When it comes to commercial card adoption, issuers and FinTechs can either reduce the friction of using and accepting cards, or they can sweeten the deal to encourage more traction. This week’s look at the latest in commercial card innovation explores how industry players wield one strategy or the other.
Lloyds, Visa Team For Straight-Through Corporate Card Processing
Straight-through processing can significantly ease the pain of accepting corporate card payments for B2B suppliers. In a recently announced partnership, financial institution (FI) Lloyds Bank has revealed a collaboration with Visa to enable straight-through processing (STP) of card payments for its clients using corporate cards. According to a press release, STP allows suppliers that accept cards to see funds land directly within their accounts without the need for the manual input of card details into back-end systems. For business payers, meanwhile, commercial cards open the opportunity for early payment discounts while still maintaining capital float.
“Partnering with Visa to add STP technology to our commercial cards is a direct result of us acting on a payments pain point for our clients,” James Sykes, head of commercial cards at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said in a statement. “STP turns the traditional supplier-initiated payments model on its head. It makes conversations around card payments easier, provides more control and insight over the transaction, and can help buyers and sellers improve their working capital.”
Read more: Lloyds Bank Teams With Visa To Offer Straight-Through Processing For Commercial Clients
Bookkeeper360 Loops Into Brex Card Data
Accounting and cash flow management software platform Bookkeeper360 is expanding its functionality with a new App Marketplace, as well as an integration with corporate card FinTech Brex. Using artificial intelligence (AI), Bookkeeper360 analyzes data to predict cash flow. That data and analysis can now be used to identify small business users of the platform that are eligible for a Brex card product, and will allow those SMBs to begin their application for a Brex card from directly within the Bookkeeper360 portal.
“We are so excited to launch our AI-powered marketplace, and I am pleased to share that we have prequalified $9 million in funding for customers to accelerate growth with our initial pilot segment,” said Nick Pasquarosa, the CEO of Bookkeeper360, in a statement.
You may also like: Bookkeeper360 Lets SMBs Access Capital, Payroll With Marketplace
SimpliFi Debuts Card-as-a-Service Offering
United Arab Emirates-based SimpliFi has officially emerged from beta after closing a seed funding round led by Raed Ventures, the company said in a recent announcement. SimpliFi offers a Card-as-a-Service platform, enabling other businesses, FinTechs and third parties to issue cards on demand while retaining their brand experience and customer relationships. The prepaid cards can be issued to employees who need to make purchases on behalf of their organizations, pay out delivery drivers and other gig economy workers, or for other use cases. SimpliFi did not disclose how much it raised, but did note that Rally Cap, Sukna Ventures and a series of angel investors also participated.
“Until now, banks have had exclusivity in issuing cards,” said Founder Ali Sattar in a statement. “We are changing that by empowering every business to become a payments company and participating in the benefits from financial ownership, without the underlying complexities and hassle.”
American Express Ups Its Business Card Perks
American Express is elevating its reward offerings on two business card products, the firm recently announced. The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express and the American Express Blue Business Cash Card will offer newcomers a promotional 0 percent API for 12 months. American Express also introduced enhanced Membership Rewards earning power for the Blue Business Plus Credit Card, as well as enhanced cash-back rewards for the Blue Business Cash Card. Both products integrate with QuickBooks and allow business users to spend beyond their credit limit based on factors like payment history and credit records.