by Kevin Phalen, Head of Global Card, Comprehensive Payables and Public Sector Banking and William Bonnin, Senior Product Manager, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Corporate card programmes are now firmly entrenched in the DNA of many companies around the world. These corporate card programmes first began with a focus on travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses, and in North America, Western Europe and many countries in Asia, card payments have been more widely adopted for payments to suppliers and other B2B uses. In Latin America, corporate cards for T&E use are common, but the potential for improving B2B payments using a corporate purchasing card is growing for both regional and global payments.
Latin America is awakening to the benefits and possible applications of corporate cards.
The capabilities and benefits of commercial card programmes are well documented. Treasury departments have recognised that corporate cards can be an effective means of achieving an end-to-end electronic payments process and key treasury goals by driving a successful working capital management strategy. Indeed, if the appropriate card solution is chosen, it can be integrated seamlessly into the organisation’s payments process. The advantages of such an approach are not confined to the private sector; many government and educational institutions have also successfully implemented card programmes.