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April 27, 2021

TripActions Exchange: Corporate Cards Are On the Rise

Delivered every two weeks, Exchange is a newsletter from TripActions specifically focused on B2B Fintech. It provides a unique perspective on the B2B finance landscape‒and rich, actionable insights along the way. Each edition includes a deep dive into a specific topic, news highlights and trends, and insights into the evolving role of CFOs. Sign up for Exchange: A B2B Fintech Newsletter Powered by TripActions here.

First up: TripActions just announced a partnership with Visa to support expense management for Enterprise clients in the US. As travel rebounds, incorporating modern payment methods will be vital.

Weekly Stat

B2B payments volume through ACH grew 17.3 percent between February and March. This shows a clear move away from payments through check.

B2B Fintech News

  • Stripe launched its card-issuing product in 20 countries across Europe. TripActions currently uses Stripe in the U.S., and thanks to this expansion, we can now bring the same functionality we use in the U.S. to European customers.

  • Accounts payable and B2B payments startup Routable raised a $30 million Series B, led by Sam and Jack Altman.

  • Tipalti, the accounts payable platform, acquired Approve.com, a cloud procurement platform. This combination will help simplify the often complex procurement process.

  • Klarna is now providing shoppers with carbon footprint calculation tools from Mastercard-backed Doconomy, to measure emissions generated by purchases.

  • Bill.com teamed up with Microsoft to build integrations with products like Microsoft Dynamics 365.

  • Hatch, a neobank for small businesses, raised $20 million from investors, including Kleiner Perkins, SVB, and the founders of Plaid.

Insightful Reads

Office of the CFO

Corporate cards are taking over spend management

PYMNTS.com recently examined how innovations in corporate cards are revolutionizing spend management.

The B2B payments space is white hot, with all sorts of players raising money and promising to automate and improve many aspects of employee spend management. Today, the vast majority of B2B payments are paid for through check and ACH. Much of the rest happens through personal cards and expense management platforms.

It’s been a long evolution—from the paper-based processes of the ’70s and ’80s to the Excel-based reports of the ’90s and early 2000s, and then automation through Concur. Even at that point, though, employees were still mostly using personal cards.

But why are employees fronting money for the company? It’s all about control and spend visibility. Legacy corporate cards aren’t able to bake in any real controls, so CFOs can’t give cards to every employee and risk losing control over spend. That leaves employees needing to front the money and get reimbursed if—and only if—the expense is reasonable. Of course, that creates all sorts of headaches, such as delayed visibility and painful reconciliation.

Now, though, fintech innovation has reached the B2B space. Modern fintech infrastructure companies like Stripe, Plaid, and Modern Treasury enable intelligent corporate cards with built-in context and policy controls. This means CFOs can now give cards to every employee while maintaining the control they so desperately need. That’s why ever-more popular corporate cards are dislodging the traditional—and painful—way of handling business spend.

For rich commentary on the trending stories and research in B2B fintech, sign up for Exchange: A B2B Fintech Newsletter Powered by TripActions.

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