Why Every Business Needs a Smart Corporate Card

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February 22, 2021

Let me start by setting the stage here – back in 1887 Edward Bellamy introduced the concept of credit card in his novel, Looking Backward. He meant it to work like a modern-day debit card offered by the government to citizens for spend citizen dividend. Since then, there were several innovations and technological advancements on this wallet sized card to help retail users and corporate users manage their finances more efficiently. And yet, here we are talking about corporate world struggling to manage their finances using this card.

Case in point – according to a recent global IDC survey of 800 executives:

  1. Roughly 80% of today’s finance managers’ time is spent on lower-level financial tasks such as invoice matching, purchase requisition, and vendor management.
  2. 95% of survey respondents said they are likely to invest in and deploy intelligent spend management platform in the next two years.
  3. 74% of survey respondents saw great or exceptional value in the intelligent spend management concept.

Traditionally, businesses have used different types of cards based on the role and spending requirements in the organization:

  1. Corporate Card – typically used to pay for managing T & E (travel and entertainment expenses).
  2. P-Card – A procurement/purchasing card used for business purchases. They are typically more restrictive than corporate cards.
  3. One Card – a hybrid of corporate card and p-card but has the ability for the organization to implement spending and vendor restrictions.

These cards are offered by American Express, Capital One and various other well established card providers. However, they did not empower businesses in solving their spend management problems. The challenge businesses face today is not the hardware (i.e., the card) but the lack of software capabilities that control the behavior of the card based on the organizational spending needs. Different teams, departments and cost centers in the organization have different spending requirements and thus require varying levels of restriction and oversight.

Hence there is a need for new type of card.

Let me introduce you to a new type of business card – TERA  Smart Corporate Card.

A smart corporate card takes a unified spend management approach and offers agility of an intelligent spend management solution.

Intelligent spend management is where the traditional processes of spend management are augmented with artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. The added intelligence is essential to maximizing both the cost-saving potential of a unified spend management approach and the agility gains inherent in an intelligent spend management solution.

A smart corporate card offers an integrated intelligent spend solution capabilities with following capabilities:

  1. Ability to issue physical and virtual cards on demand.
  2. Improved planning, budgeting, and cost management.
  3. Meet auditing and compliance requirements for both internal spend as well as external spend in the organization.
  4. Greater security and flexibility in controlling the card.
  5. Improved management of suppliers.
  6. Ability to manage all types of spend management needs.
  7. Ability to create and enforce dynamic spend policies based on teams, departments, and cost centers.
  8. Providing a single view of spend across the enterprise.

In conclusion, the thesis of my analysis here is that there is a need for new type of card solution – Smart corporate card. Companies like American Express and Capital One are slow to embrace this reality. Realistically speaking, they cannot offer an ideal smart corporate card because their business focus is in financial services and not software and technology. Businesses need to look elsewhere. Welcome to Tera.

Author

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Madhu Tera

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