22 ways virtual multi-currency cards give freedom to corporate finance teams
Shortly after the advent of credit cards, businesses took notice of the high number of benefits these financial instruments offered. Over the decades those benefits have only increased to form a truly useful tool.
Cash back offers. Perks like points toward things like flights, hotels, and more. Not to mention, the instantaneous liquidity of 10s of thousands of dollars just about anywhere in the world.
This article discusses the benefits of a new type of card, arguably as important as the invention of the credit card - Virtual Multi-Currency Cards.
A quick explanation of virtual multi-Currency cards
There are two different things going on here; virtual cards and multi-currency cards. Both have benefits (by the title of the article).
A virtual card is an often temporary card (yet not always) associated with a credit account. It’s a short-lived, digital version of a card to protect the primary, physical card number from theft. A multi-currency card (sometimes called a Forex card) gives its user the ability to load up a number of different foreign currencies.
Now, put them both together.
22 benefits of this particular type of card
New cards in minutes: Once you open an account (with virtual cards available), it only takes a minute or two to create a new virtual card. Slightly longer than pulling the plastic out of your wallet.
Easily disposable account numbers: If a skimmer gets your card information, you have to freeze it, order a new one, make phone calls, and take time to clean it up. With virtual cards, there is a temporary number and once the use for the card evaporates, so does the number.
Improve remote team culture: Virtual work environments make both spontaneous and planned team building difficult. You can’t simply load up and take the team to lunch, picking up the tab. That said, you can still pay for their lunch. Spin up a virtual card (even one in their local currency for those abroad) and tell them lunch is on you.
So many possibilities, so many currencies: If you can buy things from nearly anywhere on the planet, in the local currency, it opens up things a bit. As an example, Airwallex gives you the ability to use our cards in over 170 different currencies.
Pay in local currency on trips and travel: Getting traveler’s checks (are those still a thing?) and exchanging cash at the airport is a hassle. Pay with the local currency on your card, even book in advance with the same.
Pay vendors in local currency: One of the global possibilities (and needs) is to hire outsourced service providers for certain business needs. A dedicated virtual multi-currency card speeds up the payment process while a payment provider, like Airwallex, saves your company on the exchange rate. Speaking of which, saving is it’s own benefit.
Save on Foreign exchange fees: Pay with your multi-currency balance and start saving on international transactions & FX.
Stay in control of team budgets: Monitor all employee expenses, in one place, often in real-time, like with your Airwallex online app.
Better controls on spending: Set flexible daily, monthly or transaction limits to limit risk of unexpected purchases.
Cash back, points, and perks: Just because you can’t see the “cards'' it doesn’t take the benefits away. Many of the cards have perks, like our 1% cashback for domestic purchases with the Airwallex Borderless Card.
All digital, nothing to get lost: Create, freeze or cancel employee cards in minutes to protect your business funds, all from your Airwallex app.
Quick and easy integration: Pretty much any virtual card provider links to the top accounting and ERP tool on the market.
Currency transaction syncing: Airwallex automatically syncs your multi-currency transactions to Xero. No tedious calculations and manual data entry necessary.
Fast syncing, too: We sync everything up every hour, so your accounting is always in check with charges.
Easily manage subscriptions software: Nearly every organization has a tech stack nowadays. And nearly all of us have tools we don’t really use. Dedicate a virtual card to one or all of your software tools and quickly see the list to make regular decisions on the platforms you use.
Avoid hidden bank fees (international): Using cards primarily in USD often means foreign transaction fees and multi-currency cards are built to avoid fees by using the local currency.
No more sharing corporate card numbers: It’s dangerous to give out card numbers, but in times past, it seems like they were handed out a bit too frequently in a portion of organizations. Now, no one shares the one account number and everyone is individually responsible for their own spending.
Mitigates Forex fluctuations: A card that allows for dozens of currencies gives some flexibility in avoiding severe changes in certain countries and markets, while still allowing you to pay vendors in their local notes.
Improved security: We’ve covered security already, but it’s worth noting that both security against nefarious acts and negligence are both mitigated by virtual cards. No lost cards, careless spending, and it’s much more difficult to steal the data.
Improve A/P workflow: As an example to improve accounts payable processes, some companies opt to pay foreign vendors only in U.S. dollars, in an attempt to keep things simple and consistent, even if there are more fees involved. Virtual multi-currency cards keep things simple and secure, while saving fees on nearly every foreign payment.
Better cash flow management: Fast payments (foreign and domestic) and quick approvals reduce the Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) meaning cleaner cash flow statements and more accurate books each month.
Instant insights and data: Drill down to see spending by employee, department, and/or by project to really see how your money is working.
What benefits do you see?
Think of the invoices and purchases that need payment. Then, think about your current processes for moving the money where it needs to go across the world. Next, think about creating a new card, full of the necessary currency, within minutes.
All the purchases made on that virtual card allow you to have detailed information on specific expenditures by that employee, or to that contractor, or for that particular project. And it saves you money.
If your organization has multi-currency needs, take a look at Airwallex Multi-Currency Cards to find out about your potential to receive fee-free FX and 1% cash back on all domestic transactions.
Evan Dunn manages the growth of Airwallex's SMB business in the US through marketing avenues. Evan is a generalist with expertise in SEO, paid media, content marketing, performance marketing and social selling. He also enjoys slam poetry and waffle making.
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