What is a corporate card and how does it work?
When it comes to managing company expenses, corporate cards linked with tracking and controlling features have become the go-to choice for most organizations. Corporate card programs are coming out on top as one of the best options for businesses to give their employees the liberty to spend while proactively controlling their budgets.
A corporate card is a credit card issued by a company that is provided to its employees. These corporate credit cards can be used by a worker to carry out business expenses such as corporate travel, hotel and lodging, subscription payments, and so on.
The major benefit of using these cards is that they allow an employee to make relevant and necessary expenses without having to spend directly out of their account. They no longer have to worry about filing reimbursements and waiting for weeks and months to get their claims.
Corporate credit cards are the most common type of corporate card. They are issued to employees and are linked to the company's credit account.
These cards enable employees to make purchases on credit, and the company is responsible for paying the credit card bill at the end of the billing cycle.
Corporate travel cards are designed specifically for business-related travel expenses. They come with travel-related rewards and incentives.
This makes them an excellent choice for frequent business travelers who can accumulate points, miles, or cashback on their trips.
These cards are integrated with expense management systems, providing businesses with real-time transaction tracking and categorization.
They simplify expense reporting and help enforce company spending policies.
Corporate prepaid cards are funded by the company with a predetermined amount. Employees can use these cards up to the available balance.
Once the funds are exhausted, the card needs to be reloaded to continue using it.
Virtual cards put simply are corporate cards that don’t have a tangible/physical form. Business virtual cards are used for online purchases. They function in the same way any other credit card would work, except that they are not usable for physical in-person purchases.
A virtual credit card exists digitally in the software system of the corporate card provider that you select. It makes sense for a business to get virtual cards when employees who need to carry out online purchases are spread out in different countries. This makes it easier for an employee overseas to get immediate access to a corporate card without any delay.
A corporate credit card is a payment card issued by a company to its employees, allowing them to make business-related purchases on credit.
The primary purpose of these cards is to provide a convenient payment method for employees while enabling the company to monitor and control spending effectively.
● Individual and centralized card issuance
Corporate credit cards can be issued to individual employees, allowing the company to track individual expenses, or they can be issued centrally to a department for specific projects.
● Expense categorization
Corporate credit cards often come with expense categorization features, automatically tagging transactions with relevant expense categories, making reporting more streamlined.
● Real-time spend tracking
With real-time transaction tracking, companies can monitor spending as it happens, gaining better visibility into their financials.
● Expense management system integration
Corporate credit card transactions can be seamlessly integrated into expense management systems, streamlining the entire expense management process.
● Detailed reporting and analytics
Companies receive detailed reports and analytics on employee spending, helping them identify trends and areas where cost-saving measures can be implemented.
● Centralized expense data
The use of corporate credit cards centralizes expense data, simplifying financial reconciliation and audits.
Corporate travel cards are made to cater to the needs of business travelers. They allow employees to charge travel-related expenses like flights, accommodations, and meals directly to the company.
● Streamlined travel expense management
Corporate travel cards simplify the process of managing travel expenses, reducing the administrative burden for both employees and finance teams.
● Travel-related rewards and incentives
These cards often come with travel rewards, such as frequent flyer miles or hotel loyalty points, providing incentives for employees to use them for business travel.
● Global acceptance and currency conversion
Corporate travel cards are widely accepted around the world, and many cards offer currency conversion features, eliminating the need for employees to carry multiple currencies.
● Enhanced security and fraud protection
Travel cards come with robust security measures, protecting both the company and employees from potential fraud during their travels.
Corporate expense management cards are designed to simplify and control employee spending on business-related expenses.
Other types of corporate cards such as corporate credit cards, corporate prepaid cards, and corporate travel cards may also fall under this category.
● Simplified expense reporting and reimbursements
These cards streamline the expense reporting process, reducing paperwork and administrative efforts for both employees and finance teams.
● Spend limit and category restrictions
Companies can set spending limits and category restrictions on these cards, ensuring compliance with spending policies.
