Corporate Travel – Virtual Credit Card Payments 101

virtual credit card payments

It’s important for every company to have an efficient and secure travel and expense management practice in place, which is what virtual credit card payments can provide. Traditional corporate credit cards may have worked well to control travel spend and offer flexibility for employees in the past, but evidence shows us that these traditional methods actually pose more challenges than solutions in the modern world of corporate travel payments.

Fraud is at an all-time high and rogue employee spending that pushes the limits of corporate travel policies are creating additional concerns for travel managers. Virtual credit cards have quickly emerged as a viable and secure payment alternative that alleviates the problems of traditional corporate purchasing cards while also solving some of the most common booking challenges.

Virtual Credit Card Basics

Similar to traditional cards, virtual cards include a 16-digit number, three-digit security code, and an expiration date. Unlike plastic cards, there is no physical card and the virtual card number is typically issued for a single-use attached to a specific transaction amount and pre-approved vendor. When creating the virtual card, predefined restrictions can be set up, including where the card can be used, how much can be spent, the usage period, and local or foreign currency preferences.

Security Benefits

Virtual credit card payments provide more security than traditional credit cards. Not only is there no physical card to be stolen, but when single-use virtual cards are used to make air, hotel and car reservations, if a charge is outside of preset limits, the transaction will be declined. The virtual card number and accompanying data instantly becomes invalid after use, so if the number is stolen, the damage potential is extremely limited. This type of structure can essentially eliminate the opportunity for credit card fraud or data breach, both of which are common with the use of traditional corporate card programs.

Spend Control and Reconciliation

A primary concern with corporate credit cards is the lack of control employers have over spending, resulting in huge spikes in travel related expenses. With virtual credit card payments, companies can dictate exactly what travelers are eligible to pay for, limiting excessive charges or unauthorized incidentals, and ultimately keeping them within budget.

Virtual cards have also improved the efficiency of payment processing. Each transaction includes invoice-level data coded according to project, vendor, and category, so purchases can be reconciled without additional paperwork, saving travel managers time and manual resources.

Virtual Credit Card Payments with CSI Travel

Not only do virtual card payments make booking corporate travel easy and secure, CSI Travel can seamlessly integrate our payment solution with the booking tools currently being used by Travel Management Companies. This transition ensures that all the reservation data gets housed in one location. Hotel authorization forms are automatically emailed or faxed to the supplier upon booking, and a mobile app is then employed so travelers can easily access and manage their reservations when they’re on the go. CSI Travel includes specific details on reservations, employees, events, and distinct accounting data points so you can create quick and comprehensive reports without breaking a sweat!