Money Movement

Selecting the Right Commercial Credit Card Program for Your Business

    • line-maria-headshot.jpg
    • Maria Line

      Head of Commercial Card
      May 25 2022

Selecting the Right Commercial Credit Card Program for Your Business

Author: Maria Line, Managing Director, Commercial Card Account Management

In recent years, as the global pandemic changed how and where employees work, there has been a significant push to find better tools for working remotely. The need to digitally manage accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) has led to the continued adoption of B2B credit card payments. Companies of all sizes are seeking AP and AR automation while realizing the benefits of paying suppliers by card.

The Advantages of Paying by Card for Businesses

As businesses continue to move away from check payments, evolving digital payment options offer a fast and efficient way to pay suppliers and track payments. Credit cards, in particular, provide additional benefits that many companies find hard to ignore.

  • Flexible Terms: Since most commercial card programs allow businesses to choose their payment terms, companies are able to meet contractual obligations for payment deadlines. Credit cards can provide time to accumulate the cash needed to fund a payment. By choosing when they want to pay, businesses can take advantage of early pay rebates and negotiate payment terms with vendors to gain the maximum amount of float.

  • Added Security: Credit cards in general offer a more secure way for businesses to pay vendors compared to check or ACH payments. They also provide more recourse in the event of fraudulent activity. Virtual cards can reduce the risk of fraud even further by adding more controls.

  • Rebates and Rewards: Earning incentives is another benefit of making card payments. Banks and credit card issuers often incentivize the use of card payments by offering rewards, such as cash back, or rebates for paying early. Earning rebates and rewards may offset company expenses or even fund special projects or purchases.

Getting Your Business Ready to Make Card Payments

Before deciding to make card payments, businesses should involve all impacted parties in the decision-making process, including members of your sourcing, procurement and AP departments. By assembling a team of professionals from across your organization, you’ll be in the best position to formulate your strategy by answering critical questions, such as: 

  • What is your goal in implementing card payments? Is it in your best interest to maximize rebates and rewards, to gain efficiencies, or perhaps a combination of the two?
  • To whom and how are you making payments today? What types of vendors are you paying? Is it direct spend or indirect spend? Are you paying them with ACH, checks, cards or a combination?
  • Consider your timeline. Are you ready for this now or are there any competing business priorities that need to be completed beforehand?

Once you’ve decided on your goals and how to implement card payments for your business, it’s time to select the commercial card program that will meet your company’s goals.

How to Select the Right Commercial Credit Card Program for Your Business

There are many commercial credit card programs on the market to choose from, so you’ll want to review your options carefully and select a program and financial institution that aligns with your goals.

Whether you’re a large or small organization, look for a card issuer that that has a reputation for strong servicing and building relationships. Find out how far they will support your organization, by considering critical topics, such as:

  • Will the financial institution help guide you through the process of finding the right card and then deliver ongoing support to continuously optimize your program? For example, most businesses don’t have time to contact every vendor to find out if they will accept card payments, but some financial institutions will do this for you as part of the onboarding process.
  • Is the financial institution capable of growing with your company? For instance, can they extend additional credit if or when it becomes necessary to support your goals and priorities?
  • Does the financial institution provide a platform that is easily integrated with your current payments processes and technology, and will it add efficiency to your AP operations?
  • What else can the financial institution offer you as far as banking or payments services? Is there a potential for a larger relationship in the future or can you take advantage of one that already exists?

Finally, consider how innovative the card issuer is. The world of digital payments is evolving rapidly. A financial institution that stands on the cutting edge of innovation will be ready to support next-generation payments products as technology changes.

Contact FNBO’s Commercial Credit Card team to learn how we can help your business meet its payments needs.

About the Author

As the Head of Account Management, Maria Line optimizes commercial card programs to help organizations streamline their payments processes. She is also responsible for building FNBO’s supplier enablement organization, an initiative designed to provide further value to commercial clients. Her goal is to create a best-in-class experience for each and every customer.

The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.