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How to Choose the Right Corporate Card Provider

It can be difficult to find a corporate card provider in Australia that suits the needs of your small-to-medium sized business. In this post we’ll discuss all of your options, as well as what you should ultimately look for when choosing a corporate card provider.

Corporate cards are a necessity, especially for staff that need to travel for work and entertain clients - it’s simply unfair to expect these employees to shoulder business costs on their persoal cards. But it can be difficult to find the right corporate card provider - especially if you’re an Australian Small-to-Medium Enterprise (SME), since banks tend to favour working with larger companies. 

In any case, this decision is an important one, as the implications of choosing the wrong provider can be painful - for both members of the finance team and cardholding employees.

But which one is right for your business? In this post we’ll discuss all of these options, as well as what you should ultimately look for when choosing a corporate card provider.

Corporate cards: what options do I have?

There are several options that you can choose from; traditional options like corporate credit cards or business credit cards, and the newest option in-market; prepaid corporate cards. 

Traditional options:

Corporate credit cards

With corporate credit cards, you would contact a bank to issue credit cards to your staff members. Typically, if you are in a large company (ie. if your business generates millions of dollars in revenue), this is the best option, because you get a high level of service from the bank, and you can negotiate more perks.

Business credit cards

The option most small businesses are left with (because they don’t meet the annual revenue requirements to qualify for corporate credit cards) is to use business credit cards. The cons in this case is that you can only issue a few cards at once (these are typically only shared among senior management - leading to employees sharing cards) and you have no control over how cards are used.

If you’re considering one of these options, make sure you consider:

  • T&Cs. Have a good read of the terms and conditions - typically the introductory price and benefits are good, but check for hidden fees and costs in the long-run.

  • Fees. All issuers will charge a late fee and returned payment fee, but you should be aware of other rates, such as cash advance rates, annual rates, balance transfers, foreign exchange rates, annual fee, expedited payment fee, etc. Pick a provider that will provide the most benefit for purchases (eg. if you require frequent travel, find a card that doesn't charge foreign exchange fees and earns rewards).

  • Perks. Many card providers offer points for goods or services or rules or cash, such as amenities or travel upgrades. Check the limitations for each perk.
Prepaid corporate cards

This is a relatively new option - using a platform like Budgetly, small businesses can issue preloaded corporate cards to staff. There are several benefits to choosing this option when compared with the previous two:

  • Increased financial security, as you aren’t borrowing money from the bank.

  • You can control and limit spending by applying rules to each card. 

  • There is no need to reimburse employees, reducing the amount of time spent on the manual tasks that are typically involved with this process.

  • It reduces the likelihood of employees sharing cards (a logistical nightmare for expense tracking and reporting). Because you can issue as many cards as you like, with as much or as little budget as you like, it is much easier to issue cards to staff members who need it.

  • You can manage and monitor cards from a central dashboard, meaning financial controllers can easily track where money is being spent, and by who - in real-time.

If you’re considering this option, make sure you consider:

  • Reporting tools. Can you gain insight into your expenses, and areas of financial risk?

  • Integrations. Is there an integration with your accounting software (eg. Xero)? This will reduce the manual toil for both staff members and your finance team, as it means that your accounting system will automatically receive financial information and transaction details.

What features should you look for when choosing a corporate card provider?

There are some features to look for regardless of whether you’re going with a corporate credit card, business credit card or a prepaid corporate card provider:

  • Security. Does the provider have strong measures in place, including fraud detection features? How quickly can they cancel and reissue a card if it is reported stolen?

  • Setup. What is the implementation process, and how long will it take? 

  • Support. What is their support process like, and is it reliable? What level of support will you receive in the long-run?

If you’re an Australian SME, a prepaid corporate card and expense management platform like Budgetly is probably the best option, because traditional cards are limited in terms of flexibility and control (and we’re not just being biased, there’s a reason that this solution was created, after all!). if you’d like to learn more about Budgetly, download our eBook, Managing expenses with Budgetly.

Or, if you’re interested in seeing how it works, feel free to schedule a demo.

I went with Budgetly because of how easy it was to get prepaid corporate cards.


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