The use of virtual payments for business travel expenses is on the rise. A study conducted by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) found that the usage of single-use virtual accounts by American businesses was up 13 percent in 2015. And, as this payment solution grows in popularity, its utility gives it the potential to become an industry standard. But what’s behind the rise of virtual payments? Here are three aspects of virtual payments that make it an excellent solution for your travel program and travelers.


  1. Gain control, increase compliance

For travel managers looking to control business travel expenses, virtual card numbers (VCNs) can be an incredibly useful asset. With the creation of each new virtual number, which is generated digitally at the point of sale, managers are able to stipulate exactly which expenses the card may be used for, as well as how much may be spent. For instance, single virtual payment numbers can be created specifically for hotel bookings, allowing managers to ensure that their travelers are complying with the company’s travel policy. With the help of single-use virtual payments, travel managers can make sure that the policies they have in place serve their ultimate purpose: driving maximum savings and compliance.


  1. Protect your payments

In addition to increased compliance, virtual payments may improve security. Travel managers can set limits not just on where, but also when, each VCN can be used. Additionally, misuse can be limited and threat of data theft can be greatly lessened by the fact that these VCNs are single-use—meaning that the number expires once it is used for its valid business travel expense.


  1. A streamlined system for visibility and reconciliation

When a company relies on several payment methods to book travel and hotels, taking care of multiple bill payments and different billing processes can be a huge time sink for travel managers and their travelers. The use of virtual payments can eliminate all these extraneous sources of data and streamline expense management to deliver vital travel data all in one place. This means managers can increase program visibility while saving their travelers time too with simple reconciliation.

Read our case study that shows how Microsoft™ benefited from VCNs.