Payment Solutions News | Quick Tips

Corporate Card Program Q&As


As you begin to build a corporate card program, you may experience some hesitancy to use the card or questions from your employees surrounding why a corporate card for travel & entertainment (T&E) spending is beneficial. We’ve put together answers to some typical questions that arise when implementing a corporate card program and hope these practical tips will help you maximize the success of your program.

How do I start a corporate card program for T&E spending?

There are a number of key steps to get started to maximize adoption and have a successful program.

  • Create a business case, highlighting key benefits for the company and travelers, while also identifying key challenges (and proposing strategies to tackle each of these challenges).
  • Develop a transition plan, with key milestones, roles and responsibilities.
  • Encourage senior executives to support the process and to lead by example.
  • Establish a company travel policy and communicate with travelers. According to a GBTA Foundation report, 79% of business travelers report their company’s travel policy plays a “large” or “very large” role on their decision when booking travel for work.
  • Work with your PNC implementation and account team, who can offer advice and provide tools to help you get the most from your corporate card programs.

How do I convince key internal company stakeholders to get on board with—and champion—the switch to corporate cards for business travel?

As you endeavor to build a company-wide consensus around the merits of switching to corporate cards for business travel, emphasize the specific benefits for each department.

  • Finance Department: reduced administrative burden, as well as opportunities to leverage the intel gained from spending reports to negotiate discounts with certain suppliers.
  • Sales Management: focus on traveling employee efficiency, less time spent in submitting expenses and fewer disputes.
  • IT Department: access to the PNC implementation team to facilitate the effective rollout of the corporate card program.
  • Senior Management: ability to both reduce costs and generate additional revenues for the company. Executives also will have access to the many features and benefits that come with Executive Cards, and can use their experience to set an example for other traveling employees.

A study from TSYS, a leading payments processor, revealed that while 68% of business travelers use a company card for travel expenses, 60% of business travelers also use their personal debit or credit card in addition to a company card. [1]

How do I encourage individual business travelers to switch from their personal cards to corporate cards for their business travel spending?

The key is to use a combination of carrot and stick. You may consider providing incentives for individuals to switch. However, at the same time, it should be made clear to employees that the company is moving to using corporate cards to pay for travel-related expenditures.

Additionally, there are a number of benefits for employees switching to corporate cards for T&E spending:

  • Less time needed to submit expenses and fewer disputes about them.
  • Access to a wide range of features and benefits with corporate cards, such as access to airline lounges, concierge services, chip and PIN functionality for an improved travel experience in PIN-preferring countries, as well as a wide range of travel protections (many of which are not available on personal credit cards).
  • No business travel spending potentially depleting their personal line of credit or having a negative impact on their personal credit score.

How can I protect against employee misuse of T&E spending?

Remember your clearly articulated company travel policy? It’s extremely important to implement the policy, as well as:

  • Mandate use of corporate cards for business travel spending. According to a recent AFP survey, while organizations reported a rise in payments fraud between 2015 and 2016, incidence of corporate card fraud has declined from 39% in 2015 to 32% in 2016 (an 18% decrease)[2].
  • Set controls/limits on corporate card spending. You can do this with merchant category code (MCC) restrictions or spending limits.
  • Use reporting tools to identify unusual spending patterns/potential misuse.

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Important Legal Disclosures & Information

  1. “T&E Card Programs: A Revealing, 360-Degree Look at Business Travelers’ and Travel Managers’ Needs,” TSYS, 2015.

  2. 2017 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, Association of Financial Professionals, 2017.

This Payment Solutions News was prepared for general information purposes and is not intended as legal, tax or accounting advice or as recommendations to engage in any specific transaction, and does not purport to be comprehensive. Under no circumstances should any information contained in this newsletter be used or considered as an offer or commitment, or a solicitation of an offer or commitment, to participate in any particular transaction or strategy. Any reliance upon any such information is solely and exclusively at your own risk. Please consult your own counsel, accountant or other advisor regarding your specific situation. Neither PNC Bank nor any other subsidiary of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.  (“PNC”) will be responsible for any consequences of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained here, or any omission.