Corporate Cards
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9
 min read
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June 24, 2024

Your guide to the benefits of corporate cards in the UAE

Need reasons to get corporate cards? Here are some benefits you can expect

A recent survey shows that nearly 19% of expense reports contain errors, taking about 18 minutes each to correct. This can be extremely frustrating and time-consuming. 

Imagine the hours your finance team could save if they didn't have to manually track every receipt and log it into the system for reimbursements.

Corporate cards offer a hassle-free way to manage business expenses, making it easier for your employees to stay within budget and for your finance team to stay on top of things. As more companies move towards automated solutions to optimise their cash flow, corporate cards are becoming an essential tool for businesses. By switching to corporate cards, you can simplify your expense management and focus on what matters most - growing your business.

This blog covers the various benefits of corporate cards, providing you with useful insights for optimising your spending management.

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What are corporate cards?

Corporate cards are pre-paid or credit cards issued to employees to spend on authorised business expenses. These cards are designed to make life easier for your employees while giving you better control over your business spends. 

With corporate cards, your employees don’t have to worry about carrying cash or filing for reimbursements. As for your finance team, they can easily track, monitor and control all business expenses. 

How do corporate cards work?

The process of issuing corporate cards involves your finance department coordinating with a card provider. The cards are then distributed to employees based on their roles and spending requirements. Corporate cards are linked to a centralised company account, and funds can be added to respective corporate cards by authorised personnel. 

Here is a brief overview of how corporate cards work: 

  • Issuing cards: The first step here is to issue corporate cards to eligible employees. You can choose between virtual or physical cards, as per your company policy. Whenever the employee uses the card, the transaction details will be automatically captured and recorded in the expense management software.
  • Paying via cards: Employees can pay for specified categories of expenses using their corporate card. They need not seek authorisation to spend up to a pre-specified limit. Consider an employee attending a conference overseas. With a corporate card, they can cover their travel and accommodation costs without the need for upfront cash.
  • Monitoring: Your finance team can monitor these transactions in real-time, ensuring that they align with the company’s budget and corporate card policy. This real-time expense tracking provides a clear and accurate picture of your business expenses.
  • Reporting: Corporate cards can integrate with business accounting systems through the accompanying expense management platform. This integration ensures that all transactions are reflected in your financial records without the need for manual reconciliation.
  • Controlling expenses: Another key feature of corporate cards is the ability to set spending limits and control purchase categories. This means you can define how much certain employees are allowed to spend and on what types of expenses, ensuring adherence to company guidelines. 

Benefits of corporate cards for businesses

Here are the different corporate card benefits your company can avail:

Benefits of using corporate cards

Eliminate the need for petty cash

Corporate cards have streamlined the handling of daily business expenses, offering numerous benefits, such as: 

  • No more petty cash: Corporate cards eliminate the need for petty cash, reducing the risks of theft or loss. 
  • Automated tracking: Every transaction is automatically recorded and categorised, saving time and reducing errors usually associated with manual handling.
  • Financial efficiency: Corporate cards allow you to set spending limits, define approval processes, and ensure compliance with company policies.

Example: An employee can directly pay for software subscriptions using the card within predefined limits. This eliminates the reimbursement process, freeing the finance team from checking receipts and processing reimbursements.

Manage business expenses effectively

Effective management of business expenses is crucial for the financial health of any company. Corporate cards offer an efficient solution that can be customised to your company’s unique needs:

  • Spending limits: You can set specific spending limits for different employees or departments, ensuring expenses remain within budget. These limits can be tailored to meet your company's unique needs.
  • Category controls: You can restrict spending to certain categories, such as travel, office supplies, or client entertainment. This helps avoid overspending and ensures optimal usage of funds.
Set tailored spend control for each card

  • Real-time monitoring: Real-time transaction monitoring enables you to detect any unusual or unauthorised spending promptly, allowing for quick corrective action.

Example: If your sales team travels frequently, you can set higher spending limits for travel-related expenses like flights, hotels, taxis, etc., while restricting other categories like office supplies or groceries.

Earn cashback and rewards on business spending

Corporate cards offer cashback and rewards on different types of business spending, turning everyday transactions into opportunities for savings. For instance, at Alaan, we offer up to 2% cashback on all transactions with no upper limit.

Get 2% cashback with Alaan

By using corporate cards for specific expenses, you can maximise these benefits. Different providers offer various rewards programs, so choosing the right card for your business spending patterns is key.

Protip: Some corporate cards provide cashback on corporate travel expenses, hotel stays, and airport lounge access, while others might offer points for office supplies or client entertainment expenses. By choosing the right card and aligning it with your business spending patterns, you can make the most of these rewards.

