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Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Credit Cards

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Once seen as a banking commodity, e-payables continues leaning toward tech-minded companies for stronger results.

One provider in particular continues to out-pace all others by focusing on integrating with any software and enrolling 3x more vendors than the rest of the market.

Published in: Economy & Finance
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Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Credit Cards

  1. 1. Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Credit Cards A Premier MasterCard Issuing Partner
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION SECTION 1: THE INS AND OUTS OF VIRTUAL CREDIT CARDS SECTION 2: ARE VIRTUAL CREDIT CARDS RIGHT FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION? SECTION 3: WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A VIRTUAL CREDIT CARD PARTNER SECTION 4: BEST PRACTICES FOR IMPLEMENTING A VIRTUAL CREDIT CARD PROGRAM SECTION 5: GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PROGRAM — VENDOR ENROLLMENT STRATEGY CONCLUSION ABOUT COMDATA 3 4 7 9 18 23 28 29
  3. 3. 3 If you’re involved in purchasing or financial decision-making for your company, you have likely heard the excitement surrounding virtual credit cards (also known as electronic payments or ePayables) throughout the last few years. The payment industry is moving increasingly toward the electronification of payments and it is important to understand this growing trend. JUST CONSIDER THIS EBOOK YOUR TRUSTY GUIDE TO VIRTUAL CREDIT CARDS. LET’S GET STARTED! In this eBook you will discover – • How virtual credit cards work and their benefits • How to ascertain if they are a good fit for your organization • What to look for in a virtual credit card provider • How to implement a best-in-class program • Successful methods to continuously enroll your vendors
  4. 4. 44 Let’s begin with the basics - what is a single-use credit card number, how they work and what are the benefits of using them? 1The Ins and Outs of Virtual Credit Cards
  5. 5. 5 A single-use virtual credit card number is a unique, 16-digit number tied to a single vendor payment and issued for a specific dollar amount. Virtual payments are designed to be an alternative to check or ACH payments. What makes virtual payments particularly useful for businesses is that they allow you to set specific dollar amounts and expiration dates, thus emphasizing the protection of your company’s assets. And because these are credit card payments, you can earn rebates on every dollar spent - similar to the way a consumer earns cash back on a personal credit card. The chart below shows the five main steps involved in processing a virtual credit card. Paying your vendors and suppliers through a virtual WHAT IS A SINGLE-USE VIRTUAL CARD NUMBER AND HOW DO THEY WORK? You approve invoices and make a payment from your accounting system just as you do today. 1 Comdata assigns a virtual MasterCard account number for the specified dollar amount with detailed remittance information, including your system generated payment number. Supplier receives and processes the MasterCard payment from Comdata, which settles in 24-48 hours. Comdata provides a file of all transactions for automated reconciliation just like a positive pay file from the bank. Your company gains peace of mind with reduced fraud risk, time savings and a streamlined process. 2 3 4 5 CARD NUMBER CREATED COMDATA TRANSACTION FILES RETURNED COMDATA SUBMIT PAYMENT YOUR COMPANY PAYMENT RECONCILED YOUR COMPANY PAYMENT PROCESSED YOUR SUPPLIER credit card program can eliminate the costs associated with printing and distributing paper checks, speed up the turnaround time in which your vendors receive payments, reduce the risk associated with lost and stolen paper checks and make your payment process much more efficient. Rob Elliot, Chief Operating and Financial Officer at Stansell Electric, explains the benefits of a full virtual payment program. “By combining all of our card purchases into one solution, we were able to reduce the resources required to operate our payment process. As a result, employee productivity has improved, and we have increased visibility to provide employees with the decision-making data they need for cost management.”
