How virtual card payments are transforming the travel industry By Kelly Cleeton, Senior Director

Virtual cards have grown out of the travel industry over the past two decades to become one of the most exciting payments technologies around. Innovative new uses are being developed all the time, with individual travellers now enjoying the benefits long experienced by corporations.

As virtual cards migrate into digital wallets, business users are beginning to enjoy an experience that had until now been more common in the consumer space.

With the landscape evolving so fast, and with so much in flux, we’ve created a report to showcase real-world virtual card use cases to help you understand the technology behind what we do, and more importantly, how it could be applied within your business.

From travel and expense to business-to-business (B2B) supplier payments and more, take a look at the rise and rise of virtual card payments, here.

Customer feedback is an integral part of our product development. Over the years, we have been able to incorporate this information as we develop the innovative virtual payment technology that creates huge efficiencies for our customers. Don’t just take our word for it, check out our latest case study to see how we helped National Corporate Housing streamline their business processes with virtual card payment.

Providing your employees with virtual card payment technology means that they no longer have to spend their own money on business expenses. When it comes to almost any purchase, a virtual card can be created to cover the cost – and better yet, they are welcomed anywhere that accepts Visa.

When it comes to travel, the benefits are obvious.

Rather than splashing their own money and beginning a tiring, fiddly expenses process, employees can simply request a virtual card. One can be created instantly, dispatched and purchases made – simple. ‘Big ticket’ items, such as flights, hotels and transfers, can all be paid for, without any financial impact on the traveller.

In cases where old-fashioned plastic cards are still employed, limits can be reduced, as most of the spending is now running through our virtual card platforms.

The Conferma Pay app now allows you to download virtual cards to a mobile wallet – meaning funds can be used for ‘on trip’ expenses too. Travellers can buy a coffee, pay for a taxi or take a client out for a meal, all paid for with the tap of a mobile phone.

Gone are the days of losing your plastic card down the back of the sofa! Virtual cards are impossible to lose – everything is digital.

The technology offers strict control over where money can be spent – making the enforcement of travel policies a great deal easier. We can place limits on how much can be spent on incidentals at a hotel, for example, or control when a card expires to make sure funds are spent at appropriate times.

Back at head office, things are better still.

Virtual cards can offer extremely rich data – if a traveller is using a plastic company card, all you might see is the date of the transaction, the name of the merchant and a total value. There is nothing on location, or the reason for travel. This information – and a great deal more – is included in all virtual card transactions.

Corporate travel managers have access to a wealth of consolidated information, all in one place, and it gives great visibility over spending. Every transaction for every trip is logged, making it easy to track how much is being spent, by whom, on what and when. This makes planning for the future a great deal easier, with trends clearly visible.

A virtual card is unique – it is created for a specific trip and can only be used for this journey – also making them a great deal more secure.

Guest travel is a growing area for virtual card use – transferring funds to people who are not employees of the company. This can be useful during recruitment, working with contractors or when you work with outside consultants. There is no messy reimbursement process, or chasing receipts, everything happens automatically.

Finally, we have also recently partnered with Thrust Carbon to give an overview of the environmental impact of travel – something which has proved tremendously valuable to our customers. Our spending data is seamlessly correlated with CO2 emission data, be that a flight or hotel stay, and shared with the user. Over time, we hope knowing the impact of travel will drive virtual card users to explore more environmentally friendly forms of transport.

These are just some of the many features of virtual card technology. Dive deeper with our new report – The rise and rise of virtual cards – to see how virtual card technology is transforming the travel industry.

About Conferma Pay

Conferma Pay is a global financial technology company. We design and integrate virtual payment systems that provides a more efficient, seamless and secure way to pay for for businesses.

Travel Meets Payment

Conferma Pay was born in Manchester in 2005. Since then we have connected over 700 TMCs, and directly integrate with all the major GDSs and OBTs. Our roots lie in corporate travel payment integration.

We enable our payment providers to flow virtual cards into the preferred purchasing process of any business travel buyer. Crucial to this is our network of banking partners, who have issued virtual cards in over 200 countries, in 40 currencies with over 45 commercial banking partners via all major card networks.

Our ecosystem continues to expand to meet the growing requirements of our global customer base.

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