● Real-time transaction tracking and reporting
Expense management cards offer real-time transaction tracking, enabling businesses to monitor expenses as they occur.
● Compliance with expense policies
By enforcing spending limits and policies, companies can maintain better control over their finances and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
● Enhanced employee control
Employees have the flexibility to make business purchases without the need for upfront reimbursements, enhancing their spending control.
Corporate prepaid cards are funded by the company with a predetermined amount. These cards are very similar to normal debit cards.
Employees can use these cards until the available balance is depleted or till they hit the spending limit mark that has been set on their card.
Ideal for employee per diem and allowances
Prepaid cards are commonly used to provide employees with per diem or allowance funds, ensuring they have the necessary funds for business expenses.
Reduced risk of overspending
Since prepaid cards have a fixed amount in the form of a card balance, there is no risk of overspending beyond the allocated budget.
Cost control and budgeting
Corporate prepaid cards help businesses control costs effectively by allocating specific budgets to employees.
Corporate credit cards are generally a part of a corporate card program that offers companies the ability to issue individual cards for all their employees. These cards are connected to a credit line from the provider. The credit limit that each company gets for their cards is decided based on their financial eligibility and as per the card program that they choose.
Once the company cards are issued and delivered for each employee that the organization requested, they must be activated as per the provider’s system requirements.
For Volopay cards, the activation process is as simple as logging in to the mobile app and entering the activation code that you received along with your card.
When choosing a corporate credit card provider, check whether you are getting both virtual and physical cards. In this day and age, it should not even be a question. Yet, some providers may not offer virtual cards.
Having the facility to use both types of cards is a dynamic feature that gives an employee the ability to spend wisely.
The last thing you want is employees having complete access to your entire budget and spending it rashly on expenses. This is what often happens with traditional corporate cards.
You should choose a corporate card program that allows you to set limits on how much can be spent through each credit card as is the case with business debit cards.
Setting payment limits is one form of control. But traditional employee debit cards are also prone to spending on unnecessary expenses without prior approval or confirmation from major stakeholders. Select corporate cards that give you the ability to create and set up custom approval workflows.
If corporate cards are meant to make managing expenses easier, the accounting of all these transactions should also be simple.
All the tracking and reporting of expenses made through cards must happen in such a way that can easily and automatically sync with your accounting software.
Do not choose a corporate card program that does not give you the functionality to track and control how your money is being spent by employees.
Real-time visibility over each transaction from every card allows the finance department to monitor and keep track of all expenses so that there is complete transparency.
While you want your employees to have the freedom to make spending decisions, there will be certain expenses that are not allowed as per most company expense policies.
To enforce these rules, your corporate card system should have the option to block specific merchant category codes and stop transactions from such vendors from being executed.
A great benefit of choosing Volopay’s corporate credit card program is that you get to create unlimited virtual cards for each employee who is a part of the platform. The ability to issue virtual cards with no limitations helps you manage expenses in a versatile way as per your needs.
Since you can make unlimited virtual cards, you can create a card for every subscription that your company uses and assign it to the employees who deal with the particular subscription. This way, the virtual card dashboard on Volopay pretty much becomes a way to manage payments for all your subscription services.
Using the Volopay mobile app or the dashboard on your computer system, employees can easily request additional funds whenever required. All of this happens in real-time making the process of getting funds smoother than the traditional approach where it took weeks for an employee to receive the requested amount.
Virtual cards that your employees use won’t directly utilize the credit from your Volopay balance. You will get the option to create separate budgets for each department in your company. The cards will then be assigned to a particular budget for spending purposes. This way you get deeper control of your company funds.
To ensure that employees are complying with the company’s expense policy, you can set up multi-level approval workflows. You can set custom ranges of the amount being spent through a card that will trigger the need for approvers to approve a transaction before it is executed.
