How virtual credit cards make managing recurring software easier
Virtual credit cards are a great way to empower employees (or departments) to make purchases without issuing a physical credit card. You can quickly issue them and shut them down like you would a regular account. Employees also won’t run the risk of losing the card, which could expose the company to potential fraud.
They offer another benefit beyond ease of use—they can also help make your expense management a little less chaotic. One of the most predictable expenses for startups is recurring software subscriptions since startups today can run very efficiently on a suite of online tools built on cloud services.
There are cloud services for just about everything—from task management to customer service to design software—and they typically carry with them predictable monthly fees. Instead of using one (or a handful) of general-use credit cards, employees can use virtual cards for particular uses. One of the best use cases is to manage predictable recurring expenses like software subscriptions.
How do virtual credit cards work with recurring software?
Virtual credit cards operate pretty much the same way as a credit card. Your company will issue credit card credentials that you’ll need to make online purchases. But rather than having to read a number off a piece of plastic, you can quickly generate several different virtual credit cards for online purchases. You’ll get a number, an expiration date, and all the other credentials you’ll need.
Companies may also set custom limits for virtual credit cards. That means your limit could be as high as an office coordinator planning a party, down to one employee managing a few subscriptions. So it makes it easier to set up specific cards to manage set costs like recurring software.
Employees can get access to virtual credit cards with specific limits to manage a variety of software expenses. For example, managers can issue a virtual card just for managing expenses for design software like Figma or Adobe if a designer needs it. Rather than giving an employee carte blanche to decide how to manage the expense, they can set very clear limits for costs—like the type of subscription or the number of seats.
Why should you silo your SaaS expenses on virtual credit cards?
Virtual credit cards are obviously there to make your team’s life a little bit easier. So the last thing you want to do is let those expenses get out of control by issuing way too many virtual credit cards.
That being said, most companies are going to have very predictable expenses. You’re probably going to pay for G Suite, communications tools like Slack, and any other specific software you may need for your business. Ecommerce companies may need Shopify, while software startups may need Amazon cloud services.
A virtual credit card can also limit the risk of the wrong people getting access to that credit card. Managers can keep the limits as low as necessary and can shut them down if they see any expense beyond the designated software. You could literally just designate a virtual credit card as your G Suite card, though you’ll probably want to make things a little more organized.
Virtual credit card benefits go beyond managing recurring software expenses
There are plenty of other great use cases for virtual credit cards, such as when you’re working with third parties, have major one-off online expenses while planning an offsite, or just trying to simplify your costs across a variety of functions. They offer a way to simplify your expense management process while providing additional layers of protection.