Why modern finance teams are eliminating the corporate card

Tuesday 4 May 2021 08:42 CET | Editor: Andra Constantinovici | Interview

The Paypers discusses with Oded Zehavi, Co-founder and CEO of Mesh Payments, how the orchestration of corporate spend in organizations have significantly changed over the past year 

The nature of the modern workforce is globally dispersed and remote. As the world shifts rapidly to a distributed work mindset, many things have changed in relation to corporate spend. Keeping track of all employees’ corporate cards and spend is a constant challenge, as companies often have little to no visibility or control. This has led to the exponential growth of financial executives searching for a more effective way to orchestrate their corporate spending and consider eliminating corporate cards.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing finance teams in regards to corporate payments?

As companies increasingly look towards adopting next-gen spend management platforms to increase speed and efficiency, today their corporate spend is driven by a combination of corporate cards and employees compelled to finance corporate spend and then claim for reimbursement. SaaS services and other corporate spend are paid for by corporate cards, however, to keep control, finance teams have had to reduce the number of cards to a minimum, and in most cases there is just one card in use which is held by the finance team. In reality, finance teams have made the corporate card a single point of failure for many critical SaaS services that could stop operating if one of the recurring charges might fail due to the corporate card being compromised, lost, replaced or simply expired. Mesh enables companies to eliminate corporate cards, while allowing them to pay for all SaaS services and corporate spend with complete visibility, control, and in-depth payment intelligence to better orchestrate, manage, reconcile, and reduce spend while preventing payment failures and ensuring business continuity. 

Can companies operate without corporate cards?

Finance teams have lacked visibility and control over their corporate cards regardless if they are a simple AMEX or BREX card attempting to be sophisticated. Mesh’s approach enables small to medium sized companies to eliminate their corporate cards, while permitting any employee that is required to spend on behalf of the company to request a payment. Following the finance team’s approval, the employee has access to a highly controlled payment instrument fuelled by virtual cards.

What do you attribute your spike in growth to in such a short time period? 

With the onset of Covid-19, finance teams have been forced to rethink their entire organisational processes and corporate cards which was a pain point that they were eager to solve. Additionally, with the shift in corporate budget to cloud and online media spend, Mesh was well positioned to empower finance teams with their quest for next generation technology for corporate spend. Mesh services scores of companies that are each spending hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly, with complete control and visibility of their SaaS and corporate spend. 

What are the challenges that the new work from home (WFH) model brought to finance teams? 

Remote employees working from home required organisations to move more and more services to the cloud. Many of these SaaS services required recurring monthly payments in order to function effectively. This brought up new challenges as to how organisations could purchase SaaS services with recurring billing plans, review that the monthly charges are correct and assure that no payment was missed due to issues with the card on file. 

Are there any additional trends that you notice when you speak with finance executives? 

Yes, for example continuous accounting which means that finance managers can balance out their workload as they perform all activities in real-time and deal with situations as they come up and not only at the end of each month. This avoids the peaks and troughs that finance teams used to constantly experience, giving them more control and visibility into their corporate spend. 

To enable continuous accounting, Mesh integrates in real-time with accounting systems like Oracle NetSuite, which is the standard for fast growing companies globally. 

Mesh is servicing some of the most exciting global technology companies. What are the lessons you have learnt from working with these companies? 

I am mostly excited about listening to CEOs and not only finance executives stating that the days of corporate cards in their company are over. We have seen finance teams with the right mindset, reduce purchasing processes that have taken days, to only minutes without compromising on control and losing sight of any spend. This is a pivotal moment and finance management will be disrupted forever.

About Oded Zehavi

Oded Zehavi is the Founder & CEO of Mesh Payments and board and advisory board member of several Israeli FinTech companies. Previously, he served as Payoneer's Chief Revenue Officer. Prior to Payoneer, Oded served as the business development director for PayPal, where among other responsibilities he led the inception of the PayPal services in the Middle East and Africa. He also held leadership roles at several technology, banking and software companies, focusing on sales and customer relations.  

About Mesh Payments

Mesh Payments is disrupting the corporate payments space with its cardless payments solution. Cardless organizations enjoy full visibility, control, and in-depth payment intelligence to better orchestrate, manage, reconcile, and reduce spend while preventing payment failures and assuring business continuity. Mesh is redefining corporate payments, without corporate cards. 

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Keywords: corporate card, B2B payments, spend management, SaaS, financial services
Categories: Banking & Fintech | Online Payments
Countries: Israel
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