OCBC offers virtual purchasing card leveraging VISA solution

Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash
Photo by Jonas Leupe

OCBC Bank now leverages Visa Commercial Pay mobile solution as part of its inaugural virtual purchasing card offering. The OCBC Virtual Purchasing Card enables businesses to digitalise and streamline all their payment requirements.

This solution provides real-time visibility of their employees’ spending on OCBC Virtual Purchasing Card, as well as captures enhanced data for automatic reconciliation. This potentially allows for identification of core spending categories, and with that knowledge, more effective price negotiation with suppliers.

Visa Commercial Pay mobile enables the employees and non-employees of OCBC corporate customers to request virtual cards on demand via their mobile app and use the virtual cards for making mobile contactless, in-app and online payments at all Visa accepting merchants.

This reduces the need for employees and non-employees such as contract staff and visiting delegates,  to pay out of their own pockets first as the card can be instantly issued even for ad-hoc transactions.

Virtual cards issued under the OCBC Virtual Purchasing Card programme can be for single or recurring use, with pre-defined control parameters. These control parameters can be spend limit, validity period or even right down to a specific category of goods and services.

According to OCBC, when compared to traditional cards, virtual purchasing cards can be issued instantly to employees and non-employees for business purchases. They also have the option of being single or recurring use, have pre-set spending limits and validity periods, and can be limited in use to certain categories of goods and services. For instance, if a virtual card is issued for laptop purchases, the card cannot be used at non-electronics stores.

Additionally, for tap and pay contactless payments, employees and merchants never see the card details, while for online payments, fraud risk can be mitigated with the option of issuing single use cards.

Digital payment solutions are expected to grow in popularity. According to Mercator Advisory Group, which specialises in global payments, their research on commercial cards for international markets showed that the adoption of virtual card solutions by companies in Asia Pacific is poised to grow at 40 per cent over the next four years.

The benefits that such virtual card solutions can bring to working capital were cited as one of the factors behind this potential growth.

Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) is the bank’s first customer to sign up for this solution and will be piloted to its employees in the second quarter of 2021.

They will be able to use their virtual commercial cards across a range of procurement scenarios, including items like software licenses, subscription fees and payments for travel booking.

Currently, university employees use personal cards to pay for certain corporate purchases and seek reimbursements thereafter. The OCBC Virtual Purchasing Card programme will replace the manual processes of reimbursement and account reconciliation with a streamlined and user-friendly alternative that saves time for employees.

Ms Kwek Peck Lin, Director for Planning & Finance, SUSS, said, “We want to digitalise the way we work and that extends to all aspects of the university’s operations. This virtual card solution makes payments easier for our employees – everything can be done via mobile app – and for our finance department too. In terms of security, virtual cards provide more assurance compared to traditional commercial card solutions, and that was also an important factor for us when deciding to come onboard.”

Mr Melvyn Low, Head, Global Transaction Banking, OCBC Bank, said, “The OCBC Virtual Purchasing Card is very relevant to businesses today. It is a highly secure payment solution that gives a bird’s-eye view on spending – which is data that many businesses do not yet have access to today.”

Mr Kunal Chatterjee, Visa Country Manager for Singapore & Brunei commented, “We believe it is important for us to work with our partners, such as OCBC Bank to introduce innovative solutions that will benefit corporates including the ability to issue virtual commercial cards instantly to employees of organisations so that they can make business payments seamlessly.”