If you’re frustrated by B2B payment inefficiencies, embedded payments that enable a virtual card solution may be the answer. Virtual card transactions accounted for $36 billion last year, and they’re expected to reach $174.3 billion in global transaction volume by 2028. The fast rise is for good reason – embedded payments offer companies increased convenience, improved expense and cash flow management, and a better user experience.

“Embedded payments streamline the accounting process by facilitating quicker and more secure transactions. This enhances the entire payment process for everyone involved – from suppliers and vendors, right through to employees.,” says Bradley Matthews, U.S. senior vice president and head of middle market product and marketing.

However, for many organizations, enabling embedded payments is a strategic evolution that occurs step by step. Modernizing the payment process can seem daunting. A forward-thinking strategy, aligned with your goals and the right partner, can minimize the burden and maximize the benefits. Here are four steps for moving your business toward embedded payments:

1. Start with a test and learn strategy.

If your company still relies on manual payment processes or is still getting the hang of mobile payments, don’t fret. You can start the transition to embedded payments slowly with a test-and-learn strategy. Using this approach, you can send virtual cards directly to your employees’ mobile wallets. This will help you get a better sense of how they’re used, when they’re effective, what users think and more.

Using feedback from internal or other low-risk users makes is easy to measure the value and better refine what works well. We’ve helped several clients use this approach. It serves as a stepping stone towards comprehensive payment transformation within and across an organization.

2. Automate a virtual card solution.

Once you’ve experienced and measured the value from sending virtual cards, you can further automate the process. “The next step is integrating the ability to create cards automatically,” Matthews says. Adding that capability is relatively straightforward and doesn’t require a full API integration. Instead, many organizations tap into a pre-built app such as U.S. Bank Instant Card®. “The automation helps you garner even more value from virtual cards,” Matthews says. The Instant Card online or desktop app gives your company access to controls like spending and activation limits, customizable merchant categories codes (MCC) and expiration dates that are specific to a business purpose. These controls mean managers and team leaders don’t have to approve – or question – spending after the fact. The virtual card controls work in real time as the spending occurs.

3. Embed virtual card APIs into your technology.

After experiencing the benefits of automated virtual cards, you may be ready to further integrate virtual cards into your organization’s technology. A full API integration, offered through services like U.S. Bank Card as a Service (CaaS), allows you to build a seamless digital payment experience. “E-commerce via digital wallets and mobile payments demonstrate how the payment experience eliminates the friction of a manual payment and makes it a seamless, nearly invisible part of the buying experience,” says Matthews.

Investing in comprehensive API integration that fully enables embedded payments is often too big of a leap. By setting a strategy, selecting the right partner and incorporating a stair-step approach, you’ll be more prepared to build on short-term wins, incorporate lessons learned throughout the journey and get more out of your embedded payment solution.

4. Leverage the extras to take full advantage.

Once you’ve adopted an embedded payment strategy through virtual card APIs, you can also explore other integrations, vendor services and payment capabilities that are available. For example, with U.S. Bank, you can incorporate real-time payments, ACH, and treasury management services. Companies can also take advantage of implementation experts and marketing support at U.S. Bank to ensure the integration and rollout of their embedded payment products is as successful as possible. “Selecting the right partner ensures you have experience and expertise to help successfully execute your strategy.

“Taking the next step towards embedded payments will improve efficiency, reduce costs, and help retain valuable relationships with customers, employees, suppliers and vendors,” Matthews says.

As a partner in your digital transformation journey, U.S. Bank provides tailored payment solutions that align with your business objectives. Connect with us today to see how Card as a Service can enhance your business operations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *