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Expense management cards: A smarter way to handle employee expenses

How expense management cards will help automate expenses for your customers and their employees, improve the stickiness of your platform, and introduce new revenue streams for your business.

30 April, 2024
 ·  6 minutes

If you’re offering an expense management or employee benefits solution, you’ll know how important simplicity and automation are for your customers. No one wants to waste hours manually reviewing expense reports, processing claims, or resolving disputes. Too often employee expense management becomes a chore rather than an opportunity to add value.

That’s where expense management cards come in.

Expense management cards are an effective way of automating employee expense management, making everyone’s lives easier and your customers happier. By partnering with a card issuing platform, you’ll be able to offer white-label expense management cards to your customers. These can then be issued to their users or employees for company-related expenses.

This article examines how a physical or virtual card issuing programme can benefit your business, your customers, and their employees. And we’ll explore the options you have for setting up your programme.

Benefits of expense management cards

Offering expense management cards will benefit everyone involved in the expense process, from your customers to their users and, ultimately, your business.

For users/employees

From a user perspective, the expense process usually involves a lot of manual work. Employees need to spend their own money upfront, save receipts, submit expense reports, and wait days, if not weeks, to get reimbursed. Not only does this become a personal cash-flow issue, it also takes up valuable time.

With expense management cards the expense process becomes as simple as any other payment experience. Your customers can pre-fund and set spending controls on the cards so employees don’t need to spend their money upfront and worry about what they can and can’t claim for. Plus, all the card data will automatically flow into your system, so employees don’t need to save the receipts and report their expenses later, saving a lot of time and energy.

For your customers

Dealing with expenses is time-consuming. Even after spending hours creating guidelines to simplify the process, employees may still need guidance on how to submit expenses, what they can expense, and how to upload receipts. Plus, once an employee submits an expense report, your customers must review, approve, and process the claims. Managers then need to review every expense report and resolve disputes when mistakes happen.

With expense management cards, all this work goes away. Your customers can set spending controls based on location, time, and types of businesses. They can apply these preset rules at the management, department, or employee level. This automates expense approvals in real-time and removes the need to approve each expense report manually. There’s no need for reimbursements since the cards are linked to the company’s funds and the process is done as soon as the expense is made.

For your business

In a highly competitive environment, offering a physical or virtual card-issuing solution that streamlines expense management will help increase the stickiness of your platform and attract more customers. On top of that, your business will receive part of the interchange fee, opening up a new revenue stream.

How to issue expense management cards

There are various ways to set up a physical or virtual card issuing programme for your expense or spend management solution. Traditionally you’d have to choose from ‘processor only’ or ‘programme managed’. But we can offer you an alternative.

Processor only card issuing

With the processor-only setup, the card provider is responsible for processing card payments. You manage your card issuing programme and all the partnerships involved. This requires a lot of time and resources from your side. You need to find a bank partner, manage the approval of the card programme with the bank and card networks, and ensure compliance. 

Further, dealing with multiple parties makes it difficult to expand to new markets. Each provider has different ways of integrating. Plus, if you're dealing with different providers for each region, it will be hard to be consistent. Even when you successfully develop this complex multi-party setup, there may still be delays in cash flow and reporting.

Programme managed card issuing

With this setup, the card provider takes care of your card programme and the partnerships involved. This removes some of the complexity. However, since multiple parties are involved, there’s still a risk of errors, slower speed to market, and inconsistent experiences. 

The more third parties you tie together in a solution, the more links you create in the chain of operation. If one link breaks, the whole chain could crash. This can happen for many reasons, like a technical error, one of the parties going out of business, or downtime. Either way, you will have very little control.

A new approach to card issuing

To ensure you can focus on providing the highest level of service to your customers, instead of managing different integrations and contracts, we have come up with an elegant solution.

With our card issuing solution, there’s only one party involved. You only need one agreement and integration to launch a programme and add cards to your offering. We manage every aspect of the card issuing solution in-house without any complex setups consisting of third parties and external contracts. This makes it much easier to launch your card programme, eliminating the need for extra manual work, and reducing the risk of errors. So, you’ll have more time to focus on driving value for your business and customers. 

We also support virtual card issuing so users can pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay instead of a physical card. This is fast and cost-efficient and a great way to pilot a card programme.

Scaling your employee expenses management card programme with Adyen

Once you've launched your employee expenses management card programme you might want to expand across new regions - while maintaining the same exceptional standards, of course. Since we build everything in-house and don't rely on third parties, you can expand to other markets quickly and ensure the experience is the same everywhere. 

We can issue cards in all European Economic Area countries, the US, and the UK since we have full banking licenses in most of these markets. Employees can use their cards in any country where Visa or Mastercard is accepted. And we provide a wide range of currencies across regions and cover other currencies with Foreign Exchange services.

Adyen is the only financial technology provider that is a licensed issuer and acquirer offering a true end-to-end payment setup that is fully built in-house. This lets you expand and accept online payments and go beyond expense management card issuing to provide other financial products, such as capital or accounts.

Are you ready to enhance your employee expense management offering with a new way of issuing?

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