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Survey: More Businesses Are Taking Advantage of Commercial Card Programs

More businesses are taking advantage of what a commercial card program can offer, with over one-third (35 percent) of respondents utilizing travel and expense, procurement card and virtual card products, compared to the less than 20 percent last year, according to Capital One’s 2019 survey at the annual NAPCP Commercial Card & Payment Conference.

“In comparison with other types of payments systems, there are many different ways to utilize a commercial card program,” said Rick Elliott, Capital One’s senior vice president and head of commercial card. “Each organization has its own unique requirements, so it makes sense for them to work closely with providers with the depth of experience to help them optimize their program fit as well as maximize its profitability through rewards and rebates.”

The survey also provided insights into the status of card adoption. Eighty-seven percent of the respondents said their organizations used procurement cards, while 68 percent used travel and expense cards, and 47 percent used virtual cards.

The popularity of mobile technology was another clear finding from the survey, which revealed that organizations using travel and expense cards were much more likely than those with procurement or virtual cards to provide mobile apps to their employees. Fifty-six percent of organizations with travel and expense cards made a mobile app available to employees to document expenses, but only 26 percent of the procurement and virtual card organizations distributed a mobile app to view and manage vendor invoice payments and transactions. In addition, nearly two-thirds of respondents noted an even split between the use of mobile apps and web apps among their employees when documenting expenses and managing payments, when both choices were available.

The survey results suggested that the use of mobile apps will continue to rise. Slightly more than a quarter of respondents (27 percent) from organizations not currently using mobile apps said that they were still in the process of developing their “bring your own device” policies.

Overall, respondents expressed satisfaction with their organization’s commercial card program but showed interest in new features and technology. Of the 69 percent of respondents who stated that their organization was not planning to implement a new commercial card program or tool in 2019, 82 percent said their reason was that they were happy with their current program. Of the 31 percent planning to upgrade in 2019, 62 percent said they were doing so because they wanted to implement new tools and services from their current provider.

“Our survey indicated that commercial card users are looking to their providers for improvements that will make it even easier for employees to document their expenses as well as payables departments to manage and analyze their invoice payments,” Elliott said. “Successful providers will use customer-informed design and technology like APIs to deliver the best-in-class user experience and enhanced value to their clients.”

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