  6. 6. 6 WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT VIRTUAL CREDIT CARDS? Virtual credit cards can provide multiple benefits for both your business and the vendors you work with. REDUCE COSTS AND PAPER Virtual credit cards eliminate the need for paper checks. Loading, printing and disbursing checks can add up to a significant expense, particularly when the costs for labor and tracking lost or stolen checks are built in. IMPROVE CASH FLOW Virtual credit cards give your business the opportunity to earn rebates based on your business spend, thus effectively turning your accounts payable department into a revenue generator. MITIGATE RISK A virtual credit card program allows you to process all of your vendor payments via a safe and secure platform. This reduces the possibility of lost or stolen checks getting into the hands of unauthorized users. STREAMLINE PAYMENT Virtual credit cards automate the payment and reconciliation process by integrating into your financial or ERP system. This integration releases your business from the manual work associated with vendor payments and frees your employees to perform higher value activities. INCREASE WORKING CAPITAL AND FLOAT Hold cash longer by utilizing your credit card account to pay vendors instead of by check. Depending on the credit limit and terms you negotiate with your provider, you could extend cash float by 30 days or more without changing payment terms with your vendors.
  7. 7. 7 Step one is complete. You should now be able to explain to your finance friends what virtual credit cards are and why they are gaining so much traction. (You can thank us for helping you sound so impressive later.) But what is next? Sure, virtual credit cards seem great, but how do you know if they are a good fit for your organization? We have you covered. This next section is a handy checklist that will help you evaluate if your organization would benefit from implementing a virtual card program. 7 2Are Virtual Cards Right for Your Organization?
  8. 8. 8 ARE VIRTUAL CREDIT CARDS RIGHT FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION? Are more than 40% of your payments made by checks? Paper check payments open your organization up to fraud as well as unnecessary costs and inefficiencies. Especially if you are making a lot of small, frequent payments. Are you printing and mailing checks in-house? Like we mentioned above, there is significant manual labor and costs associated with processing checks. In fact, the traditional invoice and paper check method costs $31 per payment, as opposed to $9 when using a virtual credit card. (Source: RPMG Research Corporation) Does your organization experience lost or stolen checks? And the cost and hassle that goes along with canceling and reissuing them? Not fun. Do you have significant spend in the travel, shipping, utilities or office supplies industries? Has your organization suffered from attempted or actual fraud? You’d be in good company if you have, 73% of companies reported they had suffered actual or attempted payments fraud in 2015, according to AFP. Is your organization looking for new revenue streams? We realize this one is a like hitting a ball off a tee, easy. Of course, your organization is looking for additional revenue streams, and earning revenue through virtual card rebates is a great way to do it. Could your organization benefit from additional credit or working capital? Do you manually reconcile your payment transactions? Say it ain’t so! It goes without saying that this is time-consuming for your AP team. Do you manually provide remittance information to your suppliers? This, on top of manual reconciliation, is no doubt taking up a significant amount of your AP team’s time. Think of all the other, more important work they could be doing! If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you should consider adding virtual cards to your payments mix.
  9. 9. 99 3What To Look For in a Virtual Credit Card Partner If you’ve made it this far, you must be ready to reduce fraud, increase your bottom line and automate your AP process. But the next step is one of the hardest, finding the right provider to help you build a best-in-class virtual credit card program. And while we can’t pick your provider for you, we can offer a few important points of consideration. In no particular order... 9
  10. 10. 10 QUESTION 1: DO THEY INTEGRATE FULLY WITH YOUR ERP/ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE? You have an AP process in place and it’s no fun to disrupt that flow, especially if it means you’ll have to operate one process from multiple systems. Some ePayables providers issue virtual credit cards through a portal. Each time you’re ready to make a payment run, your staff would have to log-in to a portal, enter or upload all the payment data and generate virtual card numbers. This is obviously not ideal because it is burdensome on your staff and doesn’t increase efficiency. The better option is to find a provider whose solution integrates with your existing ERP or accounting system, eliminating the need for your team to learn a new system. Take note, most ePayables providers will use the term “full” to describe the integration with your ERP software, but full integration for one provider can mean something totally different to another. It’s imperative you define what their integration capabilities are and what work will fall on your team. For example, will you have to manipulate your accounting system’s data to conform to their system’s files (hint, hint…you shouldn’t have to)? Or will your partner take your existing file specs and transform it for you? If they don’t, they should.
