporate card? Do you spend hours on reconciling your hotel direct bills? What is your solution for recruits? All of these issues might be addressed by integrating virtual payment into your payment process. While not yet perfect, virtual payment can be a good option in managing hotel spend, providing reconciled invoicing and improving security.
- Data Integration
How good is your spend data from your card provider? Is it fragmented and incomplete? Are you able to get reports broken out by category codes? Does your corporate card improve your process to save time and administrative costs? Do you have automated feeds into your expense system? Automated feeds save both time and money while reducing fraud and errors, while complete reporting will improve compliance monitoring.
When dealing with the challenges above, it is worth considering a competitive corporate payment bid. Recent developments in corporate payment have improved security, global reach and data integration, among other areas, and are worth considering as a part of the strategic management of your travel program.
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