Who would have thought that corporates would be at the head of the pack when it comes to mobile payment adoption? The unlikely demographic is getting some praise among financial institutions for embracing mobile payment technology, according to reports published Wednesday (Feb. 24) by American Banker.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s head of commercial cards and comprehensive payables, Kevin Phalen, for instance, told the publication that online banking is quickly gaining traction within the enterprise.
Industry players are attributing the trend to companies’ preference for the one time-use virtual card, a way that can provide deeper insight and control into spending than other solutions.
“Virtual will continue to accelerate and will be much more meaningful in terms of total volumes,” he said in an interview. “Clients are very interested and are widely adopting virtual accounts.”
According to the publication, corporate use of v-cards and mobile wallets is a sign that the technology will find a path to widespread adoption — even when consumers aren’t picking up the tool as quickly as some may have liked.
Another executive, SunTrust’s head of treasury and payment solutions, Eric Brewer, explained that the security of digital payments, compared to physical card products, is also helping to propel the mobile wallet into the workplace.
“When you eliminate all of these physical cards floating around out there, it can definitely reduce the amount of fraud,” he said.
“Some of our larger corporate clients have been increasingly interested in single-use virtual cards, particularly to book hotels and air travel,” offered American Express Vice President of Global Corporate Payments Terry Bodensteiner.
Still, as with any new technology, there will be an adoption curve that could occur fairly slowly for corporates, despite these initial, promising trends.
“Mobile payments [for corporate customers] will continue to evolve, and many issuers will begin to adopt them for early adopter clients, but they will not represent a meaningful amount of volume in 2016,” suggested Bank of America’s Phalen.