  11. 11. 11 QUESTION 2: WHAT ARE THEIR EXPLANATIONS OF REBATES AND LARGE TICKET TRANSACTIONS? One of the greatest benefits of virtual credit cards are their ability to earn your organization rebates on spending, effectively turning your AP department into a revenue generator. Cha-ching! But before you start counting your rebates, there are a couple of things to consider. First off, when are your rebates paid? Many organizations only offer annual rebates that are paid up to 90 days after your contract anniversary, creating a lost opportunity to use these funds through the year. So, look for a provider that pays their rebates quarterly or even better, monthly. Additionally, make sure you know what your vendor qualifies as a “large ticket purchase.” Providers typically pay a lower rebate on large transactions because the interchange is lower. But there are lots of technical reasons that a transaction may or may not “qualify” at a lower interchange rate (i.e. the amount of data provided by the supplier, the type of vendor you’re paying, etc.). Some providers will automatically pay a lower rebate on large transactions, even if the payment didn’t qualify as a large-ticket purchase. We recommend looking for a provider that only reduces your rebate for qualifying transactions to make sure you earn the most rebates possible. Your provider should be able to provide transparent reporting on your transactions, the interchange rate they qualified for and the rebate paid. WE RECOMMEND LOOKING FOR A PROVIDER THAT ONLY REDUCES YOUR REBATE FOR QUALIFYING TRANSACTIONS TO MAKE SURE YOU EARN THE MOST REBATES POSSIBLE.
  12. 12. 12 QUESTION 3: DO THEY PROVIDE A DEDICATED IMPLEMENTATION TEAM? A virtual credit card provider should also be your partner. That impeccable communication you received while they were trying to win your business needs to continue far after the sales contract is signed. After all, implementation is the key to having a successful and profitable ePayables program. Other implementation factors to consider are developing strategies for executive buy-in, tactics on how to communicate your new program with your vendors and provide documentation on the program. If a provider doesn’t offer help in these areas, you may want to consider a different provider. There will be more on implementation in the next section. Your vendor should be up front about the workload involved in the implementation process, how long it will take and the labor that will be required from you and your team. For example, will the provider perform any or all of the technical work to get your program up and running, or will your IT group be required to take on the project? They should prepare you for that work and educate you on best practices for a successful program.
  13. 13. 13 QUESTION 4: DO THEY HAVE A DEDICATED IN-HOUSE VENDOR ENROLLMENT TEAM? AN IN-HOUSE TEAM’S SOLE PURPOSE IS TO CAMPAIGN YOUR SUPPLIERS, WITHOUT THE DISTRACTION OF OTHER PRODUCTS OR OPPORTUNITIES. What’s a virtual credit card program without vendors who accept virtual credit cards for payment? This isn’t a trick or rhetorical question, without enrolled vendors, you are left with an ineffective program. That’s why it’s critically important you understand who your provider will use to enroll vendors. Because believe it or not, some providers rely on the sales rep who sold you the service to do the vendor enrollment him-or herself (I know, I know). Or worse, they want you to do all the enrolling. In theory, and practice, having a dedicated in-house vendor enrollment team is usually the most profitable option. An in-house team’s sole purpose is to campaign your suppliers, without the distraction of other products or opportunities. They will also be more accessible and easier to work with, rather than having to go through your provider to a third-party. Additionally, in-house teams are more likely to work with you to customize the campaigns and messaging to your suppliers to ensure the language reflects the values of both you and that specific vendor.
