As it relates to business finance, Mastercard is a dominant provider of various purchasing card products to help procurement and treasury manage spend. P-cards provide a way to manage very long tails and distributed and decentralized buys, and are a valued early pay technique for this purpose. There are more spend categories being covered by p-cards beyond travel, with office and computer supplies becoming key spend categories.
Mastercard’s business solutions offer both companies and banks various products so companies can manage their payables. From its more traditional corporate p-cards to virtual cards, which replace a real card account with a unique virtual card account (VCA) for purchases and payment settlement, MasterCard’s purchasing solutions help businesses control employee spending, disburse payments and more efficiently monitor expenses.
The use of traditional p-cards has been largely limited to low-value transactions and very specific spend categories. P-cards are evolving with technological developments. More companies are broadening their use of p-cards beyond the physical card, including ghost card applications for preferred supplier relationships and a virtual card that is single use – only available for the designated amount of money, and when it comes back into the card supplier, comes back as an invoice.
Beyond serving business finance needs with card products, Mastercard recently developed a relationship with Basware. The solution, Basware Pay, uses the traditional credit card infrastructure and the Basware buyer’s approved invoice network to provide suppliers early payments. Payments are processed by Mastercard using the buyer’s bank and the supplier’s financial institution. Payments are made based on virtual card technology.