Integrating for efficiencies
Traditional card-based solutions link one card to one individual. Virtual card solutions, on the other hand, link one ‘virtual card’ to one transaction. It’s a technology that has potential to add real value to corporate payments – especially as controls on credit limit and dates of use can be set per transaction – but one that is yet to be implemented across the entire corporate environment.
The key to unlocking their full potential is integration, says David; which is why Barclaycard’s latest evolution for Precisionpay, its virtual card platform, is about partnerships with existing procurement systems, especially in meeting the needs of multinationals.
“In B2B payments, we’ve had good traction for Precisionpay in mid to large corporates, but utilisation for the very largest multinationals has been limited, and that’s because of their significant investments in sophisticated procure-to-pay (P2P) software,” David explains.
Those systems allow businesses to procure in a compliant and cost-effective way, and provide a good experience for the user, except when it comes to payments.
The impact on buyer experience
Previously, procurement teams had to step outside the P2P environment to complete payment through a separate portal. Now, through an API, Precisionpay virtual cards are being integrated into procurement systems including Coupa, adding ease of use and another option for users within a technology that is already trusted and familiar.
“From procure-to-pay to procure-and-pay.”
“As soon as transactions are authorised, virtual card payments are triggered automatically so there’s no need to leave the environment or to process payment manually,” says David. “The common terminology is procure-to-pay; through integrations, it’s a move towards procure-and-pay.”
Integrated solutions have the potential to improve the buyer experience further, bringing additional benefits to the business such as greater efficiencies, control, data insights and cash flow flexibility.