Payments and Procurement Belong Together
How procurement platforms and B2B marketplaces are leveraging embedded finance and debit cards to address common pain points (and generate revenue).
At first glance, modern procurement platforms seem to dedicate most resources towards creating a superior experience for customers placing thousands of dollars worth of orders each month. However, to deliver a quality customer experience, these platforms focus equally on building an efficient user experience for employees, especially in finance departments.
1. Save Hours on Reconciliation
Pain Point · Manual Reconciliation
By far, the biggest pain point that arises from using corporate credit cards to place high volumes of orders is the manual reconciliation that happens at the end of each month or quarter. It can take hundreds of hours a year for employees to individually match corporate card statement transactions to internal transaction records. Additionally, due to the nature of manual data entry, errors are common. This significant human capital expense is not cost-effective when tasks can be automated in the digital era.
Solution · Automated Reconciliation
With an internal programmatic card solution, procurement providers can instantly issue a unique virtual card to each customer or transaction to simplify reconciliation and save hours of work each month. There are no more duplicate records to compare – the transaction becomes the internal record for a customer or an order.
2. Track transactions in real-time
Pain Point · Lack of Visibility
Procurement companies facilitate large volumes of transactions for customers and suppliers. The fast-paced nature of fulfilling orders makes real-time verification of customer charges tedious and sometimes impossible. The sheer volume becomes a nightmare as orders can come from hundreds of vendors. It could be weeks to months before your accounting team can validate what entities or individuals are placing orders using your corporate cards. By this point, your company has likely missed fraudulent activity on a corporate card. In 2021, an alarming 71 percent of finance professionals reported their companies were victims of payment fraud.1 Your company’s lack of visibility essentially holds the door open for perpetrators.
Solution · Real-Time Data
With the Apto Payments dashboard, your accounting team no longer has to wait for monthly corporate card statements. They can keep track of orders in real time. Issuing a new virtual card number for each order also minimizes the risk of fraudulent transactions since card numbers cannot be stolen and re-used by bad actors.
3. Set Monthly Controls
Pain Point · Lack of Control
Another pain point, related to lack of visibility, is the inability to prevent vendors from overcharging in the first place. It is difficult to keep up with the exchange of vendor information, such as invoices. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for teams to suddenly realize over time that specific vendors were overcharging the company. If overcharging goes under the radar for too long, your company could face an unexpected disruption in cash flow.
Solution · Robust Card Limits
With an internal card, you can designate a specific card for each vendor. This feature allows you to control the amount charged to each card every month. Alternatively, you can distribute a specific card to each customer to ensure the charges on their cards never exceed a certain amount each month. You can also set custom alerts that let you know when a card charges more than the anticipated monthly amount.
4. Create Your Own Fraud Rules
Pain Point · Sudden Freezes to Corporate Cards
We’ve all been there — our bank provider thinks something fishy is going on, and they automatically freeze our account until we call to let them know we just had an unexpectedly large order come through. These unexpected, sudden freezes can disrupt operations. At best, your team quickly catches the notification to manually switch out card numbers to avoid delaying orders. However, this process causes headaches as team members scramble to reach out to individual vendors and update payment information. At worst, you don’t have additional corporate cards to complete payments, resulting in a growing pile of outstanding orders.
Solution · Custom Fraud Engine
With your own card program, fraud rules are in your control rather than in the hands of your corporate card provider. You can create your own set of logic to freeze or flag transactions. You can also control freezes from your dashboard and manually approve suspicious transactions.
4. Turn Costs into Revenue
Pain Point · Increasing Costs
With a corporate card, customer growth also means increased transaction costs. Your company is subject to fees from processors and credit card companies for every transaction. With Apto Payments, you can turn that cost center into a revenue generator, which means that customer growth also means increased revenue
Solution · Generate Interchange Revenue
Card issuers like Apto Payments split what is referred to as interchange revenue with customers for every transaction. Here’s an example. Your employee uses your custom card to pay for supplies that cost $100. Let’s say the interchange rate for a commercial card is 2.95%. The total interchange on a $100 transaction is $2.95. When you split interchange 50-50 with Apto, your half is $1.48. After subtracting the $0.10 Apto’s transaction fee, your remaining interchange revenue on this transaction would be $1.38.2
Corporate Card Program Benefits
Launching a card program for employee and company spending will...
- Monitor orders with confidence using a custom dashboard featuring real-time data;
- Generate virtual cards instantly—with the click of the button;
- Securely distribute cards with strict spending limits customized for specific purposes, creating transparency and mitigating risk from fraudulent spending;
- Drastically cut down the time to reconcile financials thanks to unique ID stamps associated with each card to easily match card numbers to customers and transactions;
- Save hundreds of hours searching through disparate statements to focus on more meaningful, value-add tasks;
- Turn a cost center into a revenue generator.
Card programs offer B2B marketplaces and procurement platforms that conduct frequent business transactions with efficiency, transparency, and cost reduction across their payment processes. Today, modern open card issuing platforms, like Apto Payments, provide open infrastructure to make it easier and faster than ever for companies — like yours— to build a card program to fit their business needs.
The team at Apto Payments is ready to help you explore the different components of a card program to ensure your company is successful. Jump into Apto's developer portal to get started on your custom program or ask to speak to an expert on our team today.
1. Association for Financial Professionals, “2022 AFP Payment Fraud and Control Report, Key Highlights,” 20 April 2022. https://www.jpmorgan.com/content/dam/jpm/commercial-banking/insights/cybersecurity/highlights-afp-2022- payments-fraud-and-control-report.pdf
2. This is an illustrative example only. Please contact Apto Payments for the exact economics for your card program