  14. 14. 14 QUESTION 5: WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR VENDOR ENROLLMENT AFTER THE INITIAL CAMPAIGN? You’ve clarified that they have a dedicated, in-house vendor enrollment team. Great! But how the heck are they going to actually enroll your vendors? At the onset of your program, there is typically an initial push. Your provider is excited and ready to enroll those vendors! But wait, they are only going to target vendors that make up the top 20% of your spend file? That obviously reduces the effectiveness of your program by reducing the amount of potential spend, which in turn reduces your potential rebates. Not a good start to one of the most important aspects of your virtual credit card program. And then there is the even more important question, what happens after your initial campaign? You are going to add new vendors as your business evolves. A good ePayables partner will have a plan in place to continually campaign your vendors throughout the life of your program, including advanced enrollment methods. And that, my friends, is the difference between a successful and very successful virtual credit card program. Our research indicates that the average company has around 40% turnover of their vendors over three years. Your ePayables program will decline without continuously enrolling new vendors. 40% VENDOR TURNOVER WE WILL DIVE INTO A FULL VENDOR ENROLLMENT STRATEGY IN SECTION 5.
  15. 15. 15 QUESTION 6: WHAT KIND OF REPORTING DO YOU RECEIVE FOR YOUR PROGRAM? Your program is in place, you’re paying those vendors and now it’s time to see how well your program is doing. Your vendor should be able to provide you information about your enrolled vendors, the amount of spend you’ve converted and the amount of rebates you have earned. You should also look for real-time reporting capabilities and the ability to look up individual transactions by date, vendor, amount, etc. When a payment question comes up, you’ll want to be able to get answers quickly and easily. Good reports should be provided on a regular basis and you should have access to them at any time. And good is always a relative term, so look for a partner who can provide benchmarking information from your peers.
  16. 16. 16 Look for a partner who isn’t interested in just selling you a product – they should be focused on helping you build a sustainable ePayables program. Ask about the team that will be put in place to support you over the long term. How is that team organized and how are they incentivized to help you? You want consultative support to help you maximize your program. And you will also need support with day-to-day issues like reporting, credit line management, etc. Phew, that is a lot to consider, but entering a new partnership is a serious decision. What’s most important is you look for a trusted, payment industry leader who offers a dedicated support team to ensure that your business succeeds with its virtual credit card program. QUESTION 7: HOW WILL THE PROVIDER DELIVER ONGOING SUPPORT AND RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT? LOOK FOR A PARTNER FOCUSED ON HELPING YOU BUILD A SUSTAINABLE EPAYABLES PROGRAM.
  17. 17. 17 REVIEW QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK IT’S IMPORTANT BECAUSE Do they integrate fully with your ERP/accounting software? • It prevents you from having to disrupt the flow of your current AP process and from having to teach your team a new system, all while saving time and money. What are their explanations of rebates and large ticket transactions? • Providers that only offer annual rebates are creating a lost opportunity for you to use these funds through the year. • Providers typically pay a lower rebate on large transactions, so it’s imperative you understand what does and does not qualify and how that will affect your overall rebate. Do they provide a dedicated implementation team? • Implementation is the key to having a successful and profitable ePayables program, and your provider should help develop strategies for executive buy-in, tactics on how to communicate your new program with your vendors and provide documentation on the program. Do they have a dedicated in-house vendor enrollment team? • An in-house team’s sole purpose is to campaign your suppliers, without the distraction of other products or opportunities. They are also more likely to work with you to customize the campaigns and messaging to your suppliers to ensure the language reflects the values of both you and that specific vendor. What is the process for vendor enrollment after the initial campaign? • Some providers only target vendors that make up the top 20% of your spend file, which reduces the amount of potential spend, in turn reducing your potential rebates. A good ePayables partner will have a plan in place to continually campaign your entire vendor list throughout the life of your program. What kind of reporting do you receive for your program? • A good payments partner should be able to provide real-time reporting capabilities, benchmarking statistics and the ability to look up individual transactions by date, vendor, amount, etc. How will the provider provide ongoing support and relationship management? • Your payments partner should offer consultative support to help you maximize your program as well as support with day-to-day issues like reporting, credit line management, etc.
