Online prepaid cards: How they work and the best options for business

Get an online prepaid card for business. See how online prepaid cards work and why they’re a safer, more efficient option for making everyday purchases online.

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Remote working has helped us say goodbye to the petty cash tin. Now, it’s coming for company credit cards. The security risks, inconveniences and inefficiencies have just become too much – finance departments are looking for smarter, safer ways to manage everyday expenses and ongoing subscriptions and payments.

Drop the company credit card; pick up an online prepaid card

Whether working remote or together in the office, finance teams are turning to online prepaid cards to facilitate easier company spending.

The latest and most secure form of electronic payment, online prepaid cards can help reduce processing costs, improve internal controls, minimise human error, and slash hours from reporting and reconciliation.
And with powerful expense management software behind it, finance teams can use a suite of cards to transform the way money travels around the business; protecting against out-of-policy spending and helping control department budgets.

Online prepaid card vs. credit card

Virtual prepaid cards work slightly differently to virtual bank cards or virtual credit cards, with funds being preloaded to the card in advance of spending.

‘Online prepaid credit card’ or ‘online prepaid debit card’ are just ways of talking about an online prepaid card: a virtual card that’s loaded up with cash by the owner. Technically, it’s neither a credit or debit card – in fact, it’s not a physical card at all. It’s a randomly-generated 16-digit card number that is linked to an existing account.

The cards can be recalled, re-issued, created and destroyed without involving any banks or third parties. You can even create an online prepaid card that can automatically be locked after on transaction.

The card cannot be traced back to the original account by hackers – making it a better option than a credit card or debit card for online business purchases and subscriptions.

How do you use an online prepaid card?

An online prepaid card is a paperwork-free alternative to handling employee and company spend. They’re usually generated from a cloud-based spend management platform (like Soldo).

You create and assign online prepaid cards to employees for them to start using straight away.

Employees can access their cards through a mobile app, where they can also upload electronic receipts and attach them to transactions on the spot; meanwhile, finance teams can manage the cards from a central dashboard and see transaction data as it happens.

Each employee can have their own online card for individual expenses, but you might also want cards shared across other employees. For example, an employee may pay for a hotel on their individual online card using a budget set by the financial controller. They may then use the online ‘team software subscriptions’ card to upgrade Zoom on their laptop.

It’s much easier than the old way of expense reimbursement.

Here’s how it might work in your company’s workflow.

  • You, as finance controller, designate budgets by department or per employee
  • You create prepaid cards for each department or employee
  • Employees access through a mobile app, where they can also upload receipts for expense reports
  • You may also have a card just for everyday items like tea and coffee
  • You can manage the cards from a central dashboard and access real-time expense data
  • If budgets change or someone leaves the team, you cancel the card and create a new one

Can you reload an online prepaid card with a debit card?

With a Soldo online prepaid card, the budgets set for each person across multiple cards can be easily set and adjusted by finance admins.

Once you’ve added money to your main company wallet by bank transfer, you can distribute it to your Soldo cards any way you like.

Why use an online prepaid card?

There are many benefits to using an online prepaid card as opposed to a company credit card or debit card:

  • No credit checks or lengthy onboarding for new card users – just assign them a card
  • Cards can be created and ready to spend straight away once you have an account
  • Greatly reduced risk of overspending and fraud as you control how much is on the card, and cards aren’t reused across many websites
  • No waiting on hold with banks to increase limits or sort any other issues
  • More control over how money is spent and visibility over where

What expenses can you cover with an online prepaid card?

Software subscriptions

Using an online card to pay for software subscriptions helps to keep track of spend. Allocate an online card to each team for their subscriptions, or even create an online card for each individual subscription so that you can easily track what money is going where.

Digital advertising

Keep track of digital media buying spend down to the penny, even when you’re running multiple accounts from a single system with a virtual card per platform, campaign or team. That means you could set a prepaid budget for Facebook spend per month and allocate a single online card to that campaign, or a single online card for all of the marketing team.

Ecommerce

One-off, small purchases that don’t need to go through procurement can still be tracked using an online card. Create an online card per employee or team for incidental expenses, or a card for each online store.

FAQs

How do you use a prepaid card online?

When making purchases online you can use a prepaid card the same way you would use a regular credit or debit card. Simply enter your card number, expiry and CVV. You will need to make sure that there’s enough money on the card before you make the purchase – otherwise it will be declined.

Can you reload a prepaid card online with a debit card?

With Soldo, you can reload your prepaid card from anywhere within your account, which you can top up by bank transfer. It’s easy to set up and once you’re ready to go, you can order new cards at will.

How do you get a prepaid debit card online?

You can order a Soldo online prepaid card here. They’re the best option for businesses looking for an easier and more secure way to make purchases online and get much greater visibility over spend.

Streamline your monthly process

automatiza gestion de gastos

Trust your data

73% of respondents to an MHR survey said they doubt their month-end data.

Save time on tracking expenses

Most businesses lose between one to fourteen days per month on spend-tracking admin.

Get instant visibility

On average, it takes 30 days for a business to process an expense – until then, there’s no visibility of costs.

All Soldo plans include

Soldo Mastercard® cards

Get as many cards as you need for employees and departments. Our contactless cards are accepted by millions of merchants worldwide.

Web-Konsole und mobile App

Web console and mobile app

See spending in real time on the web console. View balances, capture receipts and manage cards on the employee app.

Accounting integration

Export transaction data to every major accounting software, in two clicks. Connect expenses to Xero and QuickBooks.

Kostenlose und unbegrenzte Transaktionen

Free & unlimited transactions

Soldo Mastercard® cards have no fees for domestic transactions and our foreign exchange fee is fixed at just 1%.

No charge for deposits

It’s free to add funds, and money is available to spend instantly. Allocate funds to cards when your team needs it.

Individuelle Unterstützung

Dedicated support

Need a hand? Our friendly customer success team is at your service, providing support whenever you need it.

“Petty cash and reconciling credit cards took a total of 6 days a month. Now it takes me half a day. It’s saving us time! It’s got great flexibility and it makes my life a lot easier”

Sandra Curran
Purchase Ledger Coordinator at Making Space

“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
Head of Payments and Fraud at GetYourGuide

Learn more about prepaid cards

Discover how to choose the right spend management platform your business. These articles cover everything from cutting costs to streamlining processes.