With cash flow constraints dominating the headlines, financial service providers are introducing a slew of new products and services to help small businesses strengthen their financial standings amid the coronavirus crisis. The commercial credit card is increasingly viewed as a critical tool for these small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in need of fast access to credit, but many financial institutions are going further to nix fees on their card programs, including card products for small firms.
Other banks and B2B FinTechs, meanwhile, have found additional ways to wield the power of the commercial card this week. Some are using the tool to accelerate access to revenue or financing for businesses, while others have adjusted rewards programs for the new reality of stay-at-home staff. PYMNTS rounds up the latest in commercial card innovation below.
Comdata Fuel Cards Facilitate Factoring
Comdata, a FLEETCOR company, is putting its fuel card offering to a new use for shippers to accelerate access to payments. The company announced the launch of Comdata QuickPay, an invoice factoring solution powered by Metabank division Crestmark. The tool offers financing for fleet owners to receive capital on loads they have delivered instead of waiting the traditional 30 days for customers to make payments. Users can receive funds same-day via their Comdata fuel cards, the company noted.
PayRange Accelerates Vending Machine Capital
PayRange is another FinTech using card products to accelerate access to capital for businesses and professionals. The company has launched a new solution for the operators of vending machines to immediately access revenue from those machines via their debit cards. In a statement, PayRange CTO Prashant Kanhere said the solution is designed to provide financial support to unattended retail operators like vending machine operators, who are “providing an essential service during this global crisis.” Operators can see mobile transactions settled in near-real time, with the ability to withdraw those funds via their debit card at ATMs.
Brex Offers Work-From-Home Rewards
With more employees working remotely, commercial card FinTech Brex has introduced a new rewards feature that allows corporates using the Brex Card for Corporates to opt-in to reward bonus categories designed for work-from-home staff. Purchase categories offer added reward for spending on tools like remote worker collaboration technologies and feed delivery, as opposed to the traditional reward categories of dinging out and travel, according to NerdWallet reports.
Banks Nix SMB Card Fees
As more financial institutions introduce a slew of relief efforts, from new, low-interest loan products to lower or eliminated fees, Associated Bank has announced that it will waive fees and not assess fees for late payments or over-limit spending — a feature the bank said will apply for both consumer and small business credit cards. Reports in Forbes noted several other financial institutions have similarly introduced measures to ease the burden of card fees on their small business customers, including Huntington National Bank.
Plastiq Raises $75M For SMB Card Technology
While coronavirus uncertainty has spread to the venture capital world, B2B FinTech Plastiq still managed to secure $75 million in new funding led by B Capital Group. The Series D investment also saw participation from Kleiner Perkins, Khosla Ventures, Accomplice and Top Tier Capital Partners. Plastiq aims to promote small business commercial card adoption by enabling small businesses to make payments via cards even when vendors don’t accept them, allowing funds to land at sellers via ACH, checks or wire. The company plans to enhance its product offering with the new funding as it explores value-added features like spend analytics and working capital benefits for small businesses.