Employees Sharing Corporate Credit Cards? Your company is at risk.

In cybersecurity, there’s a concept called the CIA triad that forms the framework for managing sensitive data, including:

  • Confidentiality - Keeping data secure 
  • Integrity - Accurate input in trustworthy systems
  • Availability - Readily available to employees as needed

The same applies to corporate credit cards. Cards must be protected against unauthorized use or access, trustworthy, and available to those with a legitimate business reason to use them. Yet, many companies struggle to implement this.

One of the biggest reasons is the practice of sharing corporate credit cards.

Sharing Corporate Cards Significantly Increases Risks

When employees share corporate card numbers, the opportunity for misuse and fraud increases substantially. A decided lack of accountability makes it difficult to track expenses and know who used a card and for what purchase.

Accounting teams typically find that sharing cards lead to unexpected costs, overspending, and unauthorized expenses. Employees can also hit card limits when they share corporate cards or card numbers, which can cause embarrassment in many situations. For example, if your employee takes a high-profile client to dinner and the card is declined, or when sales teams are on the road, and their card gets rejected at hotel check-in—your employee and company look bad.

Loss of Control

All of this leads to a loss of control. And it isn't as simple as restricting who has cards. When companies restrict the number of corporate cards, it actually encourages sharing and leads to greater risk with more people having access and less accountability.

Employees that borrow a card from a manager or another employee may also store card numbers for future use, which allows them to use the card for other purchases beyond the initial intent.

Lack of Availability

When cards aren’t available, employees may also end up using their own cards, making expense reports necessary. This creates more work for accounting teams and poses the risk of data entry errors. According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), one out of every five expense reports contains an error. That means more wasted time verifying accuracy and fixing mistakes. 

Whether an employee shares a card or uses their own, restricted availability hinders smooth processes and leads to a loss of control and more paperwork. Expenses on shared cards have to be sorted, justified, and accepted. Just tracking down who made the charge and whether it fits company compliance guidelines or finding the receipts can be challenging.

A Solution to Replace Sharing Corporate Cards

There is a better way. With the right FinTech solution, you can streamline systems and put in place processes that help meet compliance with the CIA triad. Here are just two examples.

1) Physical Cards with Digital Controls

For physical corporate credit cards, a modern credit and spend management solution can provide a granular way to tightly control use. For example, accounting teams can pause, disable, or set permissions or parameters for spending easily using an online system.

One of the most significant advantages of this is the ability to automate transactions and reporting. Once an employee uses their card and snaps a picture of the receipt, purchases can be processed and automatically entered into the general ledger. No more expense reports or reimbursements!

At the same time, accounting teams have real-time visibility into purchases without having to wait until the end of the month to view statements and then reconcile them with expense reports. It also eliminates the need to manually input expenses.

2) Virtual Cards

Another powerful option is to augment physical cards with digital cards. So much spending is done online these days, and virtual cards are a great solution. Not only do you have the same digital controls as physical cards, but you have even greater flexibility.

For example, you can issue virtual cards on demand as needed from your account. Access can be granted to certain employees with specified limits. You can also limit transactions to only pre-approved spending for specific dollar amounts or even a single vendor.

At the same time, virtual cards provide another level of security. The primary account information is shielded, so even if someone did share the number, they would not have access to the master account. This helps protect sensitive data and cuts down what can be done with a shared card number. 

Even when you limit who has cards, sharing often occurs because companies need to move quickly in today’s high-speed business environment. Sharing corporate credit cards is common and almost inevitable using traditional bank credit card solutions.

With shared cards, you are significantly limiting your visibility and accounting. 

Fortunately, modern credit and spend management solutions can stop corporate card sharing, ensure safe spending, and increase both security and efficiency.

Tailoring Access to Company Cards

Save precious hours and avoid accounting headaches! Topago allows you to tailor both physical and virtual cards to each user and department and lets you take advantage of setting spending rules and expense policies as needed simply via an online platform. Let us show you how simple taking control can be! 

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