Virtual card payment for business travel expenses

Virtual card payments have taken both the B2C and B2B worlds by storm. Particularly popular after the digitization of payments, as well as the contactless era post-COVID, virtual payments are the new and accepted way of expense management. Evidently, this popularity has trickled into subscription management, business travel expense management, and much more. 

One of the reasons virtual cards are reliable for business travel expenses is because they can be assigned a budget specifically for that trip. Functioning in the same way as a burner card, the balance loaded onto the card is good for one trip and helps cover all the possible costs that business travel may incur. It also eliminates the redundancy of business travel reimbursements or manual labor. 

All of these expenses can be managed remotely, and with automatic reconciliation. Gone are the days when you need to initiate a long email thread with your manager and finance department to explain an errant $1 expense at a coffee shop. The real-time visibility of virtual cards makes reconciliation and budget management as easy as a single click.

Benefits of using virtual card payments for business travel spend

Gain better control and compliance

Business virtual cards have uniquely generated numbers that can make expenses for that card easier to track. When a virtual card is created for a specific employee and business trip, the finance department has full visibility of what the money is being spent on. Compliance is also infinitely smoother with all transactions in one place, and budgets pre-assigned to the cards.

Compliance teams can also ensure that company policies are being followed with every expense that the employee racks up. Systems like Volopay let you create company-wide policies in advance, and cards can be linked to those to ensure compliance and audit guidelines.

Added security

The unique number associated with a virtual card (VCN, or Virtual Card Number) is of one-time use. This not only stops any kind of misuse or theft but also ensures that a card is not directly linked to a company’s bank accounts. The single-use card can be loaded with the money needed for the trip, and once the card expires or is frozen, the number associated with it becomes obsolete.

Travel and expense management can feel like a risk, especially when issuing physical cards. Business virtual cards, with their remote controls and accessible data, makes the travel management process a lot safer.

Real time visibility into transactions

Travel and expense management is aided by business virtual cards, owing to the real-time visibility of all transactions. Every time a virtual card is used for a transaction, a record is created on the expense management system associated with it. If it is a swipe that requires approval, employees can attach details of the transaction and receipts for approval.

Approvers can analyze this data at any point in time, creating a transparent paper trail. Approvals for any additional balance are also visible for other approvers to see, making it apparent which employee or manager gave approval for a transaction or limit raise.

Simplified reconciliation process

Virtual card platforms are easy to integrate with accounting software. All the data is configured for accounting, so there is no need for line-by-line data entry or reformatting. The transaction and budget history can simply be plugged in and transferred for reconciliation and compliance teams to analyze. EMS like Volopay integrates with accounting software like Netsuite, Quickbooks, and Xero, with no risk of unlabelled transactions or unexplained business travel expenses.

Cash rebates

Many virtual card platforms offer handsome cash rebates, discounts, and points for using their cards. Functioning similar to any other credit card, certain transactions can bring in a percentage of cash refunds. Similarly, early or on-time payments to vendors can also qualify you for discounts. Given the number of transactions a corporate travel booking can incur, this is an excellent ROI for a business travel expense management system with virtual cards.

No need for business travel reimbursements

Business travel reimbursements are the biggest headache of travel and expense management. There is a high risk of multiple claims, receipts, or paper trails being difficult to track, as well as a lack of full information. Additionally, reimbursements can take a long time to be processed and approved, leaving the employee in a sticky situation.

For business travel reimbursement, employees are forced to dip into their personal funds - something that is not necessarily feasible in the long run. Paybacks can also take weeks or even months. With a virtual burner card, there is no need for reimbursements.

Easy integration into travel management software

You can keep your business travel expenses under budget by integrating expense management software with travel management software. For instance, Volopay’s EMS allows companies to manage their employees’ business travel expenses and itineraries from within the interface.

It also gives you some of the best travel deals, so that you can save as high as 30% on booking costs. The unified space for business travel expense management software also creates a record for visible transactions that help during reconciliation.

Looking for an end-to-end corporate travel booking platform?

Know about corporate virtual cards from Volopay

Volopay’s corporate virtual cards are an ideal fit for those looking to make their travel and expense management quicker and more efficient. With an incredibly user-friendly interface and one-click approvals, it makes business travel expense management a treat instead of a hassle. 

A virtual Volopay card can be used for cross-border payments, too. If your travel bookings are for another country, B2B virtual card payments are supported in over 130+ countries and have extremely low processing costs.

The approval workflow on Volopay’s expense management system ensures that your employees never find themselves without access to a credit line. In an event where an employee is short on money, they can request for the business virtual card balance to be increased.

Multi-level approvers can approve this request within minutes and money is added to the card for the employee to use. Given that Volopay is available as a mobile app as well, this can be instantaneous and on-the-go, for everyone’s peace of mind. 

These approval requests can be monitored with the help of the pre-set policies. Both company-wide policies and budget-specific policies can be defined in advance. Should a request go against company policy, it will get automatically declined.

If a transaction or request is within policy, but an approver requires more detail, there are facilities for employees to attach images and digital receipts in the details of the same transaction ID. 

Volopay lets administrators create unlimited business virtual cards, so you don’t need to worry about limiting cards for business travel expenses, or transferring cards to another employee. Simply create a virtual card, assign it to your travel budget, and attach it to the user of your choice.

You can assign a date of expiration so that all transactions are recorded under that employee’s travel budget without worrying about someone reusing the same card. Benefits of virtual cards is not just limited to subscription and travel expense management, it offers many such benefits for the HR teams as well.

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