Corporate bank card

Company card vs. business card: what are the differences?

The company card and the business card are both professional cards with their advantages and disadvantages: we compare.

Company card

Company card vs. business card: what are the differences?

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Corporate and business cards: issues, similarities and differences

Common objectives

Professional expenses better monitored and controlled

Business cards are a means of payment that allow better traceability of expenses incurred by employees in the course of their work.

Reducing the risk of fraud

They provide more visibility and control, which helps to reduce fraud related to false expense claims.

Reduce the management of expense accounts

Credit card payments also reduce the costly and time-consuming management of expense reports.

Avoiding the advance payment of costs by employees

Employees who travel can use a company business card or a business card. In one case, they do not advance business expenses. In the other case, they are reimbursed before they are charged.

Save time

They also save time when purchasing and do not need to wait for the company's validation to make their payment by credit card.

Business card: definition and operation

Usually deferred debit cards

Deferred debit business cards (or credit cards) are generally the most widely used. They are debited from the employee's bank account at the end of the month, which theoretically gives the company more time to reimburse the employee's expenses before they are debited (except for withdrawing money: ATM withdrawals are deducted as they are made).

More likely to be found in large groups

Large groups have more employees and therefore more expenses. They favour security (card debited from the employee's current account ), secure spending (payment limits set, card can be activated at selected suppliers, etc.) and cash flow control (expense report validated after payment). 

Company card: definition and functioning

More for SMEs and startups

The company card is a means of payment similar to the credit card. It can be international and handle several currencies (the Visa and Mastercard cards can be used in France and abroad), with immediate debit (debit card) or deferred debit. In both cases, it debits the account of the company (the cardholder). This operation requires greater trust in employees, who are nevertheless empowered. Employees gain in agility since they no longer have to pay in advance and wait for reimbursements that are sometimes long.

Summary of the main differences between business and corporate cards

The first difference between the business payment card and company cards (reloadable prepaid card, company e-card, etc.) is the debit account: business cards debit the employee's account, whereas company cards debit the company's account. 

The second difference between these two types of payment cards is the type of debit. In general, business cards are deferred debit (the amount is debited at the end of the month, on the last working day) whereas corporate cards are more immediate debit. 

How do I choose between a business card and a company card?

The advantages and disadvantages of the business card

The deferred payment method gives the company more time to reimburse employees (although in reality reimbursements may take longer). Employees lose time filling in their expense claims and lost receipts prevent reimbursement. 

The business card makes it possible to secure expenses and control cash flow because the amount of the card can be capped, the card can be activated with certain suppliers and the validation of expense claims is carried out after payment... but it takes time: entry by the employee, then control, approval and re-entry by the company. It also costs money, particularly because of the increased risk of errors or VAT fraud.

The advantages and disadvantages of the company card

Among the many advantages of the company card: it is debited directly to the company's account, which reduces the need for employees to pay in advance. The company also has greater visibility of its overall expenditure thanks to the monthly bank statement. And transactions cannot be duplicated, which avoids the risk of fraudulent use.

But employees must continue to use the expense account and attach invoices to justify VAT reimbursement to URSSAF. And some employees may be tempted to spend more than is reasonable, as they no longer have to advance the expenses. But these cases are isolated in a small structure where employees are made responsible.

The new corporate cards: operation and benefits

Virtual CB

The virtual bank card is ideal for online and mobile payments: it can be used at a merchant's payment terminal through an electronic payment solution accessible via Google Pay and Apple Pay (contactless payment). It makes online payments secure: the card information changes with each purchase or expiry date. It also helps to keep control of subscriptions (by setting the card's validity period) and budgets (by capping spending on a supplier). 

Among the advantages of the virtual card: they can be configured and personalised. You can define a payment limit and a validity period as well as a withdrawal limit (personalised cards) to control your employees' spending. To obtain a virtual card and make a purchase, all you have to do is create a card in your customer area on the platform, display the card information (card number and expiry date, which are indicated on the physical card - on the front - cryptogram on the back, and confidential code - or secret code or PIN code) with reinforced authentication and then pay for your purchases on the Internet with the 3D Secure security system. Lastly, there are no issuing fees (bank fees linked to the physical card), unlike the physical card.

The virtual bank card also simplifies the management of expense reports. The mobile application allows you to take a photo of the receipt linked to the card expense, import it into the platform and validate the transaction. Bank reconciliation is made easier, accounting entries are generated automatically and the risk of errors is considerably reduced or even completely eliminated: your accounting management is more secure and more efficient.

All expenses incurred with virtual cards are recorded in bank statements and fed back into the application where they are consolidated in one place. This makes it possible to control them in real time (activation, deactivation, setting the ceiling, the period of validity, making a stop payment, etc.) and to have an overall view of all professional expenses in order to optimise budget management

This expense management tool is integrated into a global pre-accounting software package that manages all activities related to expense management (reporting, bank reconciliation, purchase requisitions, expense reports) and invoices (customer and supplier accounting).

Finally, you can benefit from a 0.2% retrocession on the total expenses incurred.

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