Volopay virtual cards give you anywhere between 3 to 5% cashback on your international spending, depending on the plan you choose. The cashback you earn is added to your dashboard and can be redeemed at any time as part of your balance on Volopay to use for other expenses.
If you feel like your card data has been compromised due to entering it on a site, then you can temporarily freeze or permanently block the card through the Volopay dashboard. This way, no money from your budget will be at risk of further fraudulent activity.
Virtual cards are a great option when you want to purchase something just once or want to create recurring payments. For one-time purchases, you can set the expiry date for a virtual card as low as one day. For recurring payments like subscription services, you can set the expiry date till the time you’re going to use the service so that you don’t overspend.
EMV chip technology adds an extra layer of security to corporate cards, making them more secure against counterfeiting and card skimming that can happen frequently at ATMs.
Many corporate cards implement two-factor authentication, requiring additional verification steps for online transactions.
The extra code for payments, also known as an OTP is often sent to the registered mobile number and email ID for verification.
Cardholders can receive real-time transaction alerts via SMS or email, notifying them of any suspicious activity.
So if an employee sees that an expense was made using their card, but they did not make it, they can immediately temporarily freeze the card so that it cannot be used anymore.
Corporate card issuers often use data encryption to protect sensitive cardholder information. You should make sure that the card provider you choose has the necessary certification in order to issue and manage the cards.
Financial institutions offering corporate cards typically provide fraud protection services, reducing the liability of the company and its employees in case of fraudulent transactions.
Corporate cards can be easily activated and deactivated, allowing companies to control card usage when needed.
The benefit of these physical corporate cards over virtual cards is that they can be used for both in-person as well as online transactions. These company cards are essential for traveling sales members who need constant access to funds for client visits, business dinners, commute, and so on.
You might come across many merchants, stores, restaurants, etc. that accept common wallets and payment methods like Google Pay and Apple Pay. To make contactless payments through these apps, you can simply add your Volopay corporate card to both these apps.
Employees can use the Volopay corporate card as a travel and expense card for business trips. Depending on the company expense policy that you have set up, employees can use their cards to make purchases for entertainment and dining purposes. You can also use it for foreign transactions wherever VISA is accepted.
As your company scales up, new employees will be joining your organization. To issue corporate credit cards for them, all you have to do is head to your admin dashboard, fill in the necessary details and submit the request for new cards.
Giving your employees a premium company card helps them feel more trusted and become a deeper part of the organization. It is also a great way to promote your company culture.
When an employee is traveling to another country and has to make a card payment or needs to withdraw cash from an ATM, they can do this using their physical Volopay cards. The admin from your company on the Volopay platform must simply enable this setting through the dashboard.
Since every expense is tracked and recorded, you can constantly check the difference between planned budget utilization and the actual amount that is being used. This gives a good insight into whether the budget forecasting was accurate or tweaks need to be made in the future.
Every transaction that is made through a Volopay corporate card will be recorded in real-time on your dashboard. This gives finance teams the visibility to control and rectify anything fishy immediately. It also gives you the ability to measure expenses on a day-to-day basis and make any changes to budgets if required.
Your company’s financial controller or whoever is an admin on the Volopay platform can easily access, update card settings, and approve requests from both a desktop as well as our mobile app. In situations where the admin cannot access a laptop/desktop, they can still manage the corporate cards using their smartphones.
Another way to manage employee spending through corporate cards is by setting custom limits for each card. You can easily do this for each physical and virtual card that you have issued through our platform.
The great part about our corporate card program is that you get to choose how many employees get a company card. There are no minimum amount of employees required for you to get Volopay corporate credit cards.
While making sure that all your employees are aware of the guidelines in your company expense policy, you don’t get real control unless you can enforce these rules. But with Volopay, you can make sure that no expenses outside the ones that the company policy allows are made thanks to approval systems. You can also directly block certain merchant category codes to avoid any transactions being processed with them.
Have your employees submit expense reports when they make payments using their corporate cards. You can assign approvers to approve or reject expense reports that come in. This way, you can monitor your employee spending and pinpoint any card misuse. Monitoring your employee spending will also discourage them from misusing their cards to begin with.
