10 benefits of virtual corporate cards for Singapore SMEs

Alice Wong3 minutes
10 benefits of virtual corporate cards for Singapore SMEs
In this article
  • What are virtual corporate cards?
  • 5 benefits of a virtual card vs a physical card
  • Airwallex Borderless Card: the virtual card for your SME

Physical corporate cards still have their place in today’s workplace, but virtual corporate cards are quickly gaining ground. In fact, a new study shows that 42% of businesses intend to use virtual cards to fund their planned growth strategies and unplanned spending in 2024

With virtual cards, businesses can navigate their working capital with greater flexibility and control. Let’s explore how virtual corporate cards work, and why this innovative financial tool can help your SME achieve smarter and more efficient financial management. 

What are virtual corporate cards?

As the name suggests, virtual corporate cards are debit or credit cards that are generated online. Instead of a physical plastic card, virtual cards come with a randomly-generated 16-digit number, card verification number and expiry date. They can be processed by Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. 

You use virtual cards the same way you use their physical counterpart. For online transactions, simply enter the card information into the payment field. For real-world transactions, add the card details into a mobile wallet like Apple Pay or Google Pay, and use your devices to pay.

5 benefits of a virtual card vs a physical card

Virtual payment cards are changing the way businesses make payments. Here are 5 major benefits of virtual cards that you won’t get with physical bank cards.

Ease of issuance and use 

Gone are the days where you’d share corporate cards across several team members, or wait weeks for your corporate card application to get processed by the bank. Virtual cards can be instantly issued to multiple team members responsible for paying specific business expenses.

By eliminating payment bottlenecks, your business can move at a much faster pace by allowing the purchase of new software and equipment without delays. Purchase requests will no longer sit ‘pending’ for weeks while your staff wait for the greenlight to make the purchase.

Better oversight of business expenses

With virtual cards, you get improved oversight and management over your business’ cash flow. Purchases made against this card are then automatically logged into your card management system. Everything is neatly processed, labelled, and accounted for, meaning no more mystery payments.

Each payment is allocated to the specific staff member who made the purchase, making it easy to trace back and reconcile every transaction. Your accounts team can go back to what they do best, forecasting and providing financial advice on the future of your business. 

As a manager, you can also set the spending limits on each virtual card. This has the dual benefit of giving you better oversight of your business payments, and also letting your teams know exactly how much they have to spend. 

Enhanced security

Perhaps the biggest virtual debit card benefit is the improved level of security you receive. Unlike traditional corporate cards, virtual cards give you the option to generate single-use cards that expire immediately after payment.   This means there will never be any issue with future fraudulent payments from your card.

However, it’s important to treat virtual cards with the same level of rigour as a physical card. A virtual card can’t get physically stolen, but its card information can. Don’t leave your card details lying around, and don’t share them with anyone else. 

Ease of reconciliation

One of the main pain points for finance teams when it comes to corporate cards, is the time it takes to find the owner of the transaction to aid with reconciliation or receipt collection. The typical finance person may need to chase multiple people just to understand what the transaction was for.

With virtual payment cards, you can assign the card to a specific person, a specific department or even a specific expense code. This will allow businesses to easily reconcile expenses to the right account and also easily identify the right people to ask for receipts for given transactions, saving considerable time. 

Flexibility and convenience

Unlike bank-issued corporate cards, digital cards can be created in seconds, eliminating the wait time associated with physical cards. This is useful for fast-paced business environments where time-sensitive purchases or payments are common. SMEs also have the flexibility to set spending limits or cancel cards instantly, making virtual corporate cards ideal for a business’s evolving needs.   

Airwallex Borderless Card: the virtual card for your SME

Gain better control of company expenses with the Airwallex Borderless Card, a multi-currency debit card powered by Visa. Available as virtual and physical cards, you can issue an unlimited number of Borderless Cards for free.  

Here are 5 unique benefits your business can enjoy with the Borderless Card.

Convert from SGD using market-leading FX rates

Get the most out of every Singapore dollar during business travel or when paying company expenses in foreign currency. With the Borderless Card, you can pay using the funds from your Airwallex multi-currency wallet, which means you skip unnecessary conversion fees. You also have the option to auto-convert 140+ currencies at your preferred rate if you don’t have enough balance.

1% unlimited cashback and no card fees

Unlike traditional corporate cards, the Borderless Card doesn’t charge international transaction fees. Plus, you get 1% unlimited cashback on expenses in Singapore and other currencies, such as Facebook ad spending in USD.  Each month, the accumulated cashback is conveniently credited to your Airwallex business account, offering tangible savings on business expenses.

Real-time visibility of company expenses

The Borderless Card comes with an expense management system, which frees your finance team’s time by automating the tedious task of manual expense reconciliation. Managers have the ability to oversee, assess, and authorise expenditures in real-time, ensuring a seamless and efficient financial management experience.

Better security through setting custom spend limits

The Borderless Card adds another layer of protection by letting you set custom spend limits. You can cap the amount spent on each card per day or per month, or restrict transactions to specific vendors only. 


Allocate cards per expense category or per team

Borderless Cards can also be allocated by expense type or by team - for example, allocating one card for marketing expenses and another for operational costs. Segregating company spend by department or cost centre streamlines your expense tracking, while making it easier to detect overspending or discrepancies. 

Simplified expense submissions

Free up your employees’ time with a simplified expense submission process that can be done on-the-go. Team members can take a photo of receipts and upload them through the Airwallex app, eliminating the need for keeping physical receipts and manually entering expense reports. 

Ready to start issuing virtual cards to your team? All you need is a verified Airwallex Business Account. Here’s how:

Step 1: Create a free Airwallex Business Account 

Step 2: Submit documents and verify your business

Step 3: Instantly generate Borderless Cards for your team


Send international payments with $0 TT fees and market-leading FX rates

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Alice Wong
Growth Marketing Lead

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