  18. 18. 18 The CEO’s signature is on the dotted line and you’ve convinced your executive team to implement a virtual credit card program. That is something to celebrate! After all, you have taken the first step in automating your AP processes, improving your profit margin and reducing paper checks. But don’t celebrate for too long; it’s time to get started on implementing your program so you can start reaping the rewards. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, it takes a village to operate a successful virtual credit card program, and you are going to need help from your entire organization to be successful, far beyond implementation. From vendor enrollment, rebate strategy and competitor benchmarking, a virtual credit card program is something that needs to be managed from year one to year fifteen. By implementing best practices or a change management strategy, you’re much more likely to attain your program goals (more on goals later), therefore earning more rebates. 18 4 Best Practices for Implementing a Virtual Credit Card Program
  19. 19. 19 DESIGNATE AN EXECUTIVE SPONSOR Before kicking off your virtual credit card program to the entire organization, you need to get all of your ducks in a row. The first step is designating an executive sponsor. The executive sponsor should be a senior leader who is committed to leading the organization toward the defined goals and objectives of your program. He or she will be the one to hold people accountable for a quick implementation and ongoing results. Have your executive sponsor launch the program through a company-wide communication to validate that the project is a salient one. The executive sponsor will also play a key role in your vendor enrollment strategy. You can leverage their position to contact strategic, high-spend vendors and sign vendor campaign letters. Having executive support is important and will help ensure you get the long-term backing your program needs.
  20. 20. 20 IDENTIFY A DEDICATED PROGRAM OWNER • Serve as the internal project manager for implementation and initial ramp-up. • Be the designated point of contact for the provider-of-choice. • Discover supplier relationships by researching and identifying potential accounts who will accept virtual credit cards. • Build rapport and educate vendors about program features and benefits in order to increase enrollment and improve overall satisfaction. • Create goals and monitor plan effectiveness periodically while continually presenting new and innovative ideas. Next on this list, identify a dedicated virtual credit card program owner. Typically a leader in the AP department is a natural fit because they are familiar with the day-to-day pains of the AP shop and knowledgeable of internal processes. Here are the goals of the program owner: • Identify trends and develop metrics in supplier satisfaction, program growth and attrition. • Verify all virtual card payments are processed by vendors. • Resolve issues with vendors when they are unable to process credit card transactions. • Work across the organization (business units, procurement and accounts payable) to educate employees regarding the value of AP card payments.
  21. 21. 21 SET PROGRAM GOALS Setting program goals is a critical part of your virtual credit card implementation. Not only will it give you motivation for vendor enrollment and program buy-in, but it will also provide metrics to consistently benchmark yourself against. You should set specific, time-bound goals such as a percentage of spend enrolled or monthly rebate goal. A good starting point is to aim for 3-5% of your organization’s annual revenue. Incorporate these goals into your organization’s budget and ensure that the goals are widely distributed to all participating departments and functions. Keep these departments cognizant of your current program progress and reward them for attaining goals as they are reached. This will motivate procurement to build vendor relationships from the onset of program or when forming a new vender relationship.
  22. 22. 22 PROMOTE AND LAUNCH THE PROGRAM WITHIN YOUR ORGANIZATION Most likely, your AP department is not the only business unit that has strong relationships with vendors which is why virtual credit cards should be a company-wide effort. Hold a cross-functional virtual credit card kickoff that includes the executive sponsor, your CFO, accounting and procurement. Branding your program with a logo is a good way to identify and explain the program across the organization. You should also establish a presence on your corporate intranet for your program as an easy way to keep your organization informed. Ideas to include are: • An explanation of the program and its benefits. • Frequently Asked Questions and AP definitions. • Annual goals of the program and progress toward meeting them. • New vendor set-up form/contract/agreement that includes electronic pay as a preferred method of payment. • Key vendors already participating in the program. • Check stuffer letter, new vendor form, negotiation checklist and sample vendor letter. Another idea to keep departments engaged is to pass the rebate back to the particular business unit associated with the specific vendor who generated the revenue. This allows them to see the tangible reward of their enrollment efforts. However, this often depends on your organization’s structure and philosophy. The bottom line is that actively engaging all of the departments will align goals across all departments and ensure cohesiveness as the program grows. A successful implementation can be the make or break point of your ePayables program. You need to ensure the executives and the entire team are on board from the onset of the program. Designating an executive sponsor and a program owner to create goals and promote the program internally should be the first thing you do after signing on the dotted line. It is their responsibility to keep the appropriate teams aware of the progress of the programs; this means communicating how many vendors are enrolled, how many rebates they have earned and where that money is going.
