Prepaid business cards

Discover how prepaid business cards help your team buy what they need – and how you can stay in control every step of the way with Soldo.

“I’ve been using it for contractors, too. Found that the list of expenses shrinks when they’re not using their own cards. Coincidence?”

Gabrielle

“Soldo has really helped us across our business, from helping organise our expenses to stopping employees being out of pocket.”

William

Prepaid business cards – What are they?

A prepaid business card is a way for your team to pay for their own business expenses.

You can give them to members of staff and load each one with money online or via an app. You aren’t giving employees access to the company bank account as you would with a business debit card, and they aren’t able to run up a debt like they would with a credit card.

With a Soldo prepaid card, you get a number of additional features. You manage your prepaid cards from a payment control dashboard, where you can add rules and limits to define how and where employees can use their cards. You’re also able to track their spending habits and collect digital proof of payment at the point of purchase.

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Prepaid business cards – How do they work?

When you sign up for a prepaid business card, you’ll be able to add as much money as you like, when you like. You might need to do this online or over the phone depending on the card provider, and there may be costs incurred for these transfers.

Soldo works a little differently. You can manage every aspect of your cards, for free, from an online payment console. This means you can check cardholder activity, make free and instant money transfers, and freeze cards if they go missing or if there’s anything suspicious going on. In short, you can rest easy however many you decide to hand out.

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Prepaid business cards vs. business credit and debit cards

The most common alternatives to prepaid cards are credit cards and debit cards.

When you use a business debit card, you spend money against whatever balance you have in your account. There’s nothing to stop cardholders from spending as much money as they like. This is an uncomfortable level of risk for most business owners, especially those with larger teams.

So you need to be careful about who you trust to use them responsibly, and how many employees you give them to. This means the business owner’s card often ends up being shared among many employees, making it difficult for your finance team to track who’s spent what in the reconciliation stage.

business credit card is linked to your line of credit, and its annual or monthly credit limit determines how much its user can spend. This makes it more vulnerable to misuse. And, since you only get statements at the end of the month, it’s more difficult to nip problems in the bud.

You’ll need to make repayments on time, or risk high interest, late fees and damage to your business credit score (and your own, if you’re a sole trader). You’ll also need a good credit score to apply for one in the first place, and even then the credit line may not be enough to cover the business’s needs.

Unlike a debit card, the balance on a prepaid business card is separate from the account it comes from, which means the cardholder can only ever spend as much as you give them. And unlike a credit card, a prepaid card isn’t linked to your line of credit, so employees won’t run up debt and damage your credit score.

But with a Soldo prepaid business card, you have even more control. You can apply much more precise limits, like how much a cardholder can spend in a day or a week, or which countries they can use their card in. You can see transactions in real time, enable alerts and notifications, and block cards with a click. And because all the transaction data is collected on one dashboard, you can create detailed reports in no time.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Prepaid business cards are a convenient way to manage your spending.

    • Limited access to funds: Your employees can only spend as much money as they have access to, and it’s up to you how much that is.
    • No credit check: If you’re a new business that hasn’t built up a credit history – or an existing business with a rocky one – you’ll still be eligible for a prepaid business card.
    • No maximum circulation: You can have as many prepaid cards in circulation as you feel comfortable with.

    But when you use Soldo’s prepaid business cards, there are a number of additional benefits:

    • No risk of overspending: You can not only decide how much they have on their cards, but also when and where they’re allowed to spend their balance.
    • Real-time transaction data: You can see everyone’s purchases as they happen from Soldo’sweb console, and get notified the moment there’s an unusual purchase.
    • Simpler expense reconciliation: Every transaction is matched to a cardholder, who can upload a picture of their receipt at the point of purchase via our app.
    • Simpler accounting: You can upload transaction data straight into your accounting software, and seamlessly integrate your console with Xero and its bank feed.
    • Good for morale: Your employees won’t need to spend their own money and wait until the end of the month to be repaid.
  • Whether your business is made up of five people or five hundred, Soldo prepaid cards could be a great option for you.

    They’re particularly useful for startups and SMEs because there’s no need to build a strong credit score before you apply. And they’re particularly useful for large businesses because you can confidently allocate as many as you like across the entire business.

  • All prepaid cards have the same basic functionality, but only a few have the data management capabilities needed to integrate with popular accounting software.

    Those that do, like Soldo, can export and import transaction data to Quickbooks and other accounting apps. Soldo’s payment console also seamlessly integrates with Xero, including its automatic bank feed and accounting APIs.

    This is particularly useful for accountants, as they’ll be able to get a closer insight into how and where your money is being spent and offer answers for how to make things run a little more smoothly.

  • Prepaid card providers will look at some of your business details when you apply, to comply with anti-terrorism and anti-money-laundering regulations. But they won’t pay any attention to your credit history.

    This is useful if you’re just starting out and haven’t built up a credit score yet, or if you’ve had some trouble in the past and it’s reflected in your rating. As you never have any credit to pay off at the end of the month, you can’t damage your credit score. On the other hand, if you’re looking to build your credit score by paying your bills on time, or even just diversify your history, you won’t be able to do it with a prepaid business card.

  • Out of pocket: You can ask your team to cover their own expenses and claim the money back at the end of the month. This may be problematic for those who need to pay for expenses they just can’t afford, and can have a big impact on morale. Plus, they’ll still need to spend time filling in expense claims and tracking down old receipts.

    Petty cash: You might have some petty cash which employees can use for small ticket items. But it won’t be suitable if they need to purchase anything bigger, and your finance team will need to put a lot of time into managing and registering who spends what and where.

    Credit cards and debit cards: Like prepaid business cards, credit and debit cards give your team the freedom to spend what they need. But there are a couple of big issues: you can only give them to a small number of employees, and it’s difficult to make sure there’s no misuse.

  • It depends on the prepaid business card you choose. You’ll likely need to pay for continued use of the console and the cards, but these costs are much smaller than fees incurred by credit cards – and you’ll never have to pay interest on the balance.

    You can find out more about Soldo’s pricing here.