While small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) continue to hustle to secure portions of various federal coronavirus relief funding, the commercial card industry is finding itself in a position to support SMBs and their cash flow needs, too.
Whether through accelerating payments to suppliers or by integrating spend analytics functionality, this week’s look at the latest commercial card innovation efforts finds an array of finserv players promoting commercial card acceptance and adoption to strengthen SMBs’ financial positions.
Boost Finds A Surge In Corporate Card Interest
As organizations are scrambling to digitize their B2B payment processes in a remote work environment and prioritize liquidity management to mitigate volatility, Boost Payment Solutions Founder and CEO Dean M. Leavitt told Karen Webster that he’s witnessed a recent surge of interest in commercial cards.
“Everybody’s really concerned about cash,” he said. “The card as a credit instrument is very much on a lot of people’s minds.”
While corporate buyers are embracing cards to extend their capital, suppliers have also shown growing interest in card acceptance to encourage accelerated payments, added Leavitt. As more organizations embrace cards to digitize their B2B payments, Leavitt also predicted shifts in corporates’ credit profiles and card issuers’ underwriting strategies as a result of the current market environment.
WEX Reorganizes Corporate Payments Team
Commercial payments company WEX announced recently announced a reorganization of its corporate payments team, with Mark Aquilina named its new senior vice president of product and strategy of corporate payment solutions.
The company is preparing a reorganization of its corporate payment solutions operations as it focused on developing “cloud-native solutions on a microservices-based architecture,” the firm said.
Visa Fuels Supplier Card Acceptance
In a collaboration with Visa, Billhop announced a new initiative in Ireland aimed at facilitating supplier commercial card acceptance.
The companies’ recent announcement noted Billhop’s service allows businesses to pay vendors via commercial card regardless if that supplier is onboarded to the Billhop platform and regardless if the company accepts card payments.
“More and more small businesses are turning to card as their payment method of choice for convenience and simplicity but also for easier tracking,” said Philip Konopik, Visa’s country manager for Ireland, in a statement.
Neat Targets Global Entrepreneurs
Hong Kong’s Neat recently announced new funding for its financial service offering that targets entrepreneurs with global ambitions. In addition to its multi-currency business account offering, Neat is also connecting its SMB users with a corporate expense card product as a result of a partnership with Visa.
“Our goal is to offer a truly global solution for businesses that trade across borders, regardless of their size or how long they’ve been in the market,” said David Rosa, CEO and co-founder of Neat, in a statement. “Corporate credit cards, for example, can be incredibly difficult for young businesses to get.”
The firm secured $11 million from investors led by Pacific Century Group, while Visa, MassMutual Southeast Asia, and others also participated.
Nium, Aspire Link With Visa for Biz Cards, Too
Also announcing a partnership with Visa is global FinTech company Nium (formerly known as InstaRem) as well as Aspire, which will debut its Aspire Corporate Card integrated to its flagship Business Account.
With a focus on cash flow management and spend analytics, the card will target SMBs in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. Aspire said it plans to expand its SMB services through collaborations with other third-party FinTechs, with Nium a partner that will enable corporate card issuance via application programming interface (API).
“Our collaboration with Visa also allows us to issue cards in a shorter time, fast-tracking integration of digital capabilities and allowing quicker and easier access to capital,” said Aspire CEO and Co-Founder Andrea Baronchelli in a statement.
UK Urges Higher Public P-Card Limits
As suppliers struggle to maintain their order-to-cash cycles with some corporate buyers delaying payment, the U.K. Cabinet Office is now urging public entities and other public bodies to use their procurement cards to accelerate payments to vendors. The Procurement Policy Note also advises those public entities to discuss higher transaction and monthly spending limits with their p-card issuers in an effort to migrate more government spend to cards and hasten payments to vendors.