There is a continued laser-focus of card networks, issuers and payment service providers on expanding the reach of virtual cards in the B2B invoicing space. This piece simply indicates that opportunity is seen among smaller businesses, where payables automation has generally had the lowest penetration. Visa is partnering to deliver virtual card payment services through fintech startup Viewpost, which specializes in e-invoicing and payments for the small-medium-business (SMB) market.
The virtual credit cards allow businesses to make payments with a secure single-use account number rather than worrying about security risks associated with a physical card. While large organizations have had the money to implement virtual card payments already, smaller firms have been daunted by the time and the cost required to make accounting systems changes, coordinate with banks and obtain payee data for each supplier.
Mercator follows the B2B payments space closely and has published reports detailing robust virtual card expected growth through the end of the decade in mid-to-large market companies. The massive B2B payments market certainly has enough room for virtual card penetration into small businesses, generally a greenfield opportunity. To achieve some of the benefits associated with virtual card payments, SMBs can adopt direct solutions or integrate through other accounting software and ERPs. Details of the partnership are not available, but follows on from similar recent announcements with other payments fintechs Bottomline and MineralTree.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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