Spending limits on each card that can be modified at any time and custom approval workflows ensure that the business is always in control of how the budget is being utilized throughout all the departments.
The ability to instantly freeze or block a card from your mobile app makes using Volopay corporate cards a more secure option than traditional business credit cards.
Virtual cards are also more secure than physical cards as they are not directly linked to any bank account.
Your Volopay corporate cards can be used to make business expenses as soon as you receive them.
Like any other cards, all you have to do to use them is swipe your card in-store or enter your card details for online payments.
Expense reporting is equally easy and can be done on the go using Volopay’s mobile app, which is tied to your corporate cards.
Volopay corporate cards use the maker checker approach. This ensures that there are no chances of expenses that are not allowed.
One person might make a mistake, but when there is an expense maker and an expense checker, or in this case multiple checkers, then you can be sure that all transactions follow the company policy.
Once the expenses are recorded on our platform, you can easily sync them to your accounting software.
Our integrations support some of the most widely used accounting tools including Xero, Quickbooks, Deskera, Netsuite, and MYOB. This ensures that you have no problems seamlessly moving data from your Volopay ledger to your entire company ledger and closing the books of accounts faster.
Corporate cards provide detailed transaction data, simplifying expense tracking and reporting. This makes it easier for both the employee making the expenses and the finance team of the company who need to track and control budgets.
Corporate credit cards offer businesses better cash flow management by delaying payments to credit card issuers.
Corporate cards minimize the need for employee reimbursements, saving time and effort for both employees and finance teams.
Companies can enforce spending limits and track expenses in real-time, ensuring better financial control.
Corporate cards significantly reduce the paperwork associated with expense management and reimbursements. Employees don’t have to create lengthy expense reports anymore.
By integrating corporate card transactions with expense management systems, the accounting process becomes more efficient as most of these systems can easily sync and export data across platforms.
Corporate cards can lead to improved vendor relationships through faster payments and negotiated benefits like early payment discounts.
Employees benefit from the convenience of using a corporate card for business expenses rather than having to use their personal funds and then file for reimbursements later.
The automation of expense management processes linked with corporate cards saves valuable time for employees and finance teams.
Most corporate cards are accepted worldwide, providing a reliable payment method for a business to make any type of payment.
As your organization starts scaling up, you realize the need for business credit. Carrying out daily business transactions on a debit basis can be risky if something in operations goes wrong. Availing business credit provides companies a safety net to carry out operations and also improves the financial health of the business if all dues are paid on time.
A great part about choosing Volopay as your credit partner is the immense flexibility we provide for a business to get credit. We don’t have a fixed threshold credit eligibility but rather we check the financial health and stability of your company to decide how much credit we can offer you.
In the past, getting credit traditionally was a lengthy process. Volopay provides your business with a hassle-free credit line that you can easily apply for online. Our seamless application and approval process helps your company start using credit instantly for all your corporate card expenses and money transfers.
A customer success executive will be assigned to your account who will help you with the entire process. This ensures that you face no hiccups to avail credit and always have someone from our side to clarify any doubts or queries.
The credit you get through Volopay can be used for the Volopay corporate credit cards. This saves you the trouble of connecting your account with our cards service and getting it to work together. This makes corporate cards a complete end-to-end solution without your business having to interfere in between.
Every time you make an online expense through Volopay, you get anywhere from 3 to 5% cashback depending on the plan you have chosen. You are also incentivized with early invoice payment discounts for your vendors when you transfer money through Volopay.
Lastly, using business credit is also important as it helps improve your credit score. This will help your business develop a good reputation in the eyes of financial institutions which is great for future purposes like trying to get a business loan.
Getting business credit is also helpful to keep personal and business expenses separate. Business owners tend to use personal credit cards for business purposes which can not only hurt their credit score but also hinder the business entity from building its creditworthiness.