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Corporate payment: business sector still lagging behind on modern payment methods

Corporate payment: business sector still lagging behind on modern payment methods

Neu-Isenburg, 17 December 2020

Companies primarily pay for spontaneous purchases by using their accounts or have employees pay the costs upfront first and wait for reimbursement. But there are cheaper, better solutions.

From software licenses and office supplies to books and periodicals, online ads and domains, many purchases made by companies are not for raw materials from suppliers, but rather what are known as “ad-hoc” purchases. But businesses often lack an advanced, central way of settling accounts for these kinds of purchases in particular. About 88 percent of the companies in Germany and Switzerland surveyed by payment service provider AirPlus International pay for these kinds of purchases by using an account or making a bank transfer, and at more than one-third of companies (35 percent; multiple responses permitted), employees pay the costs upfront first and wait for reimbursement later.

This latter procedure in particular is very laborious and time-consuming, and it represents a missed opportunity. There is no need to collect receipts and invoices or settle expenses if there is a simplified process involving central payments made directly when the order is placed. One solution is corporate credit cards, which are already used by some 66 percent of companies for cases like these. But not every employee has one of these cards. A virtual solution can be a good workaround for this. AirPlus introduced AirPlus Virtual Cards Procurement in the middle of this year as one solution that can also be used for ad-hoc purchases. A virtual credit card is generated to pay for each transaction, with worldwide acceptance thanks to the global Mastercard network. All transactions are subsequently settled centrally and combined into a single statement.This is efficient and saves on process-related costs. Not even half of the companies surveyed by AirPlus indicated that these kinds of spontaneous purchases are made via their central ERP (enterprise resource planning) or ordering system. More than half make purchases directly from the manufacturer by phone, e-mail, or website, and 37 percent also use merchant platforms. AirPlus surveyed 247 companies from Germany and Switzerland.

About AirPlus International:

AirPlus International is a leading international provider of solutions in the corporate payment segment. 48,000 corporate customers rely on AirPlus when it comes to paying for and analyzing their business travel and other purchasing activities. The company’s products and services are marketed worldwide under the AirPlus International brand. AirPlus is an issuer under the UATP, Visa, and Mastercard card schemes. The AirPlus company account is the most successful billing account within the UATP. For more information, visit

Contact AirPlus International:
Marcell Haag
AirPlus International
Phone: +49(0)6102 204-6350

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