February 11, 2020 | 3 min read

Expense management: The market grows for corporate cards

More travel and expense software companies are seeing the value of providing branded corporate cards to their customers. According to an article in PaymentsJournal in March 2019,  “If commercial card growth continues its current trajectory, US card spending will have nearly doubled between 2014 and 2021. This is driven, at least in part, by a commercial shift away from paper-based payments and processes. Businesses of every size and in every vertical are investing in payments and pushing for broader digital capabilities.”1PaymentsJournal, Commercial Cards: Growth on Growth, and Opportunities for Smaller Banks, March 21, 2019

Corporate cards help businesses reduce unapproved expenses, ensure compliance of expense policies, and sync expenses immediately for current insights on spending. Employees also enjoy the benefits of seamless expensing experience and get paid back quickly. Corporate cards are a direct extension of the value that travel and expense companies deliver for their clients in card form.

For last-minute expenses,  when an unexpected airline ticket is needed for an employee stranded in a snowstorm, the payment platform that supports the corporate card can issue a virtual card immediately to pay for the transaction. Modern card issuing platforms with dynamic spend controls extend that convenience, giving businesses unprecedented control of virtual card transactions so they authorize the exact amount, location, time period, etc. With Just-in-Time (JIT) funding, the virtual card is funded and authorized at the point of purchase, combating fraud while taking care of the employee efficiently.

Today, corporate cards from travel and expense software companies are finding new ways to increase customer and employee value by offering rebates and loyalty programs. The more employees use the card, the more points the company accumulates to pay for other business services, turning the corporate card into a cost-saving engine. For example, the Expensify card offers perks for services with AWS, Intuit, and Intercom. Brex offers transfers of travel points for cardholders with major airlines like AirFrance KLM, Asia Miles, and Qantas.

The next step for corporate cards is to take advantage of the preferred position they have inside the wallet of thousands of employees. Taking a page out of the consumer card playbook, travel and expense companies are starting to look at new ways to increase card usage by extending rewards programs and adding digital banking functionality like direct deposit and bill pay which could elevate their brands to the top of the wallet and daily card use. 

As more and more companies shift away from paper-based expense management and move to SaaS solutions with modern card issuing and processing integrations, the opportunities for corporate cards abound.

To learn more about corporate cards from Marqeta, contact us.

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