Paying the expenses of a business trip is often a delicate matter. All employees do not necessarily have the necessary cash to advance significant costs (and they do not always dare to say so). On the other hand, the employer can finance part of the costs in advance with purchase orders, invoices or a corporate bank card, but the issue of expenditure control is still sensitive. It is rare to equip all its employees with professional cards because this often remains the prerogative of managers and members of the management committee. Between the two, there is a solution that is growing in popularity: the prepaid bank card. A practical and efficient solution capable of meeting the needs of employees and the expectations of companies. We tell you more.
What is a prepaid bank card?
This is a bank card that has a certain amount paid in advance. Unlike regular cards, its cap is strictly defined and it is impossible to spend more money than it has.
Accepted in all businesses where the traditional card is accepted, the prepaid card is a flexible solution allowing the company to finance professional expenses without the employees having to pay themselves. Because all trips do not cost the same, its limit can be personalized: a short trip to France will thus be credited with a different amount than a long trip abroad.
For the CFO, the accounting department or the business manager, using a prepaid bank card is often easier than giving a “real” corporate card. The latter often requires high spending authorizations, insurance and services that cost much more than the prepaid card.
Finally, it should be noted that it can be physical or virtual, that these amounts are adapted to travel needs and that it can also be single or multiple use. Enough to provide enough payment options to accommodate all types of business trips.
Why use a prepaid bank card for business expenses?
For a business, there are many, many benefits. Some examples :
- Better cash flow control: each amount is loaded onto the card and the balance is returned to the business or use for future use. There are no bad surprises and the accounting department has an online platform to track expenses in real-time according to the number of prepaid cards active and in circulation.
- A more effective fight against fraud: controlling expenses with a prepaid card makes it possible to limit fraud attempts (payment in cash, expenses without the receipt, falsified bank statement, etc.).
- Make life easier for your employees: they no longer need to monitor their personal accounts to know if they can advance funds for their employer. The company can thus pay all expenses and considerably reduce employee reimbursement requests.
- Replaces the advance of expenses: in certain situations, companies advance funds to their employees before a trip. The problem is that this calculation is arbitrary and does not always correspond to the reality on the ground. To overcome estimation problems, the prepaid card is the best solution. If the employee spends less than expected, he does not have to reimburse the advance received, and in case of additional need, the employer can increase the amount of the card in real-time and remotely.
- Works abroad: if an employee has to travel abroad, their bank may charge fees for withdrawals in local currency or purchases made with their personal card. All of these problems no longer exist with the prepaid card, as the company assumes all costs, associated fees and taxes included.
- Much more secure: in the event of loss or theft, it can be deactivated very easily remotely. The remaining amount can then be redistributed to another card. If the employee is always on the move, we can assign him another virtual card very easily, without putting the company’s cash flow at risk.
If the prepaid card has many advantages, it should be seen as a complementary tool to other means of payment. It will not replace all physical corporate cards that have other advantages, such as insurance or premium assistance services for example.
It will therefore not solve all the challenges linked to expense report management, but it will considerably facilitate the management of invoices and professional expenses. Combined with a professional expense management platform, it is the ideal synergy for optimizing internal processes.