With corporate travel still on pause, commercial card innovation has taken a different direction. This week's look at the latest initiatives explores how FinTechs are wielding the corporate card in ways other than business trips, from accessing credit for accounts payable to financing employee lunches. Elsewhere, a cyberattack raises concerns about the vulnerability of employee data when commercial card information is compromised.
Nium Uses Cards For Credit
Nium, formerly known as InstaReM, is rolling out a new B2B solution designed to help small businesses access credit from their card products. In a recent announcement, the Singapore company revealed its BizPay solution, an online platform enabling businesses to use their existing commercial cards and converting their credit limit into working capital to pay suppliers.
It's a tool that not only expands availability of capital to businesses, but can support the payment of supplier invoices to vendors that don't normally accept cards. At the same time, Nium noted, the tool also reduces the fees associated with card payments for small businesses.
"In these unprecedented times that call for frugality like never before, the opportunity to [maximize] cash flow using resources that are already available is invaluable," said Nium Global Head of Commercial Payments Sanjiv Razdan in a statement, adding that most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with commercial card products today tend to use the tool for business travel and expenses. Today, due to the pandemic, those cards are going unused.
Cognizant Cyberattack Hits Biz Cards
Cognizant Technology Solutions, an IT solutions company, recently revealed it was targeted in a ransomware attack in April, and it's the firm's corporate credit cards that suffered the bulk of the impact. Reports in the Times of India said Cognizant has informed both its employees and authorities in its home state of California that most of the personal information stolen in the ransomware attack was linked to its corporate credit cards used by employees.
"We regret that this incident occurred and take the security of your personal information seriously," said Cognizant Chief People Officer Becky Schmitt in a letter sent to employees and regulators. All employees with an active company card have been notified of the data breach.
Financially, Cognizant said it estimates the impact of the ransomware attack could be between $50 million and $70 million. But additional damage — which is not as measurable — is likely to affect employee trust. The case may also signal an opportunity for commercial card issuers and solution providers to develop more robust anti-fraud measures.
Swile Lands VC For Corporate Meal Card
Commercial card innovation continues to migrate toward areas like accounts payable and expense management, but one France-based startup, Swile, is wielding corporate card technology for another use case. The firm, previously known as Lunchr, offers businesses a payment card solution for employees to finance their lunches.
As reports in TechCrunch noted, the corporate meal voucher industry has seen its fair share of digitization as solution providers offer prepaid card solutions in lieu of paper vouchers. Swile aims to build on that progress, providing greater spend control and visibility for businesses that allow employees to link an account to a debit card with an imposed spending limit.
The company has just secured a $78.7 million Series C venture capital investment led by Index ventures, while Bpifrance and Idinvest also participated, according to reports. With the funds, Swile plans to expand into another corporate card product: gift cards, which can be given out by corporate executives to employees for holiday gifts, for instance.