You’ve chosen a secure, simple payment method that you think will help your business expand. Before you can start spending, however, you have to go through the debit card sign up process. Is a flood of paperwork about to sink your dreams of transactional convenience?
Worry not, brave business owner. This experience isn’t going to be anything like the trials you might be anticipating if you’re used to applying for credit cards. Here’s how it all works.
What is a debit card?
Debit cards are different from credit cards because they don’t tie you to credit accounts or vendor lock-in situations. In other words, they link to regular accounts that don’t charge you just because you fell behind on a monthly bill or used the wrong ATM. The amount of money you place in each account decides how much that card can spend.
Where can I sign up for one?
A few different kinds of providers offer business debit cards, including
- Banks that only let you set up a card if you have a bank account to go with it,
- Prepaid card vendors, such as retailers, that let you load the card with money when you buy it, and
- Business debit companies that offer cards geared towards businesses.
Which of these options fits your firm best? It all depends on your situation, but business owners might want to consider that
- Although prepaid cards are increasingly common tools for people without bank accounts, you pay a lot in fees, and many don’t even let you reload your card,
- Banks may offer services like overdraft programs, but you can easily rack up fees that keep your company from being as profitable as it should, and
- Debit card providers whose products are made for businesses often simplify payment processes by including extra cost control, fraud prevention and monitoring features right out of the box.
The U.S. business-to-business payments market is projected to grow to $23.1 trillion by 2020. Companies that want to forge lasting ties require convenient payment methods, and more are turning to business debit.
How does a business debit card work?
Business debit is significantly more flexible than a standard card. For instance, you can get multiple cards and give them out to your employees without waiting for a financial institution to set up new accounts.
Despite their branding and marketing differences, debit and credit cards are all compatible with the same global payment networks. They work pretty much anywhere, and some of the better products on the market also grant you access to software APIs for seamless integration with your native business apps and bespoke workflows.
One critical distinction between business debit and bank debit products is that business-oriented solutions include integrated process checkpoints. For instance, before approving a transaction, the system checks with your custom rules to make sure that it’s OK. This stands in stark contrast to cards that make you go back and try to get unauthorized charges reversed in hindsight.
How does a business debit card sign up work?
Another noteworthy difference is that the sign up process is generally shorter with business debit. For example, there’s no
- Credit check,
- Personal guarantees, or
- Background check.
All you need to get started is a computer or phone. Online debit card applications typically limit their questions to the basics, such as your business name, contact information, company size, Employer Identification Number, or EIN, and industry. It only takes a few minutes to answer these basic questions and get the ball rolling.
Why do businesses use debit cards?
Businesses need payment tools that follow them wherever they go. For some, this means keeping up with an owner who travels to trade shows in search of leads. For others, it’s about letting staff members pay for incidental expenses when they’re running around town getting supplies and making deliveries.
Each company is unique, but those that use debit cards stand united by their need for payment convenience. Debit solutions are easier to sign up for, simpler to secure and more oversight-friendly than reloadable payment or credit options.
What’s the most overlooked difference between a debit card and a credit card?
Because they operate using credit-free backends, there’s no way for debit cards to directly lower your credit. This makes them way better suited to fiscally responsible business growth strategies.
Where can you sign up?
Debit card sign up is simple online. No matter whether you choose a bank or dedicated payment solutions partner, the industry caters to the fact that business owners are strapped for time. Most sign ups are incredibly convenient since you only need to prepare basic information about the nature of your enterprise and its ownership.
How secure is business debit?
Debit card security varies. As with all financial products, some cards are riskier than others, but it’s usually easy to spot the hallmarks of safe payment methods.
How can you know whether you’ve found a safe solution? The most straightforward way to protect your company is to look for debit card security features that include
- Secure Socket Layer, or SSL, encryption that protects payment information from being deciphered by bad actors in transit,
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS, compliance to help you transact without exposing yourself to known cybersecurity risks,
- Debit card chip technology,
- Secure data centers that ensure only trusted parties gain access to your payment data, and
- FDIC insurance.
Can debit cards for employees help reduce the risk of business fraud?
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners maintains that prevention is the best solution to business fraud. Although some types of fraud are hard to prevent, heightening your awareness of what your money’s doing is a good way to stop misuses in their tracks.
Business debit payment systems limit fraud hazards no matter whether you’re using physical or virtual cards. In addition to letting you watch spending as it occurs, they can stop high-risk events from happening in the first place.
What expense controls come with business debit solutions?
When you complete the debit card sign up process, you gain a range of intelligent, futuristic expense control options. Since smart data algorithms power these systems, they can accomplish cool tasks, such as
- Stopping specific employees from exceeding monthly, daily or weekly spending limits,
- Keeping card users from making purchases at certain stores or buying items that don’t fall into approved categories,
- Sending you alerts when spending approaches dangerous thresholds, and
- Making it impossible for workers to spend more than you give them.
You won’t have to micromanage your employees anymor
Deciding to sign up for a business debit card is like untying your hands for the first time after being held captive by your own operating model. Instead of wasting time watching employees like a hawk because they simply can’t understand your travel expense policy, you can let your workers do as they will.
The spending data will show up on your desktop or smartphone screen automatically, and your accountant will have access to cleaner records to boot. With some business debit products, you can take pictures of receipts to make the switch even more painless.
No enterprise is too big or too small to benefit from debit card sign up
Business debit cards help firms of all sizes conquer all kinds of industries. Service companies and delivery firms use them to keep fleets fueled and moving so that they can satisfy their clientele. Corner stores and bodegas use them to pay suppliers, and franchisees give them to managers who run the shop while the boss is away.
The business pros and cons of credit and debit
Business credit cards are convenient, but they carry insane interest and chip away at your financial stability with various fees. They also involve soul-destroying applications and expose you to massive fraud risks that can go undiscovered for weeks.
Business debit won’t build your credit score, but it wins in almost every other regard. You gain the convenience and ease of on-the-go payments that are always secure. You also get to monitor spending in real time and sign up without an application.
Want to get better at doing business? Sign up for a debit card
Getting Visa debit cards for your company is more than just a smart move for managing minor purchases. The best debit cards for employees help you rethink your business model by rooting out inefficiencies from the ground up. Since you get to view more debit card information in an accessible, intuitive dashboard format, you augment your capacity to make situationally appropriate cashflow management choices.
Why do real entrepreneurs feel so passionately about Bento for Business? The effortless debit card sign ups probably have a lot to do with it. The whole thing only takes about five minutes, which is a small price to pay for enhanced spending control and operational freedom. Learn more about how these reloadable business debit cards are transforming the purchase management, reimbursement and antifraud landscapes by scheduling a demo.