While virtual cards provide greater security and digitization than physical cards, critics of the tool have pointed to one key pain point: Often, businesses that accept virtual cards as payment must manually enter in a virtual card number, leading to friction and a significant loss of automation.
A new solution from B2B payments company Billtrust aims to tackle the issue. The company announced Thursday (Feb. 16) that it is rolling out what is called Virtual Card Capture, a way to automate the capture of virtual card data for companies that accept the technology.
The tool was developed in collaboration with medical supply company Medela, Billtrust explained, as a way to help automate payment via virtual cards when accounts payable firms and banks send virtual card information to Medela.
“We saw the number of emailed virtual card payments increasing year over year; it wasn’t something that was going away, and the volume was becoming difficult to handle,” said Medela Manager of Credit and Accounts Receivable Tina Schneider in a statement. “Prior to implementing Billtrust’s Virtual Card Capture solution, we keyed thousands of emailed virtual card numbers into our ERP manually. Each email was unique in where and how pertinent information was placed, making the process that much more time-consuming. Now that the process is automated, we have been able to reallocate resources to better support the business.”
Billtrust’s new tool enables payment instructions sent by AP platforms and banks to be re-routed into Billtrust for processing. Billtrust automatically identifies and captures virtual card information to pay the supplier and provide remittance information for their accounting and ERP systems.
The company said it is currently working with card issuers, banks and AP platforms to integrate Virtual Card Capture into their own services.
“We’re focused on making Virtual Card Capture a tool for the entire industry,” said Billtrust Executive Vice President of Business Development Rory Byrne in another statement. “Solutions like this enable issuers to balance the needs of suppliers with their own, while ultimately providing a win for their mutual customer — the payer.”
Billtrust isn’t the only company to tackle this issue. Last year, virtual card company Conferma rolled out its own solution that supports the sending of virtual card numbers via email but encrypts that information to prevent fraud.