Corporate travelers are exploring the use of virtual cards to pay for their business trips, but a new poll conducted by the Assn. of Corporate Travel Executives reveals why these professionals are facing some challenges.
The biggest hurdle to adopting virtual cards, the research found, is acceptance of the payment tool, according to 52 percent of the poll responders. Support was the second-most commonly cited challenge, with 26 percent of professionals identifying points of friction with support associated with virtual cards, and more than a fifth said the “pain of change” was their biggest hurdle.
“We too are struggling with the acceptance aspect of V-Card,” said one poll taker. “It was reassuring to know that we aren’t alone with this challenge.”
When it comes to adoption of virtual cards, 65 percent of respondents to the poll said they are thinking about using the technology, and 23 percent said they are at the post-implementation stage and still experiencing challenges.
One percent said they are pre-implementation, and 1 percent said they are post-implementation with positive results, which could suggest that virtual card issuers and associated FinTechs may need to do more to ease friction and boost adoption rates.
Professionals surveyed have a generally positive view of virtual card technology, though, with 32 percent saying the tool enables simpler reconciliation of corporate travel expenses. Nearly a quarter cited automation as the biggest benefit, and the same amount cited capabilities for spend control and savings. Twenty-one percent said increased protection against fraud and data breaches is their top benefit to virtual card use.
The poll was conducted by the ACTE during its live broadcast event, “Virtual Card Strategy: Finding and Implementing Your Solution.” Attendees of the digital event could ask corporate travel managers their questions, ACTE said not every question could be addressed, so it published a blog post to continue receiving questions; poll results were published Friday (June 16).
According to ACTE, panelists of the event – including executives from Cisco Systems, Salesforce, Microsoft and CSI globalVCard – emphasized the need for the T&E sector to adjust to rising use of virtual cards.
“As virtual cards continue to move toward becoming a new industry standard, it will be critical for corporate travel professionals to conduct thorough due diligence surrounding their implementation, understand how they fit into their travel policies, and what they need to do to make the transition efficient and easy to understand for their travelers,” ACTE said in its announcement of the poll results.