Simplify expense reporting

Corporate cards bring efficiency to expense reporting, simplifying the process and saving valuable company resources. Here is how these cards help:

  • Ease of use: Corporate cards eliminate the need for employees to use personal credit cards or cash, reducing administrative tasks and traditional expense reporting methods. Since there is little or no use of personal cards or cash, employees also get free from filing reimbursements.  
  • Automatic recording: When employees use corporate cards, all expenses are automatically recorded and categorised.
  • Operational efficiency: Using corporate cards for business expenses can help achieve higher operational efficiency. Real-time tracking and reporting allow finance teams to observe expenses as they occur, enabling timely adjustments and better budget management.

Example: Consider a team attending a conference. Without a corporate card, they’d pay out-of-pocket, save receipts, and await reimbursement. With a corporate card, expenses are automatically recorded, and there is no need for reimbursements. The finance team can review these in real-time, ensuring alignment with company policies.

Gain detailed insights into employee spending

Corporate cards provide detailed insights into employee spending through a centralised dashboard that captures every transaction in real-time:

  • Real-time monitoring: When you integrate corporate cards with your accounting software, you get the ability to monitor and analyse employee expenses in real-time.
  • Financial control: The centralised dashboard allows managers and finance teams to track expenses easily. You can set spending limits, receive alerts for unusual transactions, and generate detailed reports.
  • Transparency: This level of transparency helps optimise your expense management processes. Employees are more likely to adhere to corporate policies when they know their spending is being monitored.

Example: For instance, if you notice a particular department consistently exceeding its budget, you can investigate and take corrective actions promptly.

Capture and store receipts digitally with a mobile app

Corporate cards offer the convenience of capturing and storing receipts digitally through a mobile app. Here’s how this feature can be useful for your business:

  • Simplified tracking: Using a mobile app, employees can quickly click a picture of receipts and upload them directly to the expense management system. This reduces the risk of lost paper receipts and ensures that all expenses are recorded accurately.
  • Easy management: Digital receipts are also easier to organise and retrieve, making it simpler to prepare for audits or reconcile accounts.
Automatic receipt matching at Alaan

Alaan’s corporate card solution includes a mobile app that facilitates easy receipt management. The app allows you to categorise expenses, add notes, and get approvals for out-of-policy expenses, streamlining the entire expense reporting process.

Eliminate fraud and misuse

Corporate cards are equipped with advanced security features to protect your business finances from fraud and misuse:

  • EMV chips: Corporate cards have Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) chips, which provide an extra layer of protection by creating unique transaction codes that are difficult to replicate.
  • Real-time alerts: Instant notifications for every transaction allow you to identify and address any suspicious activity quickly.

At Alaan, our corporate cards come with multi-layered security, ensuring safe and secure transactions for your business. Businesses can easily freeze a card and adjust the spending limit to protect themselves against fraud and misuse. 

Issue virtual and single-use cards effortlessly

Corporate cards offer the flexibility to issue virtual and single-use cards, catering to specific business needs and enhancing control over expenditures:

  • Virtual cards: Virtual cards are ideal for online purchases, temporary employees, or one-time transactions, offering a secure and convenient payment method. It is beneficial to issue virtual cards to remote employees for purchasing software subscriptions, ensuring that spending is controlled and tracked. With Alaan, you can generate unlimited virtual cards instantly as per your requirements.
  • Single-use cards: Single-use cards, on the other hand, are perfect for situations where a fixed amount needs to be spent, such as travel expenses or vendor payments. Single-use cards can be used for specific projects, providing a clear record of expenditures and reducing the risk of overspending.

Optimise your expense management with Alaan corporate cards

Efficient expense management is essential for businesses to succeed. By streamlining the tracking and management of employee spending, you can save valuable resources, enhance financial visibility, and boost your company’s bottom line.

With Alaan, you can experience more than just the standard benefits. Our corporate cards come with unique features specifically designed to optimise your expense management processes.

  • Issue unlimited cards: 10 or 100 – issue any number of cards with Alaan. You can issue cards to all your employees without worrying about the lengthy application process, ensuring everyone has a secure and convenient way to make approved business purchases.
  • Smarter spending through smart controls: Alaan's customisable spend controls put you in the driver's seat. Set spending limits, define categories for specific purchases, and even restrict card usage to certain vendors.
  • Simplify your operations: Alaan cards support contactless payments through Apple Pay and Google Pay, allowing for faster and hassle-free transactions.
  • Effortless expense reporting: Automatic receipt matching takes the hassle out of expense reports. Our expense management solution automatically categorises transactions, saving your finance team's time and reducing the chances of errors.

Contact the experts at Alaan today to learn more about the corporate card program and how it can add value to your company.

Start simplifying your business spend with Alaan 🚀

Unlimited cards
Up to 2% cashback
No minimum balance