Business Travel News: Virtual Cards; The Progress & The Path To Acceptance That Remains

Excerpt from Business Travel News – Companies don’t want the credit liability of issuing corporate cards to every person traveling on the company’s dime, particularly infrequent travelers, contractors, freelancers or job candidates. Not all individual travelers, however, have the personal credit or funds to front the costs of travel.

Other solutions exist, but reconciliation can be a nightmare and noncompliance and fraud rates are high. Central travel accounts, ghost cards and lodge cards, for example, can fund large-ticket items like air and lodging. Trans Marine Propulsion Systems, for one, has issued thousands in cash advances based on the U.S. General Services Administration’s per-diem rates. Others charge large-ticket items to one manager’s corporate card.

Virtual cards, though, allow companies to issue one-time-use credit card numbers electronically. These pay for air and lodging under specific circumstances, down to the traveler, amount, merchant and dates, reducing the possibilities of fraud or misuse by employees. And the fact that each virtual card number ties to a specific transaction simplifies the reconciliation process.

The technology automatically faxes the virtual card number and processing details to the hotel. Products like CSI Enterprises’ globalVCard additionally send those details to the traveler’s smartphone so the traveler can show the front desk clerk or refax with a click.

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