What is a Visa business card, and how does it work?
A Visa business card allows you to make purchases on behalf of your business. An increasing number of consumers and businesses are choosing to use electronic payments instead of using cash or checks. According to a report in the New York Times, electronic payments are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.9 percent through 2020. In the U.S., 92 percent of adults reported that they had made a digital payment in the following percentages:
- Credit cards – 57 percent
- Mobile phone payments – 32 percent
- Debit cards – 67 percent
The most popular brand of card that is in use today is a Visa card. More than 3.3 billion Visa cards are in use around the world in more than 200 countries. In addition to the features that are offered by Visa, one of the reasons for the popularity of this brand is that they are accepted by more than 46 million merchants around the world.
A business Visa card is a Visa that has features that are specifically designed to meet the needs of businesses. Some Visa business cards might offer the following types of benefits for businesses:
- Expense management features to help businesses control spending
- Enhanced rewards such as miles
- Discounts on business-specific products
- Business credit cards may offer higher credit limits
- Ability to separate personal and business expenses
- Integration with accounting software
The types of features that might be offered by a business Visa card will depend on the type of card and its issuer.
Why would a company use a Visa business card?
Businesses might use a Visa card for business for several reasons. Using a business Visa card can help a business to automate and streamline some of their payments processes. A Visa card for business can also replace systems that carry a higher risk of fraud such as petty cash, reimbursements, and checks.
Using a Visa business credit card or debit card can help to save the time that would otherwise be spent on the purchase approval process. Businesses can restrict the cards so that they can be used to make authorized purchases. The employees can then simply charge low-value items that the business needs on the cards without having to submit requisition forms and go through a lengthy process before they can buy them.
How using a Visa business card gives you greater control
When you use a Visa business card, you can enjoy enhanced expense controls. The cards use 256-bit SSL encryption technology to keep your information secure. Some Visa business debit cards allow you to limit the spending at your company in the following ways:
- Limit spending by the time such as when the cards will work
- Limit spending by location such as restricting types of merchants
- Set daily spending limits for different employees
- Limit spending by category
In addition to these controls, some business Visa cards also allow you to turn them off from your smartphone, tablet, or computer if you need to do so. For example, if you learn that a card has been misused or lost, you can turn it off from your phone by tapping a button on your screen 24 hours per day. Deposits that are held by the debit card issuers are insured up to $250,000 through the Bancorp Bank; member FDIC.
How a business Visa card helps to increase transparency
Some Visa business debit cards can help to increase the transparency of the spending that happens at your company. These business cards allow you to view transactions in real time on your company’s online card dashboard. You can log into your dashboard and look at the balances on each card and the purchases that each of your employees have made at any time.
You can also set controls on the cards so that items can be automatically approved or declined. The cards are customizable so that you can make them unique to the specific job duties of your employees as well as your company’s spending patterns.
Streamline payment processing with Visa business cards
Card brands such as Visa help to make spending simple for businesses. With Visa business credit cards and debit cards, the payments process is streamlined for you. You are able to tag purchases and to categorize your spending effortlessly. The cards can be integrated with your accounting programs so that the transaction information will be automatically sent when purchases are made.
Your employees are able to snap pictures of receipts at the time that they make purchases so that the receipts can be transmitted together with the transaction data. These features help to save your accounting department time and to help them to be more accurate. You can also easily see a snapshot of your company’s finances in real time.
Where can employees use Visa business cards?
Millions of merchants around the world accept Visa business credit cards and debit cards. Employees who are given the cards are able to use them to make purchases nearly anywhere. However, you can limit where your employees can use the Visa business cards that you give to them if you want.
The available card controls allow you to restrict the cards so that they can only be used to make purchases from your preferred vendors or suppliers. You can also restrict categories of merchants so that the cards can be used to make purchases at those types of businesses.
Prevalence of business fraud and signs that it might be occurring
Business fraud is a very real problem, and it is important for businesses to face it head-on so that they can prevent themselves from becoming victims. According to the AFP Payments Fraud Study, the Association for Finance Professionals found that 78 percent of organizations that were surveyed were the victims of some type of fraud during the previous year.
The best way to deal with fraud is to take steps to prevent it. You should start by understanding the risks that you have of falling victim to fraud. You can use a free fraud calculator to determine your risk areas so that you can address them.