  23. 23. 23 Although you could probably write this eBook on virtual credit cards by now, let’s do a quick recap on the four major players in a successful virtual credit card program. For your virtual credit card program to be as successful as possible, you (and really this work should fall on your payments partner) must first enroll your vendors to accept credit card payments. But are your vendors even willing to accept virtual credit card payments? 23 5 Getting the Most Out of Your Program—Vendor Enrollment Strategy 1 2 Assigns a virtual credit card number for the specified dollar amount YOUR PAYMENTS PROVIDER 3 4 Receives and processes the payment YOUR VENDOR Earn rebates on spending and save costs associated with paper checks YOU Approve invoices to make payments YOU
  24. 24. 24 ARE VENDORS WILLING TO ACCEPT VIRTUAL CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS? Before you pay an invoice with a virtual credit card, you need to ensure that your vendor is equipped to handle that type of payment, i.e. they must be enrolled (or agree) and are able to take credit cards from your partner of choice. This leaves many organizations skeptical about virtual credit card programs because they assume vendors won’t take card payments. Well, you know what they say about assuming. Let’s call a spade a spade; you will not be able to enroll all your vendors into your ePayables program. There will always be vendors who insist on continuing down the road most traveled, i.e. continue to only accept checks or ACH. However, more vendors are willing to accept virtual credit card payments than you might think. To help us make our point, check out these stats: LITTLE KNOWN SECRET: MANY OF YOUR SUPPLIERS HAVE ALREADY BUILT CREDIT CARD FEES INTO THEIR PRICING, SO ENROLLING IN YOUR PROGRAM SHOULD NOT BE A BIG CHANGE FOR THEM. Some of the most common reasons vendors cited for receiving card payments are: • Improved financial controls, since checks can be lost or stolen. • Prompt settlement to help minimize payment delays, collection costs and disputes. • Detailed remittance information, including a list of invoices paid. Now that you’re more confident about virtual credit card acceptance, let’s cover the best approaches to maximizing vendor enrollment. According to Kaiser Associates, 82% of vendors say that they are likely to accept virtual payments. 82% VENDORS ACCEPT RPMG Research Corporation says virtual credit card spending is growing 30%+ annually. 30%+ANNUAL GROWTH
  25. 25. 25 WHY DO I WANT TO ENROLL AS MANY VENDORS AS POSSIBLE? INCREASED OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES, LESS PAPER AND EASIER RECONCILIATION MORE SPEND = MORE REBATES REDUCED COSTS AND MITIGATE THE RISK OF FRAUD BY MINIMIZING CHECK PAYMENTS The reasons are simple –
  26. 26. 26 BEST PRACTICES FOR VENDOR ENROLLMENT To capitalize on the benefits of virtual credit cards and your vendors’ willingness to accept card payments, the process and strategy used to enroll your vendors is the most influential facet of your program. Here are some things to consider: THOROUGHNESS Make sure you attempt to enroll every vendor. Some providers will only target the vendors with whom you have the most spend volume. But attempting to enroll all your vendors maximizes your rebate revenue and more importantly, eliminates more checks. TIMING The rollout of your vendor enrollment campaign should coincide with when you are ready to start making payments with virtual credit cards. Starting too early could cause confusion for your vendors. Starting too late means you miss out on valuable rebate revenue and cost reductions. COMMUNICATION TYPES AND FREQUENCY A successful vendor enrollment campaign should include direct mail, email and phone communications. The specific cadence for each communication type will differ from company to company, but your payments partner should work with you to determine the optimal plan for your business. Additionally, a reputable partner will supply you with communications templates to use throughout your campaign. MESSAGING The messaging to your vendors should be segmented to make sure the tone, wording and communication type are appropriate for the audience; a one-size-fits-all strategy probably won’t work. For example, create separate messages for your strategic vendors (typically a small percentage of vendors who represent a large percentage of your spend) by industry or by type of vemdor. Communicate how important this payment program is to you and why they should agree to accept card payments. The next page explains how accepting virtual credit card can benefit the vendor. ADDITIONAL INCENTIVES AND PENALTIES To truly maximize vendor enrollment, you should make card acceptance as attractive as possible for vendors. Consider offering accelerated payment terms to vendors who enroll, or mandate longer terms to those who won’t (or both). GET INVOLVED Don’t hesitate to participate in the enrollment campaign yourself. A call or email from your CFO or controller goes a long way in getting vendors on board. Also, your AP staff should always be looking at invoices – some vendors state on the invoice that they accept card payments. That’s low-hanging fruit! You can even create rewards and contests to get your staff engaged. ESTABLISH REPORTING MECHANISMS Set enrollment goals and expected ROI and develop tracking tools to monitor your campaign. Your partner should also proactively review your vendor enrollment program throughout the process and continuously update you on your successes and areas of opportunity. The most effective partner will give you the control and guidance you need to achieve success.
