Company expense management has had a facelift, and there’s not a speck of plastic in sight. Clever businesses are now swapping corporate credit cards in favour of virtual prepaid cards, allowing for increased convenience, efficiency, and security.
Although the business credit card has long been a popular choice, many business owners are opting instead for a prepaid system. These cards could save your business plenty in the long run, so let’s take a look at how virtual prepaid cards work.
Before we dive into virtual cards and how they work, let’s clear up some definitions, because there are a number of card types thrown around that may sound very similar if you’re not familiar with them.
A virtual card is simply an online version of a plastic bank card. Virtual cards may share the same card numbers as your physical one, but they can hold unique details, making your funds even more secure. Virtual cards minimise the amount of personal information shared when you process a transaction, and you can easily top them up remotely. Whether you’re paying online or in-store, virtual cards are a very secure way to pay.
Exactly the same as a personal debit card but for business use only. A debit card is connected to your business current account and any transaction carried out by yourself or an employee is funded directly from that account. So your account balance must be able to cover the purchase otherwise it won’t go through, unlike credit cards.
Credit cards work by allowing you to pay for things which you may not be able to, or would prefer not to, with funds from your business current account. You then have to pay this amount back over an agreed period, but interest can accumulate on that figure, which can be a slippery slope for small businesses looking to minimise costs. Both debit and credit cards can be physical or virtual, and prepaid cards are often referred to as prepaid credit cards, even though there’s no credit involved.
Prepaid cards are payment cards that you load with a certain amount of cash so that there’s no connection to your business bank account. You decide how much is on each card, and that limit cannot be breached. With Soldo’s prepaid cards, you have complete control over spending, and you can transfer more funds to any card in no time at all.
Virtual prepaid cards maximise the security of your spending. Instead of giving employees access to the company account or letting them run up debts, you top up each prepaid card with an allocated budget. And because it’s a virtual card, there’s nothing physical to steal, and the card can’t be traced back to a bank account.
When it comes to payment card options for small businesses, virtual prepaid cards are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s an option that confronts the issues faced by other payment types and offers business owners an effective way to manage spending.
1. Safety and security
Virtual cards can be used for all the online purchases you’d normally make with a conventional credit card, but it can’t be traced back to the original account by hackers. Your exposure is also limited in case of fraud, as the only funds at risk are whatever you’ve preloaded onto the card.
Even if your card does become compromised in any way, you can freeze this card remotely and immediately without having to get in touch with your bank.
2. Added flexibility
Because virtual cards are managed entirely online, you can generate and activate new cards instantly. Finance managers will love using a suite of online cards that fits the way the business spends. For example, one card just for travel expenses or one just for Amazon purchases (this adds another layer of security as well).
Digital cards can also handle international payments, from booking hotels abroad to paying global suppliers. So you can even use them as low-fee FX business cards.
Your account can be up and running in less than one working day, with no credit checks or lengthy processes, and then you’re free to generate virtual cards at will. This is a much more versatile system than the rigid processes associated with business credit cards.
3. Increased control over spending
Virtual payment cards give you an increased level of control and visibility over your team’s expenses. The pre-established budgets mean there’s no risk of overspending, so it’s safe to provide a card to any employee. Plus, you get complete control over how the account is used. You can limit it to specific sites, restrict spending to set dates, or even set spend categories so each card can only be used for certain types of expense. And if you need to increase the budget, you can add more funds in seconds.
A spend management platform like Soldo gives you a granular level of control, including setting budgets and seeing where money is spent for each individual, department, project, team, or spending type.
You can set daily, weekly, or monthly budgets, limit how or where money is spent, and see every transaction as it happens in an easily exportable format.
4. Simple reconciliation
Another added benefit of virtual cards is that much of your data processing can be digitised, too. Unlike payment methods such as petty cash and business credit cards, virtual cards don’t require an archive of physical receipts. Any system that relies on the retention of paper receipts is prone to neglect, and finance teams can be faced with a real nightmare if data is incomplete.
