We saw this release at the Wells website announcing the launch of what the bank is calling the WellsOne Virtual Card Payments Service. Most readers who follow the space will know that virtual cards have been growing at a rapid pace for the payables use case during the past five years given their relative safety and utility within A/P flows.
Since the pandemic began the demand for electronic payments has accelerated and with that market demand the acceptance of virtual cards by suppliers has also increased. Wells has been issuing virtual cards for more than ten years so we contacted them to learn about more about what the new offering provides.
We spoke with Mary Mazzochi, Wells’ Head of Global Commercial Card Payments, who elaborated a bit on the new platform. The solution includes a new user interface (UI) which provides easy navigation, integration with the user ERP and dashboards for instant analytics. In addition, suppliers can access the platform and choose how to get paid given the push, pull and API-based card options.
“With this new platform we focused on streamlining and simplifying the workflow experience for both buyers and suppliers. Focusing on both surfacing actionable items to the buyers and facilitating options for suppliers on how they want to receive virtual card payments, enabled the platform to deliver a more frictionless payment experience and improve the value of the card payments process” explained Mazzochi.
We had provided member research earlier this year about the trajectory of commercial card spending for 2020, which of course was not a pretty picture. However, despite the policy driven recession and disappearance of business travel, we still expected virtual cards use to maintain a level of growth over 2019 spend. We have just completed the series of Q4 virtual industry events (that typically occur on-site) and the overwhelming consensus is that the digital shift in financial operations will be a permanent trend, therefore good timing for Wells.
‘Wells Fargo also offers an automated, straight-through processing option, in which customers send virtual card payments directly to their suppliers’ banks. This process bypasses the need for any manual entry or interaction with suppliers, and gives customers control over payment timing as they are not dependent on suppliers to process the payments….The WellsOne Virtual Card Payments service helps make it easier to track, reconcile, and remit payments. Its intuitive dashboard with responsive design quickly surfaces items needing action while enhanced reporting identifies exceptions, monitors credit balances, and flags items that require repair. Other features include a robust audit trail, expanded search options, and access to 24 months of reporting data. Additionally, the WellsOne Commercial Card Supplier Analysis and Onboarding service helps customers engage suppliers and determine the best accounts to pay by card…TheWellsOne Commercial Card is a purchasing tool used by businesses of all sizes for procurement, travel and entertainment, account payable invoices, and transportation expenses.’
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group