MasterCard’s New Corporate Card Features Will Reduce Maverick Spending and Enhance Transaction Controls

by Erin McCune on April 11, 2008

in AP, Payables

Business Week has a write up on MasterCard's new inControl commercial card platform (previous Forte blog mentions here and here). Thus far, Royal Bank of Scotland is the only issuer offering the new product features, which include

  • Enhanced authorization controls that direct how, when and where cards may be used to a greater level of specificity than previously supported (this particular restaurant is okay, this one is not).
  • Intelligent routing capability that enables a transaction to be routed through to the appropriate funding source at authorization time, depending on the transaction characteristics.
  • Robust alert functionality that provides personalized real-time communication on transaction activities.
  • A one-time use number feature that allows authorization, spending limits and usability controls to be set on a transaction-by-transaction basis, providing enhanced levels of security, control, data capture and traceability on every purchase.

Having spent the last few months working with a Fortune 20 company to enhance its T&E reimbursement process, I know how valuable these tools will be. Proactively managing employee spend is much, much easier and far more effective than post-transaction auditing and warnings. Coupled with MasterCard's enhanced expense management reporting capabilities Corporate card program managers will have powerful new tools to reduce maverick spend and cut expenses.

Excerpt from Business Week:

The introduction of MasterCard's inControl credit card couldn't be better timed. As the economy falters, many companies are scrambling to trim travel and expense budgets, bumping workers from business class to economy and cutting back per diem food allowances for road warriors. Next up, MasterCard is looking to pitch a version of the card to parents who want to keep closer tabs on their offspring's spending habits.

Here's how inControl works: Using a Web-based interface developed by Orbiscom, a Dublin-based payments technology firm, a supervisor can set an overall spending limit for an individual employee or an entire staff category, as well as compile a list of approved hotels and restaurants (Pret A Manger, O.K.; Chez Panisse, not). They can also choose to have charges declined after a certain hour or at questionable establishments. Micromanagers will thrill at a feature that allows them to receive real-time updates on their employees' spending via e-mail or text message. The system also allows companies to issue staff or outside contractors cards that may be good for just one purchase or that expire in only one week. "It will help reduce maverick spending, improve compliance with corporate policies, and simplify accounting," says Steve Abrams, MasterCard's global head of commercial payments.

As yet timing for US roll out is not set, but it is anticipated that the features will become available in the consumer market as early as next year. 

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