Business travel can be very expensive. In fact, as most companies know, Travel and Expenses (T&E) are the second highest controllable expense after Salary and Benefits. It is also an area where businesses can lose significant sums of money due to weak exchange rates, confusion over expenses, misunderstandings in the expenses process, fraudulent activity and cash being lost or stolen. In order to address these issues, one solution to consider is using prepaid travel cards.
The Chip & PIN protection provided by these cards helps ensure the security of both staff and funds. In addition, budgeting becomes easier, as employee expenses are limited to the amount of funds loaded onto the card. Unlike cash, prepaid travel cards also have clear audit trails, which mean that all parties can see where, when and exactly how much is being spent. This not only helps month-end expense calculations, but also brings increased transparency throughout the spending and claims process, which in turn makes expenses fraud much less likely.
There are obvious advantages for staff as well as for the business itself. Firstly, employees do not need to worry about ending up stranded in a hotel without access to money. Prepaid travel cards are widely accepted, as they are scheme badged and can be used at places such as ATMs, point of sale (POS), restaurants, hotels and car rentals.
In addition, employees do not need to be concerned about being underpaid caused by confusion in the expenses process or being out of pocket for long periods of time whilst waiting to be reimbursed. For these reasons, prepaid cards provide employees with much greater control over their expenses.
Mobile apps can now give employees access to a full transaction history, rather than just their balance alone. This means they can manage the entire process themselves with just a few taps on their phone.
For companies that regularly (or even just occasionally) send their employees overseas to work, multi-currency prepaid cards offer even greater benefits. There is no need to deal with the hassle of exchanging money or being left with small denominations at the end of a trip: prepaid multi-currency cards store any unused funds on the card. Employees also have the option of transferring the remaining balance to another currency, on the same card, in real-time.
In addition, employers can often lose large amounts of money due to unfavourable exchange rates. Prepaid multi-currency travel cards can help reduce this risk by allowing employers to lock in a favourable exchange rate ahead of travel.
With benefits like these, employees can enjoy greater flexibility – and the company can save money by streamlining its expense management processes. Prepaid cards also help to create a more engaging experience for staff across the business – and across the globe – by giving employees the freedom, security and control that they need to reduce stress and concentrate on their day-to-day tasks.