When choosing a card provider, the following factors are worth thinking about:
Understand your company’s needs
Different sizes and types of businesses will have different requirements for their business cards. Think about what you want your business cards to deliver: Do you have any particular cost savings or other efficiencies you want to achieve? Do you want to have better control of your employees’ expenditure? For multi-nationals, in which countries do you want to implement the programme? Most companies want a business card that will save on costs associated with travel and entertainment expense management processes as well as providing improved data about spending – and thus improve control.
Is the reporting system effective?
Find out how the card provider reports data, as this can provide real benefits in terms of streamlining processes and cost savings. A good system will allow you to keep track of employee expenditure on any specific supplier. Having a better knowledge of spending patterns will help you when negotiating favourable rates with your suppliers and help you to monitor employee compliance with company policies. If you are using the same scheme provider globally, you will also be able to consolidate card spend data from all your subsidiaries.
Is the Scheme provider internationally accepted?
The countries where your company operates will determine which card provider you should use. It is more efficient if your business card is available wherever your employees go and that it is adapted to their local needs in terms of support, language, regulatory environment, and settlement in local currency.
Ensure there is good implementation support
You should request a clear project plan and timeline for implementing the rollout of business cards within your company and you should receive support from your card provider on choosing the required features for your business card.
Check the local customer service in your cardholder locations and business travel destinations. Make sure that the card provider has a 24-hour telephone helpline for card users wherever they are. Check that the service is available in the language of all the countries where you have operations and ensure that your employees have ready access to the contact details. Always ensure that if your employee uses the card abroad regularly, that the card company has access to the employee’s contact details – to avoid your employee being abroad without a fully operational card.
Understand the business case
Have a good understanding of the card provider’s fee structure. How much will you be charged per card? What commission will you pay on foreign transactions? These costs need to be balanced against the savings achieved through increased efficiency. A corporate card programme should help you significantly reduce the number of processes associated with travel and entertainment management.