B2B Payments

Four In 10 Road Warriors Use Corporate Cards For Personal Items

Corporate cards used for personal gain — no doubt it’s a story familiar to you, as the practice is widespread, according to a recent study by Carlson Wagonlit Travel. And, as seemingly always, BEC fraud continues to take significant sums from business owners and unwitting government agencies.  

Everybody does it.

Well, make that: more than 40 percent of us do it, while on the road.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel has debuted a study that shows that as many as 46 percent of American and European business travelers have said they used company cards to make personal transactions. In the Asia-Pacific region, that tally stands at about 38 percent.

Those numbers come in stark contrast to the admission by 63 percent of Americans, 58 percent of Europeans and 69 percent of those based in APAC that their companies have defined policies that prohibit using corporate cards for personal items. Six in 10 corporate road warriors around the globe have corporate cards, said the data.

They may be playing a bit with fire, as 85 percent of the Western travelers and 87 percent of the Asian-Pacific travelers noted that the corporate policies are enforced.

In a bit of more granular detail, buyingbusinesstravel.com reported that nearly half of the respondents, at 49 percent, said that “always” use their personal card for business related activity, and those located in APAC do so in greater amounts, at 55 percent.

In a statement that accompanied the findings, Christophe Renard, VP of CWT Solutions Group, the consultancy arm of CWT, said that “travel managers need to address the misuse of company cards — and also work out why travelers don’t follow the rules.”

Renard continued that “the use of personal credit cards for business expenses means companies find it difficult to track spend — and that makes it a lot harder to enforce policies. If companies don’t want to issue credit cards to all employees – which is understandable – virtual credit cards are a useful compromise. Travelers don’t have to use their personal cards for business expenses, and companies know exactly how their money is being spent.”

Faster Payments/Faster Fraud in the UK?

As the United Kingdom moves to embrace faster payments, notes securityboulevard.com, transactions are irrevocable and so new fraud schemes may be on the rise. Some fraud — where scammers call their victims alerting them to the fact their accounts have been compromised (they have not, of course) and helping them move money to accounts never to be seen again — falls outside of existing consumer protection mandates.  Through the first half of this year that fraud has scored 145 million pounds from victims, through the practice known as social engineering. The site noted that regulators are mulling who will be on the hook to reimburse bank customers who have been victimized through no fault of their own.

Fraud Down Under

In Australia, specifically in the capital city of Canberra, investigations are in place — and have been ongoing — into a fraudulent invoice paid to what the Canberra Times reported was an “illegitimate” bank account. The funds were paid by the ACT’s public housing taskforce. The publication noted that the accounts, the individuals paid and the amounts paid have not been disclosed. The fraud took place through the falsification of bank account details, said the Times, and the recipient had posed as a legitimate contractor. As has been seen in other, somewhat similar instances documented in these pages, staff had not verified the account or recipient prior to sending payment.

A bit closer to home, in Ohio, federal investigators and law enforcement officials in Austintown are trying to nab a fraudster who allegedly pilfered $50,000 from a local business.  The firm paid someone posing as a supplier with a new payment method — and perhaps by now you may surmise that the supplier’s computer system had been hacked, and used to dupe the unwitting victim into sending payment.

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