Physical cards vs virtual cards: What's the differences?

Choose amongst physical cards or virtual cards & simply use Volopay for a seamless corporate card culture. Corporate cards are the payment facilitator issued to employees on behalf of the company.

The company gives these cards to its employees for conducting a range of business activities, right from payments to travel bookings. Corporates rely heavily on such cards owing to their benefits like spending monitors, budgetary controls, and secured networking.

What are physical cards?

Physical cards are employee cards with a 16-digit number, an expiration date, and CVV. These cards aim to make a significant shift from reimbursements to instant payments.

Employees use these cards to make business purchases, vendor payments, and leverage benefits while undertaking business trips. Corporate cards are centrally linked to an expense management system.

physical cards

Importance of virtual cards for your business

Employees again use virtual cards for making payments, but these payments are restricted for departmental work. These cards are used for specific objectives like marketing, sales, ads, and software subscriptions. Also, virtual cards have a 16-digit numerical number along with expiration date, CVV, and PIN. The primary purpose of virtual cards is to make digital purchasing and payments much easier via a safer platform. Because these cards are connected to a card management system or expense management software, all the transactions made by each virtual card are neatly recorded and stored- no more obscure transactions!

Pros of physical cards

1. Issued to required employees; it results in better differentiation of expenses.

2. Facilitates online purchasing, in-store as well as in-app purchases. 

3. Pocket-friendly tool.

4. It can be used for making payments for flights, hotels, and transportation while on a business trip.

physical cards

Cons of physical cards

1. The possibility of stealing and misplacing is high.

2. New cards need to be created after expiration dates.

3. Need to be carried everywhere for making payments.

4. Printing new cards for every employee is a costly affair.

physical cards spends

Issue physical and virtual cards to your employees

Pros of virtual cards

1. It can be created instantly without any hassle.

2. Unlimited cards can be issued.

3. Seamless reconciliation.

4. Easily management of subscriptions and other vendor payouts.

virtual cards

Cons of virtual cards

1. Every merchant/vendor does not accept the virtual form of payment.

2. Easily accessible for every employee.

3. Difficult to trace the initiator for each transaction.

virtual cards

How do virtual cards differ from physical cards?

Choosing the most versatile and resourceful combination goes a long way for a business. Therefore, companies can leverage the benefits of both the cards and utilize them to their full advantage.

Virtual cards allows companies to create objective-specific cards. Using these dedicated cards for a single purpose helps keep all outgoing expenses for a particular category under one roof. Moreover, using virtual cards aids in better management of online subscriptions and e-payments to various merchants and vendors. 

On the other hand, physical cards can be carried physically to make any sort of payment. As each employee owns an individual corporate card, tracking the spending of every single card can be easily monitored. Furthermore, these cards prove to be highly functional while employees undertake business trips, thereby promoting a healthy corporate travel management system. 

Choosing the right corporate card provider is essential as any other core function of the business. The company's entire accounting and financial stack will be logged in their systems; therefore, selecting a trustworthy provider stands indispensable.

Why should you choose our corporate cards?

Volopay offers a purpose-driven modern spend management tool; corporate cards. Volopay’s virtual cards are devised vigilantly, keeping in mind the hustle-bustle of traditional accounting and reconciliation techniques. Our virtual business cards and physical credit cards help establish greater accountability for expenses, multi-tier approvals for a better arrangement of funds, and instant alerts for every transaction.

Maker checker

Using this feature allows the fund request raised by an employee above the ceiling limit to pass through a system, where the approvers have to approve the request manually. The level of approvers can depend on the nature of the transaction or the amount requested. All the designated approvers have to approve the fund request to make the approval request successful.

Card requests

Volopay offers cards that get funded once or at the start of every month (recurring every month). Selecting the none option sets the funding to only once, and selecting the monthly option, allows the card to get loaded at the start of every month. Also, specific card requests will be partially or wholly pre-approved. The card requests which are completely pre-approved will be created as soon as the request is completed.

Link to multiple budgets

Volopay’s corporate card structure allows users to link their physical cards with unlimited budgets. Thereby receiving funding from multiple budgets. Physical cards act as multi-purpose cards, as employees can carry and swipe these cards for various activities. 

5-level approval system

To ensure authenticity and create accountability for high-dollar transactions, Volopay offers a 5-level approval matrix. According to their requirements, companies can set the approval level anywhere between 1 and 5. Every budget or card can have its approval level. So, a single system need not be placed across all processes.

Well-defined roles

The approval system has three roles:

- Card Owner: All employees own their unique cards, and therefore, they become card owners. The functionality of card owners is limited only to requesting funds and making payments.

- Budget owner: Budget owners are responsible for creating the budgets. They have access to all the cards attached to their budgets. And hence, they can load-unload funds, freeze or block cards and create new cards.

- Admin: The admin is both a card owner and a budget owner.

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Related pages to corporate credit cards

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Advanced spend control, multi level approvals & unlimited virtual cards, are some advantages of corporate cards over business credit cards.

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