  27. 27. 27 VALUE PROPOSITION FOR VENDORS Suppliers may initially be resistant to accepting virtual cards. However, by clearly articulating their value propositions; you’re more likely to melt even some of the coldest hearts. WORKING CAPITAL MANAGEMENT All suppliers operate through a cash conversion cycle (CCC), which is the length of time in which it takes a company to convert its inventory into cash flows. For example, Supplier A makes golf balls. Their CCC, otherwise known as “working capital cycle,” is considered how long it takes to produce a golf ball, hold the golf ball in inventory, sell the golf ball and then finally get paid. Due to this cycle, cash flow management is typically a top concern for suppliers, no matter the size. However, this is particularly true for smaller suppliers who rely on every dollar coming in the door. Since suppliers receive payments faster with virtual cards, days sales outstanding (DSO) and CCC would decrease, resulting in a potentially significant impact on your supplier’s cash flow. IMPROVED REMITTANCE DETAILS ACH and wire payments notoriously lack rich remittance information, handcuffed by character limits allowed for transmittable information. With virtual cards, suppliers can receive robust payment data such as invoices paid and cost center information which can help simplify payment reconciliation and reporting. REDUCED COLLECTIONS AND DISPUTES Virtual cards provide system controls, which can greatly reduce fraud and lost payments. This is appealing to vendors because it can reduce the frequency of disputes and chargebacks. Suppliers ranked improved remittance details as the second greatest benefit of virtual card payments. Source: Market Perception of Card Use in B2B Transactions - Comdata, Mastercard and Kaiser (italics)
  28. 28. 28 You’ve officially made it to the end of this eBook and should be fully versed on the world of virtual credit cards. Hopefully you find it as exciting as we do! If you have any questions remaining, one of our solution consultants would be happy to discuss them with you. Just email us at payments@comdata.com or call us at +1-800-833-8640. Conclusion
  29. 29. 29 For more than 45 years, Comdata has been a leading provider of innovative B2B payment and operating technology. By combining our unique capabilities in technology development, credit card issuing, transaction processing and network ownership, we help our clients build electronic payment programs that positively impact their bottom line and operate their businesses more efficiently. We continuously evolve our products by focusing on our customer’s needs to provide security, accessibility, and profitability. As a division of FleetCor Technologies, Comdata is part of one of the largest payment companies in the world and is the second largest commercial issuer of MasterCard in North America. Our 8,000 employees partner with companies in 53 countries to manage more than $1.9 billion fleet, corporate purchasing, payroll and healthcare transactions annually. About Comdata www.comdata.com 1.800.COMDATA payments@comdata.com The Comdata Mastercard is issued by Regions Bank, pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Mastercard is a registered trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Comdata is a registered trademark of Comdata Inc. ©2017 Comdata Corporation. All rights reserved.

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