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Biz Card Innovation Accelerates Despite Spend Slowdown

This week’s exploration of the latest in commercial card innovations finds a resilient market despite the perceived slowdown in corporate spend.

Virtual cards continue to remain a key focus, with FinTechs wielding the technology’s ability to automate spend control and data aggregation, while younger FinTechs are gearing up for new product launches around their own B2B payment card solutions.

Conferma Pay Discusses The Virtual Card Value Prop

In a conversation with PYMNTS, Conferma Pay Head of B2B Darren Blair dove into the value proposition of the virtual commercial card, particularly in a pandemic. Not only do B2B buyers need automation, but suppliers need technology solutions that can address their pain points, too, he said. Virtual cards can enable straight-through processing, which ensures that a vendor can seamlessly see funds from virtual card transactions land in the company account without any effort on the accounts receivable (AR) side. Further, virtual cards provide businesses the kind of controls and security they need to manage employee spend. “The ultimate goal is to make payments a more convenient, accessible and secure experience,” said Blair.

TravelBank Readies For Virtual Cards’ T&E Impact

Speaking with PYMNTS in an interview, Duke Chung, co-founder and CEO of T&E firm TravelBank, discussed how the virtual card may shape the future of business travel. Card issuers are quickly becoming the gatekeepers of digital identities, with virtual cards and mobile wallets now able to act as a means of identity verification. Put into practice, Chung said, that could mean business travelers use their mobile wallets to check in to flights or hotels — once business travel resumes, of course. In the meantime, virtual cards present a valuable way to overcome the pain of managing several physical company cards without compromising the ability to capture the spend data generated by card technology. TravelBank recently expanded that capture capability through platform upgrades that enable businesses to link their accounts with various banks and card issuers into the TravelBank platform to consolidate spend data.

Biz Card Startup Joins Wells Accelerator

Wells Fargo is expanding its startup accelerator program with the addition of two new FinTechs, one of which is a commercial card technology firm. Named Extend, the firm targets financial institutions (FIs) with its card technology, allowing those service providers to offer a suite of products around card solutions, including virtual cards, card tokenization and a corporate card mobile app. In a statement, Extend CEO and Co-Founder Andrew Jamison said the company will work with Wells to “explore new payment capabilities that to date have only been available to the largest corporate clients. With easy onboarding, intuitive user experience, and strong controls associated with virtual cards, there is huge potential in this partnership, and we look forward to seeing it grow.”

Statrys Raises Funding To Launch Payment Card

Hong Kong’s Statrys announced a $5 million funding round with an unnamed angel investor. The company will use the funding to accelerate product development as it plans to launch a payment card to its suite of offerings, which will also include local currency accounts and integrations into back-end accounting software. The company targets small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as startups, with its financial technology that offers a current account and foreign exchange solutions. As the company looks to expand geographically, the introduction of a payment card strengthens its B2B payments position.

Ex-BofA Analyst Charged In Card Misuse

In a case that highlights the risks of corporate card programs, a former analyst from Bank of America has reportedly been charged for alleged misuse of his corporate card. Business Insider reported the analyst is alleged to have spent more than $20,000 on the company card for personal purposes, although the individual claimed the card was stolen. A complaint was filed late last week by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

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