Corporate Card Rewards Programs Get Creative To Compete

Corporate Card Rewards Programs Get Creative To Compete

May 19, 2021 at 01:00PM

Corporate card adoption is on the rise. Just ask Billtrust, which recently revealed an impressive first quarter with help from rising card transaction volume. Now FinTechs and service providers want in on the action, with new commercial card products and features rolling out at an accelerating rate.

But to compete in an increasingly crowded market, business card innovators must drive the adoption of cards for B2B payments and get creative with their rewards programs. This week’s Commercial Card Innovation roundup explores the ways some industry players are using technology like cryptocurrency and custom repayment terms to drive up adoption.

Billtrust, Bottomline Pair On Corporate Card Acceptance

Billtrust raised its financial outlook for 2021 with its Q2 2021 earnings report last week, with transaction volumes climbing in a sign of steady B2B payments digitization. Posting a 117 percent year-over-year increase in card volume across the Business Payments Network (BPN), it’s clear that commercial cards are an important growth factor for the company.

In support of driving those card transaction volumes, Billtrust also recently announced a partnership with Bottomline Technologies. Business customers using Billtrust’s Paymode-X accounts payable (AP) technology will have access to new card acceptance endpoints via connection to the BPN, a move that combines two networks to create a broader ecosystem of AP and accounts receivable (AR) tools that work in harmony.

“By offering new card acceptance points via BPN, we broaden the Paymode-X network and further empower customers on their accounts payable automation journey,” said Bottomline CEO Rob Eberle in a statement.

Business Card Tech Propels Marqeta’s IPO

Marqeta became the latest payments technology company to go public, revealing in a filing that its revenues had doubled in 2020 ahead of the initial public offering (IPO). The company connects a range of businesses to card payment technology in a variety of ways. Through partnerships with companies like DoorDash and Instacart, the company can issue payment cards for contractors to make payments. The company also works with Square to power its small business debit card.

Commercial cards aren’t its only line of business, with Marqeta also operating in the consumer finance and payments space. But with corporate card adoption on the rise, the business segment is likely to continue propelling growth for the firm.

Brex Adds Crypto To Rewards Mix

Startup commercial card technology firm Brex is adding cryptocurrency to its mix of rewards programs. The company recently announced an initiative that allows its startup cardholders to redeem Brex rewards points for digital currency, including bitcoin and Ethereum. The firm said in a press release that it is the first-ever corporate card firm to offer a crypto-based reward.

“With increasing institutional and corporate treasury interest in digital assets, this is a natural first step into the space for Brex,” said Sam Blond, chief sales officer at Brex, in a statement. “We are constantly working to provide our customers with a world-class rewards program that gives them exactly what they want.”

Rho Unleashes Its Corporate Card Offering

The latest FinTech to debut a corporate card product is Rho Technologies, which recently revealed the Rho Card with cash-back rewards, spend control features and flexible credit terms. To differentiate itself from the competition in an increasingly crowded market, Rho is allowing corporate cardholders to customize and choose repayment terms and cash-back levels, a feature that Co-founder and Chief Product Officer Alex Wheldon said frees businesses from the “rigid box” of functionality with traditional corporate card products.

“Businesses are cyclical. As business owners ourselves, we built this first-of-its-kind card we always wanted, that supports the evolving needs of modern businesses as they grow,” he said.