Commercial cards can give your employees a level of independence and flexibility while giving your organization an effective solution for expense and budget management. As you weigh your options on the right commercial card, keep these basics in mind.
FUNCTION: WHY DO YOU NEED A COMMERCIAL CARD?
Commercial cards have various functions and features. The main types include:
- Purchasing cards. Primarily for your back office, these cards are used to cover accounts payable and pay for equipment, goods and services.
- Travel and entertainment cards. For team members who spend a lot of time traveling, these cards can be used for expenses such as hotels, flights, rental cars and meals on the road.
- Fleet or fuel cards. For companies with a fleet of vehicles to manage, these cards can be used for transportation and maintenance.
- All-in-one solutions. Many banks offer a single card that can be used for all of the functions above, streamlining management for your organization.
Commercial cards give companies a way to enable—and control—employee spending on behalf of the business. They also typically feature built-in protections to help guard against misuse or fraud. By leveraging real-time authorization alerts, transaction reports and spending controls, organizations gain clear visibility into their expenses and quickly identify unauthorized transactions.
INTEGRATION: CAN YOUR CARD IMPROVE YOUR PROCESSES?
Commercial cards can integrate with existing enterprise resource planning systems and accounting processes, making it easy to reconcile transactions and accounts payable activities. There are specific configuration and integration points with each commercial card program, so it’s important to understand how your accounting systems connect to those of your card provider to easily access information. That integration also gives you clear visibility into how and where employees are spending money, which could lead to smarter purchasing decisions.
REWARDS: WHAT PERKS DO COMMERCIAL CARDS OFFER?
Based on the volume of purchases over time, your card provider may share a portion of the revenue they receive back to your company. This provides an organization’s accounts payable department the ability to generate revenue, acting as a discount on current purchases. Additionally, organizations can leverage their buying power to reduce expenses and potentially find opportunities to consolidate purchasing around vendors offering various financial incentives.
At Regions, our Commercial Banking team is available to help you review options and make informed decisions. Perhaps it’s time for an updated conversation with your banker about options available to you.
MEET THE EXPERT
Jennifer Luster is Senior Vice President, Treasury Management Relationship Manager for Regions Bank.