In today's digital world, no one really uses checks regularly for their personal transactions. And now, receiving a paper check seems like something out of the 70's. And the steps to process the check file are also very dated. In business, your advanced ERP may output the file seamlessly, there's just no getting around the folding, stuffing and mailing unless you outsource that to a department with machinery to handle that for you.
What if you could eliminate these seemingly old-fashioned steps to send payments instantaneously and electronically regardless of your ERP or Accounting System?
A virtual card is a unique 16-digit card number that's created solely for a single-use between a payer and a payee. One of the obvious benefits of the virtual credit card is the obvious - it's virtual - and, therefore, it's highly secure, which greatly protects the business issuing the payment. And, as the Payer, you predetermine the amount paid. As an added benefit, virtual cards are widely accepted by many vendors and suppliers that accept credit card payments.
We're not alone in referring to the seemingly "antiquated-nature" of check issuance and touting the benefits and growth of virtual cards. A 2017 Forbes Magazine article, sited a survey by RPMG indicates that states that 25% of the Fortune 100 companies used cardless accounts in 2014, with monthly spend averaging $330,698. It went on to say that the use of virtual cards has been around for some time now and continues to have exponential growth as businesses (large and smaller) discover the benefits.
If you are someone who is seeking optimize your company's budget, time and resources, you should learn more about how virtual credit cards can impress your Controller and CFO. But before you break this news to the higher-ups, take the time to ensure you know the difference between purchasing cards vs. virtual cards. You may think the two are the same, but they're not. Not at all. (Learn more about the differences in one of our latest webinars...P-Card vs. V-Card Which Solution is Best for You.)
Once you've educated yourself on purchasing cards vs. virtual cards, familiarize yourself with these 6 great reasons your company should look into using virtual credit card payments:
- To streamline accounts payable process
- To reduce costs
- To earn cash rebates
- To improve security
- To improve internal control
- To manage cash flow
Streamline Accounts Payable Process
The use of virtual credit cards can replace out-dated and cumbersome paper checks and associated manual-process inefficiencies. With single-issue virtual-cards, accounts payable departments can focus less on processing payments and more on financial responsibilities. No more writing checks, stuffing checks in envelopes, metering envelopes. In addition to saving time, you reduce or eliminate the risks of human error with a streamlined accounts payable process through single-issued virtual cards. Bascially, A/P departments can combat the challenges in the accounts payable process by issuing virtual cards.
Virtual credit cards cost you nothing. Really. When compared to the check, which most companies agree costs a minimum of $3.50 to $5.00 for mid-sized companies and from $10.00 - $20.00 for larger organizations, the virtual card immediately returns your investment in the program, if any was required. Costs associated with check payments are for supplies like check stock, MICR toner, envelopes and postage. Then there are the soft costs of the time and labor required to get them folded, stuffed and posted to the mail. With the right B2B ePayment program, you can eliminate the majority of your check payments by migrating some payments to Virtual Cards and others, to vendors who won't accept a card payment, to ACH as a back-up ePayment method. Both substantially reduce your hard and soft costs.
Earn Cash Rebates
Wouldn't you be the company hero if you created a way for the company to earn extra revenue (cash) just by doing your your job? With virtual credit cards your company can earn cash rebates while paying your vendors or suppliers. For every dollar of virtual card payments, you have the potential to earn a cash rebate when you select the right program. The more virtual credit card transactions, the more you earn back. Your CFO will be happy to be creating the organization's newest revenue stream. Do your research up front, before signing a virtual card contract. Most bank treasury programs don't pay cash back monthly...they hold the rebate for payment annually or worse, they require that you hit a certain minimum before paying rebates. You don't want that if you're seeking a reportable impact on your bottom-line.
Virtual credit cards provide more much security than physical credit cards. By allowing you to preset the actual payment dollar amount and tying that payment to the invoices you are paying, the 16-digit card number is unique for each payment and is for single use only. Since the card is not physical, it cannot be stolen nor re-used. The card also expires once the maximum dollar amount has been spent. The CFO will appreciate the benefit of not having to provide vendors/suppliers with an open line of credit and bank on the fact that the risks of theft and fraud are significantly reduced with this innovative payment method.
Companies gain more control with single-issue virtual cards. Each virtual card is issued to a specific vendor or supplier for a specific dollar amount. The cards are then processed by the vendor in much the same way as the traditional credit or pay card payments without a physical card or open line of credit being provided. With this easy to use payment alternative, purchases get automatically entered into the the supplier Accounts Receivable management system without additional paperwork or manual re-keying when the right virtual card program is used. Along with more internal control, the CFO will appreciate that the A/P department has visibility to credit and cash management.
Manage Cash Flow
It's often challenging to manage cash flow and the monetary requirements of a business. Companies have to pay vendors and suppliers a required payment during an agreed upon time frame. During this time, things can get a little fuzzy when trying to determine what funds are available to the Accounts Payable Department. When the right Virtual Card program is used, the system allows organizations of any size to manage cash flow through enhanced reporting with data capture. Easy, instant reconciliation facilitates improved reporting on cashed virtual cards for internal transparency, which makes the whole department much more efficient now that you don't require a separate A/P analyst to account for the different payment types.
Ready to Make the Switch?
In today's economic climate its important for businesses to evolve by using technology that can contribute to your success. And, simply choosing the right vendor and/or supplier payment method can enable that success.
Join the early adopters who are already streamlining operations, reducing costs and improving security. You can do all of that, too, plus save paper, time, money, and provide added security for your credit payments by migrating to V-Cards...not to mention, your company will earn cash rebates for each transaction contributing real dollars to bottom line.
Learn more by reading these related Blog posts:
- Futuristic B2B Payments: Virtual Cards, ACH and Accounts Receivable Challenges
- The Benefits of Virtual Cards
- 5 Reasons Your Company Should Issue A/P Payments with Virtual Credit Cards
- Maximizing Your Virtual Card Program