With many small businesses struggling to manage cash flow, access loans or secure a portion of government funding, some experts say more of them could turn to commercial cards to support their funding needs.
Small business owners should examine their options carefully, however, and understanding current and future cash flow is key to assessing whether using small business credit cards could be beneficial. In this week’s look at the latest in commercial card news, experts explore the card opportunity for SMB cash flow, while one industry player names new leadership. Elsewhere, one financial institution (FI) in the Middle East embraces corporate cards to facilitate deposits, and an expanded partnership targets friction in travel B2B payments.
Experts Tout SMB Cards For Cash Flow
The current pandemic has put cash flow management and cost-cutting front and center for small business owners, many of whom are struggling to survive store closures. Recent reports in CNBC explored the role of the small business credit card in supporting SMBs’ cash flow management needs, particularly amid ongoing challenges to secure Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding.
The publication spoke with Eddie Davis, a small business financial expert with FINSYNC, who explained that small business card products can help business owners finance necessary purchases while waiting for PPP funding.
“Tracking cash flow is more important than ever,” he said, advising small businesses to track their anticipated revenue flows over the coming weeks and months to better plan for spending levels. SMBs should also consider whether they will be forced to carry balances on their card accounts past any introductory zero percent APR offers, and calculate how much money they will need to pay each month to avoid interest accruals.
Also driving opportunity for small business credit cards, said Davis, is the fact that many suppliers are struggling with cash flow, and therefore may be more willing to accept card payments.
Bento For Business Names New Leadership
Bento for Business, a corporate expense management technology provider that links firms with physical and virtual cards, has named new leadership. In a press release this week, Guido Schulz was named the company’s CEO. He will work alongside Bento’s Co-founder and Chairman Farhan Ahmad, the firm’s first CEO, to drive further growth.
In a statement, Schulz said, “Now, more than ever, expense reduction is the single largest area of opportunity for our customers.” Cards, particularly virtual cards, can empower businesses to set customizable limits on employee spend based on supplier, spend category, limit and other metrics, while the digitization of the transaction supports automatic aggregation of spend data for expense reports and analysis.
QIIB Wields Cards For Corporate Deposits
In the Middle East, Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) is introducing a new service for its corporates that use cards not to make payments, but to make deposits. The bank recently announced its Corporate Cash Deposit Card offering, enabling corporate customers to use cards to make deposits at various ATMs throughout the country. The functionality of the product is limited in an effort to promote privacy and security, the bank said, noting that users cannot use the card to obtain information on account balances or make any transfers or withdrawals.
In a statement, QIIB Deputy CEO Jamal Abdullah Al Jamal pointed to the value of ATM-powered deposits at a time when corporate executives cannot visit physical bank branches.
“Our customers can now benefit from most banking services without the need to visit the branches. These are the new generation services that we worked on to provide to various categories of our customers,” he said. “The Corporate Cash Deposit Card is a qualitative addition to our corporate alternative channels that are constantly being enhanced.”
Voxel Group Streamlines B2B Travel Card Payments
In an expanded collaboration with travel booking technology firm Juniper, the electronic transaction platform baVel, which targets the travel industry and is operated by Voxel Group, is aiming to streamline electronic B2B payments via cards and other payment methods. Juniper and baVel have a longstanding integration that allows for the sending and receiving of electronic invoices. Now, travel companies using Juniper will also be able to integrate directly with various payment providers, including WEX, American Express, Barclaycard and eNett, highlighting the importance of corporate card payments in the B2B travel space.