Corporate card rebates represent a potential, valuable revenue source for organizations. And after several years of reduced business travel, companies may have earned less rebate revenue from their corporate card program than in years past.
As financial leaders seek ways to drive revenue while navigating a challenging business environment, they should consider shifting more spend to their corporate credit card program. By capturing the spend of uncarded employees through the use of virtual credit cards for business, travel expenses or vendor payments (like contractors of vendors), companies can contribute to their rebate.
No need for physical cards.
Increasing corporate card spend could increase rebate potential. For some, corporate credit card rebates are a significant revenue source — making it key for CFOs to consider ways to capture more.
“Businesses can capture more credit card spend without spending any more money,” says Laretha Elliott, vice president, group product manager at U.S. Bank. “Shifting spend empowers leaders to capture rebate opportunities that are otherwise left on the table.”
Empowering employees with their own corporate credit cards, and entrusting them with responsibilities for paying vendors or purchasing their own travel, is one avenue organizations can take to harness additional rebates. But issuing and sending employees plastic cards can take days — making them unsuitable for instant-need situations — and the more cards a company has in circulation, the greater the risk of fraudulent use.
Issuing virtual credit cards, on the other hand, allows companies to send virtual cards directly into employees’ mobile wallets for immediate use. This means that companies can eliminate the need to ask employees to use personal cards to pay for business-related expenses and seek reimbursement without issuing more plastic cards.
Increase card spend without expanding budget.
When employees, contractors and other individuals pay for business or travel expenses out of their own pockets, it ultimately costs organizations money. For many, the reimbursement process, for example, is slow and time-consuming. It also absorbs resources that could be better spent on other activities.
With a reimbursement-based approach, companies lack visibility into what transactions are taking place until well after they occur. If those transactions violate policy, addressing the issue requires additional time and resources to remedy.
By issuing virtual cards to uncarded employees for business and travel expenses, companies can extend the value of their corporate credit card program and increase their rebate potential instead of just paying out money on every transaction. This control and visibility are invaluable.
“Companies save on expenses because they have more control over what's being spent, but they're also earning additional rebates,” says Elliott.
The rebate isn’t the only benefit as corporate card programs can help to optimize cash flow. In collaboration with their banks, organizations with corporate card programs can continually analyze their programs and implement changes to help uncover unrealized value — such as opportunities for card program expansion and program optimization. For example, organizations can virtually pay suppliers and integrate spend into existing financial reporting systems.
And with virtual credit cards, expanding a card program can be independent of physical cards. Companies can issue virtual credit cards to employees and other individuals when they have a short-term need to make a business purchase.
“With Instant Card, organizations can set limits for time and use and block merchant category codes,” says Elliott. “They can ensure expense policy adherence while making sure employees have what they need to do their jobs every day.”
Conclusion: Boosting revenue
Changing their approach to payments and expenses to incorporate virtual credit cards — like U.S. Bank Instant Card® — is an easy way for organizations to boost their rebates and, in turn, their revenue. As business travel bounces back and operations return to normal, issuing virtual credit cards can help companies capture that spend, increase potential rebate and empower employees with the tools they need to get the job done.