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The Card Games: Purchasing Cards vs. Virtual Cards

Purchasing cards are prevalent in the payment industry. They are used by many even though there is another, better and more secure option. Since purchasing cards have become somewhat the standard for credit payments and not many know of a better alternative, the cons of purchasing cards have been disregarded.

Virtual Payments - Virtual Card Payments

But not anymore.

Virtual cards have been available for use for some time, and what they offer far outweighs the perks of using a purchasing card for use in Accounts Payable. 

According to the NAPCP, here are the pros of using a purchasing card for PAYERS:  cost reductions in handling and mailing.  But, MOST of the PROS are on the PAYEE side of the transaction:

  • electronically deposited funds
  • faster receipt of payments and improved cash flow
  • increased sales, as many organizations solicit only suppliers that accept P-Cards as payment (This is changing.)

It seems that most of these positives, are for the PAYEE and not the PAYER.  In addition, there is the impression that using a purchasing card is still not as SAFE for PAYERS as the alternative, virtual cards.


Here are the drawbacks of using a purchasing card (and how virtual cards can help):

Problem: Procurement card use exposes the organization to the potential for undetected credit card fraud and identity theft, which can result in lost money.*

  • Solution: Virtual credit card numbers are unique to each transaction, meaning that there is no potential for fraud and identity theft.

Problem: Multiple ways of placing orders (e.g., Pcard, eProcurement, ERP, requisitions, etc.) can confuse requisitioners who may not know the proper method for each type of purchase.*

  • Solution: There is no confusion with virtual cards. Each payment flows through the normal AP process and is assigned to designated organizations.

Problem: P- card spend data may not be integrated with other purchase data, resulting in incomplete information when conducting spend analysis.*

  • Solution: Virtual cards may carry GL clearing information for ease of applying to overall systems, resulting in complete information when conducting spend analysis.

*source: Next Level Purchasing

Learn More About Virtual Cards: 

Now that you have more information and realize that purchasing cards are in fact riskier for your business purchases, find out more about integrating virtual cards into your ePayments program.

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