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Monday, 28 July 2014

Combatting corporate credit card fraud

According to a study by Nilsen in 2013, credit card fraud in the U.S. alone rose to a staggering $5.33bn. Globally that figure was estimated to be more than double that amount at $11.27bn.

Recent cyber attacks on U.S. retail chains Target and Neiman Marcus are reported to have netted fraudsters around 110 million sets of customer data, including their credit card numbers. In 2012, about 40 million sets of payment card information were compromised when hackers attacked Adobe's customer databases, many of which belong not to individuals, but to large corporations.

Technological advances are leading to an ever growing global market place, with more and more of us trusting large organisations with our financial information.

However, problems arise for all parties involved once the security of these organisations is breached.

Here at Conferma, we have been working on creating a payment solution that eliminates the risk of large scale fraud, even when hackers are able to steal your corporate credit card information.

So how does our financial technology system work?

We have created a product called Virtual Card Numbers (VCNs), essentially a digital credit card. This means that for every individual purchase undertaken, a unique 16-digit credit card (or 15-digit in the case of American Express), plus three-digit security code, is generated. The VCN can then be accessed via one of Conferma's secure applications on your desktop, mobile or tablet devices.

Each unique VCN is valid for a specified amount of money and for a specified date range. Further controls ensure that a VCN can only be charged by a specified category of merchant. For instance a VCN designated for a hotel transaction can only be charged by a hotel. Only if all these criteria are met is the payment able to be processed.

So, in the event that a merchant from whom you have purchased falls victim to a security breach in the future, a VCN will be useless in the hands of a hacker due to the controls imposed on the VCN.

Our financial technology is available for most major banking and credit card providers, including AirPlus, American Express, Barclaycard, HSBC, MasterCard, U.S. Bank and WEX. And whilst we are best known for our integration of VCNs into the corporate travel sector, we are able to offer a wide range of payment solutions across many industries.

At Conferma, we are committed to eliminating corporate credit card fraud.

Friday, 4 July 2014

A company credit card you can't lose

You know that heart-sinking when you realise you can't find your credit card?

Even worse when it's your company credit card and you are miles away from home and about to pay your hotel bill. You know life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.

Telephone calls to cancel the card and let your company know are difficult to manage, especially if you're in a different time zone. To say nothing of how this loss affects your employer.

As well as dealing with all the practical aspects of your missing credit card, you also have to cope with the extra stress that this creates for the remainder of your business trip. Hardly an ideal set of circumstances if you're about to go into a key meeting with a customer, where you need to be completely focused and at the top of your game.

So wouldn't it be wonderful if your company could give you a credit card that simply couldn't be lost or stolen?

Magical as this sounds, here at Conferma, a FinTech company, we have created such a card, aimed at the corporate travel market.

In partnership with the major banks and credit card schemes we have created Virtual Card Number (VCN) technology, details of which can be stored securely on apps available on your desktop, smart phone or tablet.

Not only does this free up valauable space in your wallet, you will never again experience that sense of dread when you discover your credit card has vanished.

However, the advantages of using VCNs whilst you are working away from home extend far beyond their 'unloseability'. For each individual expense, a unique single-use card number is generated, which can only be used by you to settle a single, pre-authorised expense, eliminating the risk of third party fraud on your card in an instant.

For example, if your company have booked you into a hotel in New York for three nights whilst you attend a conference, a VCN will be generated which is only valid for use by yourself, on those exact dates and at the specified hotel. Should your plans change, the VCN can be updated to reflect these changes via an authorisation process within your company.

So VCNs are easy to use, secure and flexible.

But there is more. The final benefit of using a VCN is that it removes the need to complete a manual expenses sheet. Because each VCN acts as both a unique booking reference and a unique means of identifying a payment, all purchases made using a VCN are posted automatically to your company's purchase ledger and are automatically matched to the booking or purchase data. The quality and amount of data captured on the VCN vastly improves your overview of corporate expenditure, whilst enhancing process efficiencies by streamlining accounts payable processes.

At Conferma, we believe that Virtual Card Numbers are set to revolutionise the life of you, the corporate traveller, leaving you free to get on with doing your job.