Decades of evolution gave companies what is considered the modern-day credit card. Today, credit cards come with smart chips, encryptions, and copious rewards–and the latest iteration of the cards, virtual credit cards, are now spreading in popularity across corporations looking to securely and rapidly control business expenses.
A Juniper Research report estimates that businesses' annual value of virtual cards will exceed $1 trillion by the end of 2022. That’s a lot of corporate spending, but why are so many companies switching to a digital option?
Virtual Card: Defined
Though it may look like a typical credit card on a mobile device, a virtual credit card is a unique 16-digit virtual card number generated digitally. This card number can be used for online checkouts and downloaded to a mobile wallet for in-store purchases where virtual cards are accepted. And, like a physical card, transactions made via virtual cards appear on bank statements.
Keep in mind that a virtual card is different than a “digital card.” A digital card is simply a copy of a physical bank card stored on a personal device. But a virtual card will have a unique expiration date and CVC separate from personal credit or debit cards.
According to data gathered by Trading Platforms, 25.7% of all point of sale payments were made using mobile wallets in 2020. By 2024, this figure is expected to jump to 33.4%. That’s a lot of transactions to be recorded in providers and card-issuers systems.
However, virtual cards offer heightened security against fraudsters because the virtual credit card number cannot be traced unless there is access to a cardholder’s identity or computer system.
On an operational level, companies that offer virtual cards with generated account numbers can instantly cancel or freeze these cards if a card is lost or stolen. Because of its virtual nature, there is no need to re-order a physical card and wait for it to arrive.
Admins can use previous card information to generate a new card in a few simple clicks. Additionally, single-use cards can be issued to a specific vendor for a particular dollar amount; This prevents overcharges and ensures that hackers can’t use the card details for anything outside its limits.
Aside from a higher level of security, virtual cards offer a myriad of benefits aimed at easing typical pains in controlling employee spending and expenses. Below are just a few ways Navan virtual cards are the future of a company’s payment solutions:
Companies can gain immediate access to these benefits through Navan Expense virtual cards. Navan Expense allows companies to issue unlimited virtual cards for travel and entertainment, light procurement, and other spending.
Once employees submit a request through the Navan Expense mobile or web app, approvers can review requests, edit card limits, and issue cards in the same tool, leading to a seamless experience bracketed with spend control. If a company chooses, Navan can also provide physical cards alongside the virtual card product to enable preference.
The hassle of expense reports doesn’t have to be a hassle. The tech stack configured by Navan Expense is unlike any other, as it is the only stack to combine travel, payments, and spend management under one roof for reconciliation and peace of mind.
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