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Transforming digital B2B payments with Commercial Cards

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“Historically, technology change has been a major barrier to realising the benefit of moving traditional payments to card; but with the new era of embedded finance – virtual cards can be requested and reconciled on existing ERPs and marketplaces, without leaving the platform”, says Brian Tomkins, Global Head of Commercial Cards, HSBC. In this final article in a series of four, we explain how digital payments solutions, such as Commercial Cards, are transforming the ways that an organisation manages their operational and reporting requirements.

We are living in a period of extraordinary change for businesses, as the digital revolution is eliminating time-consuming manual processes and replacing them with electronic alternatives. HSBC Commercial Cards solutions take the familiar corporate credit card and integrate it into a complete digital payments ecosystem. Across purchasing and virtual cards innovations, simplified payment processes are combined with data-centralisation to make detailed reporting easy.

Evolution of digital B2B payments

The technology that underpins the way we purchase is continuing to evolve.
Traditional cards have already been managed via HSBC’s real-time enabled card management platform MiVision for many years, allowing for any employee, anywhere in the world, to access and manage card programs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The Virtual Card is a perfect example of the digital evolution. Instead of a physical cards that an employee might keep in their wallet, a Virtual Card exists online, and can generate an unlimited number of single-use card numbers, allocated to a specific suppliers or invoices.

In addition to traditional card benefits such as 55 days interest free credit* and early supplier payment discounts, virtual cards also facilitate up to 29 custom reconciliation fields to automate reporting, enhanced fraud and controls to reduce misuse, and with increasing ERP and marketplace partnerships - the ability to generate cards within your existing technology infrastructure and systems already used by staff on a daily basis.

 Evolution of Commercial Cards

Implementing a digitised Commercial Cards Programme

It is crucial to choose a banking partner who can work with you to ensure that the change goes smoothly and efficiently.

When implementing a Commercial Cards programme, it is crucial to choose a banking partner who can work with you to ensure that the change runs smoothly and efficiently. When making this decision, several key factors emerge. First, it is essential that your banking partner can support your geographical footprint, providing a consistent platform in every country where your company operates. Remember that your international needs could grow as your business expands into new markets.

Second, it is advisable to choose a partner where you have an existing relationship. It is also advantageous if your provider has robust risk controls in place and strong credit fundamentals, making it well prepared to support your company’s growing financial needs.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it is essential to take full advantage of the automated solutions available to you, which is why it is necessary to choose a bank, such as HSBC, that offers an end-to-end digital and banking solution that incorporates direct and indirect expense reconciliation. This will prevent you from having to work with multiple vendors.

The future of banking is increasingly digital, as businesses have growing expectations that technology will deliver cost savings and efficiency. As a result, treasury looks set to evolve over the coming years as more companies adopt new and innovative solutions to improve their working capital position. Operating a Commercial Cards programme is a simple and effective way to ride the wave of change, and achieve all the benefits associated with it.

In a difficult and uncertain business environment, treasurers are heavily involved in realising a number of strategic objectives – such as managing costs savings and optimising working capital. Commercial Cards are an essential tool that allow treasurers to achieve these goals with all the efficiency you would expect from a digital solution. Start using HSBC’s Commercial Cards today or contact your Relationship Manager for inquiries.

*Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) extension of up to 55 days interest free. The number of interest-free days is dependent on the agreed billing cycle. Utilisation of the card facility is subject to the terms and conditions which govern that facility and HSBC’s credit and risk policies.

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