Some of the common signs that fraud might be happening at your business include the following:
- Employee won’t let others check his or her work
- One employee controls all of the accounts
- Changes in employee behavior
- Excessive purchases
- Missing documents
- Excessive voided or returned checks
- Invoices with rounded amounts
- Duplicate payments
Fraud prevention benefits of Visa business debit cards
There are several fraud prevention benefits of Visa business debit cards. You can generate virtual one-time use cards to make purchases online. These are random credit card numbers that represent your underlying debit account but that can’t be used to access your money or your information. Once they are used, they expire and are worthless to thieves.
Other benefits include your ability to set individual spending limits. The cards can help to prevent unauthorized purchases, loose-change spending, and employees claiming that personal purchases were made on behalf of your business.
Why getting rid of reimbursements can help employees and employers
Reimbursements can present a real headache for employees and employers. Employees who are expected to pay for items out of their own pockets might not want to wait for weeks for their reimbursement requests to be processed and approved. When you replace reimbursements with Visa cards, your employees may feel less resentful and be able to concentrate on the important duties of their jobs rather than on expense tracking.
Employers can also benefit from getting rid of reimbursements. Reimbursement requests are common sources of fraud. Employees may try to claim that a personal purchase was made for the business. Employers can also save the labor costs involved with processing reimbursement requests.
Why is a Visa business card important for your firm?
Using a business Visa at your company can give you the flexibility that you need to make payments and purchases at the time that they are needed. The cards also allow you to improve your expense management and to automate your payments processes.
A card can replace systems that can be targeted for internal and external fraud such as petty cash funds, reimbursements, and checks. When your company replaces these systems with Visa cards, you can have greater control over the spending that occurs and plug any expense leaks that you discover.
Features to look for in a Visa business card
When you are looking for a card, you will need to figure out which type is best for you. Visa business credit cards give you access to a line of credit and can be helpful if you need to have access to funds when you have a temporary cash flow problem. However, credit cards for businesses may have high variable interest rates and charge fees that make them less attractive choices.
Debit cards for businesses offer the same degree of flexibility as credit cards. However, they may have additional features that make them better for your business. Some of the features that you might look for in a Visa business debit card include the following:
- Ability to restrict spending by time, location, purchase category, and amount
- Affordable purchase cost
- No interest charges
- No credit checks since they are not credit cards
- Will not increase debt
Generating Visa business debit cards
It is possible to generate a virtual business card to use so that you can make secure online purchases. These are numbers that you can automatically generate together with CVV codes. The numbers can’t be used to access your account or your information, and the numbers can be set to expire after a single use so that thieves can’t use them.
You can generate virtual cards with an application on your phone, laptop, or tablet. With this method, you contact the card issuer and request it to issue you the number of virtual cards that you need.
An application programming interface can also allow you to generate your own virtual cards. This can be integrated with your programs by a developer. You can then instantly generate virtual cards to make purchases. A virtual card API also can allow you to automate your expense management and to create custom reports.
Different types of virtual Visa business cards
There are a few different types of virtual Visas that are available to businesses, including the following:
- Virtual cards for single-use purchases
- P-cards for ongoing purchases over a set period of time
- Ghost cards for larger companies that want to assign individual numbers to different departments or suppliers
- Virtual business debit cards
- Virtual Visa business credit cards
Each of these different types of cards can be used to meet your needs. Virtual cards can be used for one-off purchases from an untrusted vendor. P-cards can be distributed to a select group of trusted employees to make ongoing purchases. Ghost cards can be assigned to individual departments so that all of the employees can use them to make purchases for your company.
How using a virtual Visa business card can lower transaction costs
Using a virtual business card can lower your transaction costs. Each time that a purchase is made under a traditional process, an employee must go through the same purchase approval process. He or she will have to submit a requisition form that must be processed. The purchase order will then be issued so that the purchase can be made.
The supplier will then generate an invoice, which must be processed. Finally, a check will be issued to pay for the item. The transaction costs involved with this type of system are the same regardless of the value of the item. This means that low-value items may be worth less than the costs of purchasing them. A card can help you to greatly reduce the transaction costs at your company by getting rid of these types of processes.
Learn more about the benefits of a Visa card for business
The Bento for Business Visa debit card has been featured in leading publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, and others. The cards’ extensive controls and expense management features allow companies to track and control their spending and to keep their business expenses within their budgets.
There are thousands of loyal customers who have written hundreds of great reviews. Businesses can try the cards for free for 60 days or request a free demo. If you have any questions, call 866.220.8455.