A simple guide to purchasing cards

Find out how P-cards are unique, and why Soldo can offer the perfect spend-solution for your business.

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The payment card conundrum

When it comes to expense management, there seems to be an enormous amount of payment card options out there. It can be a little intimidating. On this page we’ll focus on the purchasing card, also known as procurement cards, P-cards, or purchase cards. These cards have unique benefits that aren’t shared by more traditional payment options such as business credit cards. However, purchasing cards also come with downsides, and as we’ll see, Soldo could be the perfect alternative company card for your business.

multiple purchasing cards
multiple purchasing cards
purchasing card payments

What is a pirchasing card?

First things first, what exactly is a purchasing card? When weighing up options for business spending, you’ll inevitably come across the option of a company credit card, and you may be wondering how a P-card differs. Credit cards are not synonymous with purchasing cards, and in fact there are a number of key differences.

A purchasing card is a type of charge card that is great for business-to-business spending, be that office supplies or other necessities. From a practical perspective, P-cards can be used just as any business or personal credit card would be, there’ll be no difference for the employee or vendor. You can issue multiple cards, both physical and virtual, and there’s a greater degree of spend control than there is with a credit card.

purchasing card payments

Is a purchasing card the same as a credit card?

P-cards were created in response to the limitations of credit cards. Business credit cards are vulnerable to fraud, they’re inefficient for expense tracking, and they aren’t very flexible. P-card use is designed to counter these problems.

One of the primary benefits that purchasing cards have over business credit cards is that they’re a lot more secure. For starters, you aren’t sharing one card between all of your employees, which of course poses a security risk; the more people have access, the more likely you are to fall victim to fraud or theft.

Numerous physical P-cards can be issued to a variety of employees, and you are able to set rules and spending limits in order to have greater financial control. This way, you always know who’s spending what, and because purchasing cards are connected to an online platform, every transaction can be viewed at any time.

Alternatively, if an employee is carrying out a transaction online, the individual can be given a single-use virtual card. The employee makes a transaction request, you receive a notification of this request, and you can approve it in a click. The employee will then be assigned a unique virtual card with which they can carry out the purchase.

Whether they’re physical or virtual, a purchasing card is much more secure than a credit card. This is especially the case for online purchases, as those specific virtual card details will cease to exist after the transaction has been completed.

Perhaps the only downside to P-cards is that many of them must be paid off at the end of each month. This means if you don’t have the funds to do this, you could be handed a late payment fee. This is a risk that some businesses can’t afford to take.

employee purchasing cards
employee purchasing cards
virtual purchasing cards

Simplify spending with Soldo

Soldo has all the benefits of purchase cards, including visibility, security, and efficiency, but it avoids the traditional purchasing card’s issues. You don’t have to pay off any balance by the end of the month, your team just spends what you already have, so there’s no risk of debt associated with Soldo’s prepaid cards.

Not only this, but Soldo’s cards are infinitely customisable. Order as many as you deem necessary, be that virtual or plastic, and assign them to whoever you want. Then you can set rules and budgets so employees can spend but not overspend, and you can rest easy knowing exactly where your money is going.

Empower your employees to spend responsibly and within a budget. If this budget needs to be increased while an employee is on a business trip, for example, then you can top up their card in no time at all.

Track every transaction in real-time with Soldo’s intuitive mobile app. Then, when it’s reconciliation time, all this spend-data can be transferred directly to accounting software such as Xero, QuickBooks, and NetSuite in a couple of clicks.

virtual purchasing cards

Introducing Soldo’s new Purchases feature

Not only is Soldo a great solution when it comes to everyday finance management, we’ve also just introduced a fresh Purchases feature, specifically to address the needs of businesses who are considering traditional P-cards. Soldo’s Purchases system is the perfect complement to Soldo’s prepaid cards.

If you don’t want every employee to have a prepaid card, but they still need to make the occasional ad-hoc purchase, then the Purchases process is perfect. Assign a single-use virtual card to anyone so they can pay for equipment, training, events, or anything else necessary for the flow of business. And because the card is assigned to one specific person for one specific transaction, you always know where the money’s gone.

Once this transaction has gone through, the purchase card expires, meaning your cash is absolutely secure.

However you prefer to handle your business’ finances, Soldo will revolutionise the way you handle spending. From our smart prepaid system to our new Purchases option, there’s a Soldo plan for every business.

purchasing card spending
purchasing card spending

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The best ratings across the web

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“When we switched to Soldo, it became obvious that it was quicker and more efficient. There’s a greater feeling of security; we have more confidence in Soldo than the traditional corporate credit cards.”

Mark Taylor, Plymouth College of Art
Director of Finance at Plymouth College of Art

“Since we started using Soldo, it’s been such a relief not to have to regularly email or phone the banks to ask for our credit card limits to be raised. I love Soldo’s flexibility – it’s so easy to maintain and everything is in real time.”

Dennis Koehler, Get Your Guide
Head of Payments and Fraud at GetYourGuide

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