What does the future of business credit cards look like?

As we move towards an increasingly cashless society, financial experts are questioning the role that business credit cards will play.

Most major organisations have been quick to spot the opportunities offered by digital technology. Targeted adverts and promotions tempt consumers to part with cash in numerous, highly inventive ways, yet some banks have been slow to respond.

The most significant change in business credit cards over the past 20 years or so has been the introduction of contactless technology. However, that could be set to change as the major financial institutions catch up with the 21st Century.

With that in mind, we take a sneak peek into the future, to see how technology is influencing the traditional company card industry…

Automation 

Automation is set to have a massive impact on business credit cards of the future – especially for prepaid business cards. Prepaid cards have been around for years, however, the future looks bright for prepaid cards’ adoption in business. With a prepaid card, business owners can pre-load money onto staff’s personal cards – providing them with maximum budgeting control and their staff with financial freedom.

Some prepaid cards, such as Soldo, automate the expense management process. Integrating with major accounting softwares, Soldo makes life easy for employees and their employers. All they have to do is snap a picture of the receipt and just like that, expense reimbursement is a thing of the past!  

Artificial intelligence

AI is big news these days, and those in the business credit card industry are looking at ways of exploiting the technology. One key aim is to provide customers with a tailored approach to redeeming coupons and loyalty rewards.

Uber has already set this process in motion, by offering American customers its own branded credit card, which acts as a loyalty card for all Uber journeys and services. This approach is likely to be refined further, with card issuers monitoring the user’s shopping habits, then offering tailored promotions to suit their specific tastes. 

AI technology also offers a host of other potential benefits. It could be used to monitor personal spending habits and even detect signs of fraud. With some card issuers already providing apps that enable customers to switch their cards on and off, cardholders will soon have the ability to deactivate their cards when not in use, for even greater protection.

Biometric credit cards

Whether you approve of it or not, biometric technology is rapidly becoming the new normal. Business credit card suppliers are looking at ways of incorporating it into their products. Mastercard and Visa are ahead of the game since both issuers have already released their own versions of biometric credit cards. These cards store the user’s fingerprint to verify transactions, with some experts suggesting that this is just the beginning of what’s possible. 

As the ability to store biometric information on a tiny chip becomes more widespread, we’re likely to see credit cards that hold a wealth of sensitive data about the user. Some experts believe that this would enable the credit card of the future to become a universally-accepted verification document, potentially replacing certain forms of identification.

Biometric credit cards could even become an accepted storage facility for the user’s multiple passwords across websites too. In storing medical data, there could be opportunities for health and wellbeing organisations to advertise their products, or to offer tailored discounts according to a person’s specific needs.

Peer-to-peer transactions

Almost everyone has experienced a situation in which you’re in a group of friends who go out for a meal, but then want to share the bill. Not everyone has cash readily available and advises they will reimburse the payee as soon as they are able. 

With the help of emerging technologies, credit cards could become a more proactive solution in this context. It may become possible to not only pay for goods and services with them, but also to receive payments, whether from shops, organisations, friends or family. 

One provider attempted to deliver some of this improved functionality as recently as 2014. The aim was to create one single card, which would digitally store up to twenty separate credit and debit cards, allowing users to switch between them. 

However, with new technological advances making this more of a reality, other card organisations are investigating their own versions of this idea.

Overall, there is no doubt that in the future, there will be considerable innovation from the business credit card industry.

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