How a virtual card for subscriptions optimises your subscription management strategy
- Debit card
Keeping track of spendings becomes more difficult the bigger your company becomes. If different departments or individual employees subscribe to a wide range of online services and tools, keeping track of all expenses is almost impossible without the proper infrastructure. Also, monitoring and administrating your ad spend with different providers in various currencies can be challenging. Virtual business debit cards are a game changer that allow your employees to make individual purchasing decisions while you remain in charge of the budget and get a full overview of all expenses in real-time.
What are virtual cards for subscriptions?
A virtual debit card works exactly like a physical card. It contains the cardholder’s name, a 16-digit debit card number, CVV number, expiry date and is linked to a payment network such as Mastercard. As a result, cardholders can conduct online transactions just as they would with physical cards.
In comparison to physical cards, which take a certain amount of time to be produced, activated and distributed, virtual debit cards for subscriptions can be activated in real-time and used by employees immediately.
Administrative functionalities enable you to set individual parameters for each card, including spending limits, expiry dates, temporary deactivations and country or merchant type restrictions. Further, depending on the issuer, your finance department can keep track of all transactions on a single interface, simplifying reporting.
Why do you need subscription management?
Subscription management is part of the overall expense management strategy of a company.
A lot of businesses struggle, as they only have one company card to pay for all services, tools and ads. Usually, only the owner or an accountant has access to the transactions, while the individual teams or the responsible person don’t even have an actual overview and don’t know whether a certain subscription is still running. As a result, the accountant needs to go from department to department to ask for payment ownership. Besides the administrative burden, sharing card details and security codes to enable online payments poses an immense security threat for the company.
On the other hand, issuing multiple cards to different departments without a strategy might be equally counterproductive, as some services might be bought twice instead of taking advantage of enterprise-level subscription plans. Further, keeping track of all expenses is difficult.
Traditionally, companies were reluctant to issue several (physical) cards because they lacked a clear overview, the costs were higher, and it usually took more time and bureaucratic effort to get an additional physical card, not to mention the safety concerns of handing out too many cards.
Virtual cards are a game changer in tackling all these pain points. Issuing virtual cards for subscriptions is the fastest path to gaining better control over your company’s expenses, as everything is traceable in real-time within one dashboard. Administrators know who is responsible for each payment and can set additional safety measures, such as limits or expiry dates.
Common challenges for an efficient subscription management
Virtual cards for subscriptions are the basis for an efficient subscription management strategy and to tackle common challenges associated with single card usage, recurrent transactions and duplicate subscriptions.
Managing recurrent transactions
To keep an eye on all subscriptions is already a challenge on a personal level. For SMEs and larger enterprises, a structured approach is needed to keep track of all recurring expenses. This task is getting more difficult the larger the company becomes.
Even worse: Free trials, which may or may not be used, can quickly turn into full subscriptions. If there is just one card and no clear communication between card administrators and users, these unnecessary expenses won’t go away and most likely will increase.
Single card usage
A single or a few cards, which are shared between departments, not only lead to unnecessary recurrent transactions, but also prevent you from setting budgets for each specific function. When you are using the same credit card for marketing, sales and tech SaaS subscriptions, it is almost impossible to set a budget.
Further, keeping track of all recurring payments is as difficult as issuing multiple cards, as depending on the size and scope of the company, maybe tens or even hundreds of transactions are done on a daily basis. It becomes almost impossible to keep track of all expenses in one interface.
Avoid duplicate subscriptions
While single card usage is the main reason for poor subscription management, issuing single cards to individual departments can also lead to problems. Depending on the internal communication structure inside your company, issuing multiple cards may lead to duplicate subscriptions, as different user accounts are opened for the same kind of service.
With one single virtual debit card for subscriptions on a functional and even corporate level, your organisation can benefit from discounts for tools and applications, which are needed by most of your employees.
Streamlining accounting and reporting
Whether you rely on a single company card or have multiple cards floating around, the absence of a dedicated subscription management strategy leads not only to increased business spend but consumes valuable time in labor-intensive data entry and bookkeeping. From collecting and processing invoices, to reviewing and approving expenses and getting data in accountant-ready formats, countless hours are dedicated to these tasks, leaving room for manual errors that can have detrimental financial consequences.
Streamlining expense management with virtual cards provides instant clarity on payment ownership and, depending on your provider, speeds up accounting tasks with further convenient accounting features.
Low limits with restricted self-service
Traditional card solutions often impose limitations on transaction amounts as well as self-service options, leaving organizations in need of adjustments to contact banks and request card limit increases over the phone. This limitation not only disrupts the flow of business but also adds administrative hassle.
How to use your virtual debit card for subscriptions and ad spendings
A virtual card for subscriptions makes payments easier and is the backbone of a successful subscription management strategy. Virtual cards can be issued instantly online at very low (or no) costs, so that companies can easily issue 1 card per department or employee to keep an overview.
Each card is assigned to a spender, so you always know who in which team manages each subscription. Cards can further be added to groups in case the function has a strict budget but several cards, providing group managers maximum control. Spending limits, restrictions and other security measures can be defined per card. This enables your teams to act faster, more independently and keep a close eye on every subscription, while on a corporate level you can keep an overview over each and every expense in real time.
However, some subscriptions might be cheaper for company-wide purchases. Therefore, it is recommended to issue higher-level cards and establish a budget for company-wide subscriptions. Subscriptions for the entire organisation, such as cloud storage solutions or productivity apps, let you profit from favourable rates while eliminating the silo effect of decentralised subscription management.
Save 3-5% on fees for subscriptions and ads in foreign currencies
If your company does not use a multi-currency card for subscriptions and ads, you will be familiar with foreign transaction fees of 1 to 3%. In addition, most card providers charge currency conversion margins of more than 2%. By using a virtual multi-currency debit card, your company is able to save between 3-5% on the foreign currency spend.
amnis optimises your online subscription management
amnis’ virtual debit card for subscriptions is everything your business needs to optimise your subscription management and ad spend. Safety features such as custom spending limits for single cards or entire teams, geoblocking, cash withdrawal and merchant-type restrictions to prevent misuse as well as flexible de- and reactivation for one-off purchases give you an unprecedented level of control and safety, while cash management automations, expense pre-classification and file import features streamline the workflows of your accounting department.
Plus, with our multi-currency business account you can optimise your subscription payments across various currencies and ensure seamless financial management. amnis’ multi-currency capabilities include foreign currency accounts in 20+ currencies, ensuring low and transparent FX fees and making amnis the top choice for subscriptions and ad spendings in multiple currencies and international payments.
The free Starter plan already comes with unlimited virtual cards, which can be issued in real-time via a user-friendly online application. The cards can be conveniently assigned to individuals, teams or projects to further simplify bookkeeping and monitor assigned budgets with ease. Additionally, distinct user roles grant administrator and managers full access with the ability to adjust all settings 24/7 online, while card users have secure access to their own transaction history and can block their card in case of loss or suspected fraud.
Beside your virtual debit card, there are many more ways to save transaction costs and exchange rate fees. Test the world of international multi-currency payments with a demo account to figure out how much money you can save.