Amex recently announced that it’s bringing increased access to virtual cards for small businesses in the U.S. by collaborating with Extend, an NYC-based payments firm. Using the new service, any company with an eligible American Express Business Card can create virtual cards through the Extend app or website with their existing American Express account. Amex claims the process takes as little as five minutes, with no additional tech build needed, and no extra costs to card members.
Virtual cards offer a number of advantages over traditional debit or credit cards in the form of greater security, transparency, and efficiency. Amex’s SMB customers can use them to pay employees, vendors, and contractors without giving away their primary business card numbers, and gain more control over their expenses by setting spending limits and expiration dates. They can also use Extend’s APIs to develop custom payment solutions and create specific cards for different expenses, making it easier to categorize and track their overall spending.
Additionally, virtual cards bring more efficiency to the accounts payable process. They allow all transactions to be electronically tagged with enriched data, which helps businesses with accounting processes such as automatic reconciliation. Amex and Extend also plan to offer additional features in the future, including the ability to add virtual cards to mobile wallets for in-store purchases.
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