Payment methods are undergoing an extensive phase of modernization and of course this also applies to the traditional corporate credit card. This means of payment is increasingly transforming into a smart corporate card. But what exactly makes these cards smart and why should they be a key consideration for businesses?
As companies grapple with ever-increasing costs, it is more vital than ever for them to maintain oversight and control of their finances.
Corporate cards are one way companies have been able to make at least a small dent in these challenges. But with traditional corporate cards, insights are only accessible by the end of the month, limits are hard to oversee, and corporate spending becomes very intransparent.
With smart corporate cards, on the other hand, the finance team can keep track of all actions taken. In fact, companies are increasingly looking into adopting smart cards, with research by Allied Market Research finding that the annual value of the smart card market will exceed $15.57 billion by 2027.
What is a smart corporate card?
Corporate credit cards have been around for a long time, but it becomes increasingly clear that they need an overhaul for our digital age. Compared to a traditional corporate card, smart corporate cards have somewhat of a brain.
At its most basic level, a smart corporate card allows a user to conduct payments using debit, credit or prepaid - just like a traditional corporate card. However, smart corporate cards are also integrated into financial software and provide data-based insights. This turns a card from being just a piece of dumb plastic linked to a bank account, to a powerful tool for monitoring and analyzing spending at a granular level.
|Traditional corporate card||Smart corporate card|
|✓ Issued by a bank
||✓ Transaction monitoring in near real time in web app|
|✓ Only available as a physical card||✓ Interfaces with company software|
|✓ Card statement with transaction overview issued by provider at the end of the month||✓ Connects to analytics|
|✓ Bank can set spending limits||✓ Can be physical or virtual|
|✓ Company can set individual spending limits|
|✓ Cards can be easily administered|
What are the benefits of a smart corporate card?
Smart cards can be configured with built-in spend limits for specific payments, employees, or entire company departments. In addition, they fully integrate with finance software such as the Yokoy spend management solution, designed for seamless finance automation.
Thanks to this integration, every transaction with a smart corporate card is fed directly into Yokoy, making it easy for you to track them. In addition, transactions are automatically reconciled with stored receipts. As a result, your finance team is able to maintain control over the entire card portfolio and all associated transactions, providing an unprecedented level of oversight.
There are many advantages to using a smart corporate card. These include:
- Increased transparency and control: Transactions and cards are clearly displayed on a dashboard. You can set limits on how much money employees are allowed to spend, as well as where and when they can spend it.
- Actionable data insights: Transaction data collected can provide insights into departmental and employee spending and detect inefficiencies.
- Reduced workload: The automatic reconciliation of transactions and receipts reduces the workload for the finance team.
- Reduced expenditure: Spend limits allow you to more tightly control corporate spending.
Smart card administration & corporate virtual cards
Another major benefit of smart corporate cards is that they come with significantly less administrative effort compared to a traditional corporate card. An integration into a tool like Yokoy makes card administration a much smoother process. Now you have one central point of contact, where you can issue new cards and manage them - all at the touch of a button.
Just think about it: an employee loses their card or has it stolen. How do you go about getting them a new one? Traditionally, this is a time-consuming and tedious process from blocking the old card, requesting a new one, to receiving and activating it. With an integrated smart corporate card on the other hand, you are in full control. Freeze or block a card that has gone missing by simply pressing a button. You can issue a new card without having to go through all the paperwork, printing out forms and sending them by post.
If you want even more flexibility, you can leverage corporate virtual cards, which you can provide directly to your employees phones. Thus, they gain access to a means of payment in seconds, tailored exactly to their needs. A marketing colleague needs to pay recurring subscription fees for different tools? Give him access to a virtual card. There has been a change of plans and your sales agent needs to rearrange her business flight? Give her access to a virtual card and increase spend limits temporarily. Overall, a corporate virtual card provides you with all the features of a smart corporate card in physical form - e.g. the ability to set individual spend limits - as well as being integrated into your backend software for detailed spend insights.
Towards an automated future
The move towards a digital future of payments is well underway and the pandemic has only hastened the speed of that transition.
Research by the World Bank found that the pandemic has had a major impact on digitisation. With the exception of China, over 40% of adults who made merchant in-store or online payments using a card, phone, or the internet did so for the first time since the start of the pandemic. In India, more than 80 million adults made their first digital merchant payment after the start of the pandemic, while in China over 100 million adults did.
The path of progress is clear and shows that cash is being replaced more and more by contactless payments. Virtual wallets, virtual travel documents and biometric data are becoming the norm for individuals and businesses. They allow for greater security, added convenience, improved oversight, and cost reduction.
A range of factors is continuing to grow, including the increased adoption of smartphones, growing online purchasing, and easier way to make digital payments.
Smart corporate cards are just one method which companies can use to gain a new level of control over spending while improving efficiency and reducing workload. Flawless integration with analytical systems allows for the easy identification of fraud, and for the financial process to be greater refined in the future.
Leverage Yokoy’s smart corporate cards as an enterprise payment solution
At Yokoy we know about this potential and offer smart corporate cards that are directly integrated into our overall spend management solution, providing you with all the finance automation, convenience, and cost control that you should expect from a modern payment solution.
In addition, Yokoy’s smart corporate cards are free: There are no card or foreign currency fees, and no foreign exchange surcharges, with the interbank exchange rate applying instead.