Expense management is a popular bedfellow of corporate card technology, and it continues to gain traction in this week’s Commercial Card Innovation Tracker. But FinTechs are embracing other use cases, especially for virtual cards, as business travel and the demand for digitizing B2B payments heat up.
Jeeves Emerges From Stealth Mode With Global Card Solutions
Expense management startup Jeeves has emerged from stealth mode with its B2B technology that integrates corporate card technology with spend controls for organizations that operate across borders. The company, which currently operates in various North and South American markets, has secured approval to issue its own commercial cards in Mexico. Looking to help global businesses that must manage spend across currencies, the company recently told TechCrunch that it aims to streamline this workflow by negating the need for business users to obtain a commercial card in each geographic market in which they operate. In addition to corporate card solutions, the company offers cross-border payment and FX solutions, with support for payments on both card and non-card payment rails.
Ixaris Debuts Virtual Card For Corporate Travel
Ixaris has rolled out a new virtual card solution, the Ixaris Card, designed to streamline B2B payments in the air travel space. Developed for travel agents and online travel agencies, the card streamlines and reduces the costs of acceptance for airlines. OTAs and travel agents can use the virtual card to pay airlines via the Ixaris Payments platform, with airlines able to see accelerated settlement times and agents able to take advantage of financial incentives. “We are excited about the opportunity to offer airlines and agents a more flexible and significantly lower-cost payment model,” said Ixaris’ COO and Acting CEO Mark Anthony Spiteri. “Our aim at Ixaris is to optimize B2B payments from top to bottom, and this new card for airline payments supports that goal perfectly.”
Bank Of Clarke County Upgrades Its Commercial Card Offering
The regional Bank of Clarke County is proving that smaller financial institutions (FIs) can embrace FinTech collaboration and modernize their business banking offerings. The bank recently announced its partnership with Corserv to upgrade its commercial card solutions. “Through Corserv’s Account Issuer Program, we’re able to provide cutting-edge services that allow us to stay competitive as a local community bank all while keeping the interchange, loan interest and fees within our walls,” explained the bank’s CEO Brandon Lorey in a statement. “Utilizing services such as self-service spend controls, virtual cards, support for ePayables and a free expense reporting system have created additional opportunities for us to better serve our local businesses.”
American Express Braces For Virtual Card Adoption
A new survey released by American Express takes a closer look at business spending trends, with companies having already increased their investments in technology by an estimated $25 billion between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. As that spend rises, researchers discovered that 39 percent of firms expect to increase their use of virtual card technology in the coming year, with firms seeking ways to streamline supply chain management and reduce reliance on manual payment methods.
Commercial Card Startups Raise Funding
The startup Clara, which combines commercial card technology with integrated expense management, raised $30 million last week for its offering. Investors at DST, monashees and General Catalyst participated in the new investment, which accompanies a $50 million revolving debt facility. Clara said the funds will bolster its ability to underwrite customers without having to work off of its own balance sheet.
Clara wasn’t the only corporate card FinTech to land new funding recently. Kodo landed $8.75 million for its startup and small business corporate card offering. The India-based company, which aims to digitize B2B payments, landed the investment from another corporate card startup, Brex, while Goat Capital, Pioneer Fund and other investors also participated in the seed round.