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Monday, 19 March 2012

10 reasons why you should embrace new payment technologies

In the previous blog we explored the renaissance of centralised travel settlement. February was dominated by a spate of new payment solutions for the business travel industry. This can only mean one thing: greater emphasis is being placed on more efficient payment mechanisms.

Virtual cards. Single use accounts. One-time-only transactions. Call them what you like, at Conferma, we firmly believe that virtual card technology and electronic invoicing represent the future of business travel settlement. Not only as a billback solution for the hotel industry, but also as a wider payment mechanism for corporate travel. We look at ten reasons why you should embrace virtual card technology.
1.     Volume and Scale: Customisable and scalable, virtual card accounts are capable of handling greater volumes of transactions on a global scale, managing a broad, disaggregated supplier base.

2.     Security: Single use accounts are transaction-specific, virtually (no pun intended) eliminating the fraud risk associated with issuing physical plastic.

3.     Apply controls: Virtual card technology enables corporates to apply controls on accounts such as credit limit, date range and merchant category, ensuring compliance with corporate travel management policies.

4.     Improved supplier relations: Virtual cards guarantee payments, removing credit exposure for suppliers, especially hotels, who typically have to wait 30-60 days to receive payment. Significantly quicker payments also improve TMC-supplier relationships.

5.     Convenience: Single use accounts involve minimal or no change to existing workflows, ensuring ease of adoption by suppliers and their front line staff.

6.     Automated reconciliation: The automated reconciliation process matches transactional data with booking data, providing corporates with a comprehensive view of expenditure.

7.     Efficiency: Electronic invoicing is estimated to be three times more efficient than the billback process, allowing TMCs to redeploy personnel to other areas of the business.

8.     Low cost: Automated processes are not only ecological (reduced paper burden) and less labour-intensive, but also drive greater volumes of bookings at significantly lower operating costs.

9.     Rich data: Virtual cards allow you to append any kind and any amount of data to the financial transactions that they settle, providing you with real value in terms of the reports that you receive on travel expense.

10.  Mobile Solutions: Single use accounts lend themselves perfectly to today’s technological advancements. Armed with just a mobile device and a virtual account number, TMCs and corporate customers alike can book, pay for and settle transactions on the move.

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