Benefits & Comparisons
How are ePayables Similar to Traditional P-Cards?
Like P-Cards, ePayables utilize the card networks and related card infrastructure (“card rails”). There are also some shared benefits between the two.
The end-user organization:
- gains process efficiencies (but more so for P-Cards)
- might be able to reduce AP staff
- pays its issuer/provider monthly, at a minimum, for all transactions
- is usually offered rebate incentives
- has access to robust reporting through the provider
- does not need to complete federal 1099 reporting
How are ePayables Different than Traditional P-Cards?
With ePayables, the end-user organization:
- does not issue cards to employees
- targets different purchases/suppliers
- utilizes an invoice-based process; with P-Cards, invoices should usually be omitted
- has more steps in the purchase-to-pay (P2P) process
- gains more control, including the payment timing to suppliers and elimination of duplicate charges, due to how the solutions are designed
- provide an invoice
- must wait for the end-user to approve the invoice and initiate payment; with P-Cards, they can charge a card upon order fulfillment
- might not need to process a transaction; see how suppliers get paid
- experience fewer disputes and chargebacks since payments are based on approved invoices
How Do Virtual Cards Differ from Traditional P-Cards?
Virtual Cards are associated with ePayables pull payments. Suppliers must charge a designated card account number like they do for P-Card payments, but there are distinct differences.
Each month, a P-Card can accommodate multiple transactions from various suppliers, up to the card’s designated spend limit. A supplier can charge the P-Card at any time, as long as there is available limit.
With Virtual Cards, there is no monthly/cycle spend limit. By design, a Virtual Card is intended to accommodate one invoice, or a collective total representing a batch of invoices, from one supplier. A Virtual Card has no available limit (the supplier cannot charge the card account) until the end-user organization approves the invoice(s) and initiates payment for the total amount.