Vanishing Plastic

Dec 14, 2017 | News

By Bryan Yurcan, BTE

12-14-2017

In a future that’s totally connected, it looks like corporate cards may pull a disappearing act.

Looking back to their earliest days, purchase cards have come a long way. The technology, the systems and the processes have all matured and diversified, so that now business travelers and the companies they represent have lots of choices in how to pay, who to pay and even when and how much to pay.

Just as in the consumer payments space – with innovations such as mobile wallets and digital, person-to-person payments – commercial cards and payments are also changing to meet evolving customer demands.

One such aspect is virtual cards, wherein a one-time number is generated  for employees to make purchases. These can be especially convenient for those who don’t have frequent purchasing needs, so travel managers don’t have to issue extra plastic cards to those who won’t use them much or are contract employees.

“It’s beneficial for employees that don’t need a full-time corporate card, but also can be combined with traditional corporate cards to create an enhanced travel product,” says Ralph Kaiser, CEO of UATP. “Virtual cards offer another layer of security since the number can only be used once. Virtual cards won’t replace plastic cards anytime soon, but are becoming more and more popular.”

Virtual Connections

However that’s only the beginning; many in the payments business are bullish on how virtual cards and virtual payments can be even more integrated into the travel management process.

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