Corporate Pay makes transactions easier and with added securityMyles Stephenson, Chief Executive of Corporate Pay, London, was at WTM to talk to online travel agents, retail agents, wholesalers and tour operators – but he was also very happy to talk to ITCM.
‘We have a service’, he told Sydney Paulden, ‘that has been created to facilitate payments for accommodation, flights, car rental, cruises and rail journeys. I think you’ll agree that that more or less applies to the MICE sector, too’.
The benefits, he claimed, range over reduced costs, simple reconciliation of accounts, very precise control of who gets paid and how much. It can also include payment in arrears with a line of credit.
ITCM’s first question was who exactly is behind all this movement of finances? The answer was: ‘Wright Express, which is the origin of the name of the WEX Bank in the USA. WEX is among the top 10 issuers of commercial payment purchasing solutions in the USA. We handle over US$20bn of payments annually on behalf of 350,000 customers. We issue MasterCard branded credit products through our wholly owned industrial bank, WEX Financial Services Corporation.’
The service is based on the issue of virtual cards, each dedicated to a precise payment to a given supplier. It can only be used to make an e-payment for a single transaction at a specific time and date.
This makes it virtually impregnably secure and results, too, in very simplified accounting with much less paperwork. Used wisely, the system improves cashflow and greatly reduces the responsibility on the shoulders of those organisers who otherwise have to see to suppliers’ invoices and payments.
The system is flexible in its applications. It can, for example, be employed to provide incentives for staff, with finite amounts of spend issued in the form of virtual cards, tailored to each one personally.
In answer to further questions, ITCM learned from Myles that the virtual card payments are accepted by all suppliers that work with MasterCard and Visa and can be provided in at least 10 currencies, including sterling, US dollars and Euros.