Amex launches virtual card for TMCs and corporates

AMERICAN Express has launched vPayment in the South African market, a virtual card that forms part of the American Express Complete Travel Solution, an end-to-end payment solution for TMCs and corporates.

American Express Complete Travel Solution integrates vPayment with Amex’s BTA Powerlink, a billback solution designed to improve cashflow, spend visibility and deal with manual capturing of card transactions on terminals. Amex hopes this umbrella solution will make reconciliation more straightforward.

Chris Wood, head of Card Issuing and Payments, says the Complete Travel Solution will reconcile transactions with same-day viewing of matched invoice and statement data. Every line on the client’s statement includes an invoice, allowing the TMCs and corporates to match the reconciliation per line item.

vPayment aims to control and streamline payment and reconciliation processes by assigning a unique American Express virtual account number and user-defined expense information to each transaction. A transaction value and date range can be specified and associated with each virtual account number. Important data elements such as employee ID and all relevant booking references can also be associated with the account number.

There has been increased demand from South African corporates and TMCs for virtual cards, as they integrate comprehensive security parameters that will help the TMC and corporates reduce any possible fraud, says Chris.

“The company can specify aspects such as to whom the card will be issued, the value of the card, the authorised merchants, and the time-frame for the validity of the card. Thanks to the transparency of these specifications and the clarity of spend the virtual card offers, reconciliation becomes more streamlined,” Chris says.

Chris adds that, from a TMC management point of view, the virtual card means there is no additional impact on the TMC’s cashflow, as it carries the same costs and reconciliation processes as the traditional plastic card.

Partnerships with Uber4Business and Bryte Insurance will be included in this payment solution as well as a tailor-made travel insurance solution suitable for any business.