With a virtual card, all the transaction information is stored within the card’s associated app. And with the right card provider, this spend data can easily be exported to accounting software. That means no more time lost to sorting through piles of paper.
Soldo’s system of prepaid cards is designed with businesses in mind. This includes a host of features that make every stage of the expense reporting process easier.
Soldo integrates directly with Xero, QuickBooks, and NetSuite, and you can export all the spending data from your virtual prepaid cards into any other accounting system. Seeing who spent what is easy, with transactions allocated to each account instead of all mixed up on a single statement.
And there’s no need for tedious sessions of manual reconciliation; all your spend data is automatically lifted into the Soldo console, for easy viewing from anywhere.
The versatility you need
With Soldo, you set the rules on how virtual prepaid cards are used. Give everyone their own card with their own spending rules, or create a card that automatically locks after a single transaction for a one-off payment, increasing security by limiting access to the card’s funds.
If employees ever need a top-up while they’re on the road, you can transfer funds remotely from the Soldo mobile app or desktop console. Your team never needs to be out of pocket again.
Soldo’s cards are provided by Mastercard®, which gives you enormous flexibility when it comes to spending. Our cards are accepted by over 20 million merchants in over 150 countries, with no limits other than the ones you decide. Even better, there are no prepaid card fees for domestic transactions.
If you have team members abroad then Soldo’s prepaid currency cards can make life much easier for them. If employees use a debit or credit card abroad, they might have to pay extra charges for transactions or withdrawals. This isn’t the case with Soldo, as our foreign exchange fee is fixed at 1%, which is lower than many other providers, and cards can be assigned remotely.
Flexible fuel cards
For businesses that rely on a fleet of drivers, Soldo’s fuel cards offer maximum accessibility. Unlike many traditional fuel cards, they aren’t connected to a specific fuel supplier, so you can use them at any station in the UK and drivers don’t need to waste time searching for specific fuel sites. And what’s more, our fuel cards won’t make a big dent in the budget, as they start at only £2!
A complete solution
Our prepaid cards for businesses are part of something much bigger – in fact, a whole new approach to business spending. It includes traditional plastic prepaid cards alongside virtual cards, connected to a smart spend management platform with powerful apps and reporting software.
From the point of purchase to the reconciliation, Soldo is designed to make every step of the expense management process a breeze. Soldo isn’t a bank, but it’s the perfect partner to optimise your business bank account.
Getting set up with Soldo is easy, and our range of packages will have something to suit every business. We don’t ask for a credit check, and you can be up and running the very next day. Like all Soldo cards, you can order a virtual card immediately after you sign up for an account.
Once you’re signed up, log into the web console and:
You and your team can track and manage company spending from anywhere, at any time. And if you need a hand getting set up, our friendly team of experts will be there to help. Upgrade to smarter business spending by switching to Soldo today.
Virtual cards work just like regular credit or debit cards – there’s just no card. You’ll still have a card number, an expiry date and a CCV number, but they’ll be on a screen instead of on a physical card.
You can use Soldo’s virtual Mastercard® wherever you would be able to use a regular card – online purchases, software subscriptions and online advertising are all possible with a virtual Mastercard®.
With Soldo, you can access your spending data however you like. Soldo integrates directly with Xero, QuickBooks and NetSuite, and you can export all the spending data from your virtual prepaid cards into any other accounting system.
Soldo is trusted by businesses of all sizes – from startups to SMEs to enterprises. You can get going with Soldo in as little as one working day – applying takes minutes with no credit check.
Financial peace of mind
Soldo’s virtual prepaid cards maximise the security of your funds, ensuring your financial plan stays on track.
With budgets and rules set by you, our prepaid cards can be customised to perfectly complement your business.
Soldo’s spend data is automatically compiled and ready to be sent to your chosen accounting software in a few clicks.
“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.”
“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.”
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