Who holds the purse strings at your company? How much time do you devote to keeping track of all the hands that need to reach into that purse to do their jobs? Even if you have few people holding the financial “strings” that keep everything running, chances are many people need to reach inside. Cash advances and corporate credit cards are often used by employees that are responsible for making purchases on behalf of or in the interest of the company. Cards function similarly to consumer credit cards and they’re subject to the same sort of annual fees and restrictions. Banks determine how large a line of credit to grant the company and the employee based on their combined creditworthiness.
But what happens when corporate cards or cash advances aren’t the right solution? Prepaid expense cards have several features that make them ideal when corporate credit cards and cash advances fall short. By adding prepaid expense cards, companies have the flexibility to offer many of the conveniences of cards to more employees, while having more control over how the funds are spent. The results are fewer hands in the purse, better control over expenses, and a reduction in paperwork.
More Users Not every employee is a good candidate for a corporate credit card. Contractors, new-hire candidates and employees with poor or little credit may still need to occasionally make purchases on behalf of the company. Prepaid cards eliminate the need for background or credit checks for users and have no effect on the credit history of the user or the company. Have someone filling in for a regular cardholder? It’s quick and easy to distribute cards as needed to new employees.
More Control When you need to monitor expenses very closely, corporate credit cards might not be an ideal solution. Companies are billed after a purchase has been made. Cash advances and checks can’t be tracked back to a purchase without a considerable amount of paperwork. Prepaid expense cards, however, keep you in better control of how and when employees spend money. The best cards offer reloadable limits and ATM access for when you need access to cash. At InteliSpend, we also offer DirectSpend,®* so that a company can choose where and how funds can be spent, whether it’s with specific industries, vendors or even locations.
Less Paperwork The flexibility and structure of prepaid expense cards mean less work for everyone, especially paperwork. Employees are not spending time keeping track of receipts and generating detailed expense reports. Administrative employees do not have to handle and distribute credit card bills, approval forms, reimbursement checks and other documentation.
An Alternate Solution For some situations, corporate credit cards still make sense. Trusted salespeople who travel regularly and treat clients will benefit from using corporate credit cards. They may even receive the rewards some cards offer as part of their compensation packages. Employees responsible for a large volume of regular purchases may also require a corporate credit card. For most other employees, prepaid expense cards make more sense. The fewer hands reaching into the purse, the more control a company has over its funds.
*DirectSpend is a merchant acceptance process that allows you to decide where the card can be spent and is protected by U.S. Patent Numbers 5,689,100 and 5,956,695 Canadian Patent Number 2,215,969.