Though commercial card innovation has recently hit an acceleration point, there is still plenty of room for progress.
A recent report from J.D. Power took one key friction point of the small business (SMB) credit card market to task. According to its inaugural U.S. Small Business Credit Card Satisfaction Study, businesses are twice as likely as consumers to switch credit card brands, with many small businesses serving “relatively low” scores for issuers’ rewards, benefits and services.
“Business credit card issuers are doing a great job with relationship-building, getting the formula right on dedicated account management, customized reporting and digital tools. But they may have a blind spot when it comes to the product itself,” said J.D. Power Director of Wealth and Lending Intelligence John Cabell in a statement. “Basics like credit card terms, and benefits and services, are the lowest-scoring factors in our study. That’s important because these perks are the keys to new customer acquisition and existing customer retention — areas where business credit card issuers have a clear weak spot.”
This week’s exploration of commercial card innovation looks at how top players in commerce and payments are attempting to fill adoption gaps. Some are focusing on geography, looking at markets with significant room for commercial cards to gain traction. Others are turning toward collaboration and the developer community to more easily create their own corporate card solutions, and explore new use cases.
Walmart Boosts Cards For India SMBs
The card is geared toward SMBs that procure goods from Walmart India’s B2B wholesale stores, known as its Best Price Modern Wholesale “B2B Cash & Carry” stores. Walmart India President and CEO Krish Iyer said in an interview with The Economic Times that the card product marks the first time its kirana and other SMB members will be able to use credit when making purchases online, as well as in-store. The collaboration also reflects the opportunity for corporate credit card products in markets beyond the U.S.
“Small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the Indian economy,” said HFDC Bank Country Head of Payments Business and Marketing Parag Rao in a statement. “We are, therefore, delighted that we have this special card offering exclusively for retailers in this segment, which will give them easy access to credit for all their business expenses, with exceptional rewards.”
Razorpay Links Businesses To Cards
In another initiative promoting commercial card products in India, payment processing firm Razorpay announced a slew of new financial services for startups, businesses and gig workers in the country, including a payment card. Designed to address underbanked professionals, Razorpay’s corporate card offering aims to connect small business owners with credit in a climate in which many cannot access traditional bank loans or corporate credit cards from their banks.
“While [the] personal banking ecosystem in India has scaled tremendously in recent years, business banking is still old-school,” explained Razorpay Founder and CEO Harshil Mathur in a statement. “Most processes are still manual, and there is no communication among your invoice, payroll [and] booking systems. People have to deal with spreadsheet files.”
The firm’s corporate card offering is integrated with businesses’ existing platforms, including Razorpay’s B2B neobanking platform designed to streamline transactions, payables, payrolls and more.
Eika Invests In Corporate Card Innovation
Eika Gruppen — a group of 77 banks across Norway to supply products and services for financial institutions — is bolstering its commercial card offering through an investment into payments technology firm EedenBull.
With a focus on the user experience, Eika will connect its member banks to EedenBull’s payment solutions, including its corporate card and expense management tool, as well as its newest offering: a platform for businesses and not-for-profits to obtain greater visibility and control over employee spend through a card program.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. According to an announcement about the investment, though, EedenBull is in discussions with 20 additional banks around the Nordic region to supply its services.
In a statement, EedenBull CEO Nicki Bisgaard said that the acquisition is “a testament to our ability to provide significant value to banks and their customers through combining our expertise and experience with payments, with access to and utilization of new technologies. We are excited about the opportunity we have to not only embrace change in the way consumers and businesses think about payments, but continue to take a leading role in setting the agenda, and driving change.”
Galileo Looks To Developers For B2B Card Innovation
Card issuing API provider Galileo recently deployed its Galileo Instant Issuing, a solution designed to enable developers and FinTech firms to integrate the ability to instantly issue debit cards for users.
While the technology was designed for a range of use cases, Galileo noted in its announcement that the solution can be useful for businesses that need to issue physical cards to pay hourly or daily employees in the gig economy, or to issue debit cards and generate bank accounts for employees to make payroll payments. The solution can also be used for businesses and corporates to issue debit cards for workers to make purchases on behalf of their companies.
The company is working with Mastercard, which is adding Galileo Instant Issuing into Mastercard Accelerate to expand developers’ access to Galileo’s suite of APIs and its Dashboard tool, enabling developers and FinTech firms to manage the cards they issue.