More than nine in 10 corporate finance professionals in the US plan to implement new commercial card tools or services in 2017, according to a Capital One survey.
The financial group’s commercial card unit conducted the survey last month at the National Association of Purchasing Card Professionals’ (NAPCP) commercial card and payment conference in Houston, Texas. It assessed industry sentiment from 104 professionals across the payments industry on commercial card use and adoption, use of applications, industry pain points, and plans in the next 12 months.
The survey found that 91% of corporate finance professionals plan to implement new commercial card tools or services in 2017. The adoption rate is 36% higher than a similar survey found last year and, said Capital One “demonstrates growing demand among industry professionals for products that simplify and streamline their everyday corporate finance needs.”
Sixty-three percent of respondents said their top consideration when selecting a commercial card provider is one that services and supports their companies’ unique needs with an all-in-one intuitive interface that allows management of all payments in one space. The second most important consideration cited, at 15%, is a programme that supports vendor enrolment and card acceptance.
“We are seeing a big jump in demand for commercial card tools among corporate finance professionals in just one year, which demonstrates the demand for more customised and specialised offerings that support our clients’ varied business needs,” said Rick Elliott, head of the commercial card group at Capital One Bank. “We are working in close partnership with our clients to better understand the daily challenges they face and provide creative solutions for these problems.”
The survey suggests that card providers are listening to their clients; 82% of respondents say their commercial card provider asks questions to better understand pain points and develop creative solutions to solve problems and make their job easier.
Adoption of cutting-edge digital tools is on the rise. Eighty-eight percent of those surveyed have access to a commercial card mobile app that allows them to manage and submit travel expenses remotely, a 54% increase from 2016. Survey respondents also reported increased adoption of a single card for both procurement and travel and expenses. Half of those surveyed reported using such as card today, against 39% who said the same last year.
“As overall adoption of commercial card technology continues to grow, we are committed to embracing the latest digital capabilities that streamline our client offerings and provide an efficient and intuitive customer experience,” said Elliott. “With increased ease of use and implementation, these digital tools are attractive and user-friendly options for our ever-increasingly sophisticated client base.”
Respondents from companies without a commercial card app were evenly split on the cause; half claimed the primary barrier to the commercial card app is figuring out their organisation’s “bring your own device” policies, while the other half reported their organisation does not want to transition to a mobile app from the system currently in place.
With the end of 2017 fast approaching, many finance professionals might be counting down the days with some degree of dread. Year End is just around the corner and with it comes the many long hours accountants will spend going over balance sheets and profit and loss accounts, investigating account irregularities and chasing sign offs.
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