Reappraise the value of B2B card payments.

What will drive your organization to reduce its check volume in 2015 by adopting more card payments? A new year, or any time really, is a great time to instigate positive change. The trick is quantifying your opportunity first to garner internal buy-in. This will also help you evaluate the outcome of your efforts down the road.

So, what is your B2B card payments opportunity? In a blog post last month, AOC Solutions provided a striking example showing more than $400,000 in annual benefits. It used an organization who: 

  • had 3,000 invoices/month, with half typically paid via check
  • switched half of the check payments to a combination of P-Cards and Virtual Cards

Do the same type of exercise, filling in the card metrics and related data specific to your organization: 

  • process savings per P-Card transaction
  • average P-Card transaction size
  • average ePayables/Virtual Card transaction size, if applicable
  • average rebate percentage/basis points earned

If you do not have an ePayables program today, explore how (or whether) one would round out your payment strategy. Consider the 2014 status of your check payments to build goals for 2015. What percentage of your B2B payments do checks comprise? Enlist the help of your card provider to identify the best supplier candidates to migrate away from checks.

I cannot think of any good reason to continue making checks the foundation of our payment strategies. While checks will not go away any time soon in the United States, we sure can be doing more to change to more efficient electronic payments. Make 2015 a new year other than by just changing the calendar.

Leave 2014 (and checks!) behind. Make B2B card payments a priority in 2015.  

Leave 2014 (and checks!) behind. Make B2B card payments a priority in 2015.  

The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.
— Bill Clinton

My Experience

As a P-Card program manager, I created an expansion plan centered on switching 10 key suppliers to card payments. This was exciting and manageable. Where I failed was in measuring the expansion results. What did we achieve in terms of additional process savings and rebates? Did we reap the expected benefits? What about the suppliers?

Even if you have, as I did, full management support to pursue expansion, which makes documenting the results less urgent, doing so can be inspiring. It might help drive similar positive change in your organization’s other offices/regions/districts. Whether you are launching or expanding a traditional P-Card program and/or Virtual Card program, a good plan—one that includes follow up activity—is important. 


About the Author

Blog post author Lynn Larson, CPCP, is the founder of Recharged Education. With more than 15 years of Commercial Card experience, her mission is to make industry education readily accessible to all. Learn more

Subscribe to the Blog

Re-ignite a spark in your card program.

Has your card program become too routine, lacking the attention it deserves? It is never too late to give it a boost. I am sharing simple things you can do, inspired by my mother’s upcoming wedding. Bride and groom are both over 70, but they are throwing one heck of a party for more than 200 guests. Take a cue from this and create similar energy on the job. Your program could benefit from it.

Be Visible/Extend Invitations

Step away from your desk and say hello to cardholders. Ask about their biggest P-Card challenge (it could help drive program improvements). Thank them for their role in the program. Also expand your reach beyond cardholders. Raise awareness of the program and the many benefits by:

  • meeting one-on-one with internal business units, discussing their card usage and opportunities; provide reports with historical data, which also support control efforts per the previous blog post
  • offering 30-minute “lunch and learn” sessions open to the organization at large
  • participating in HR-hosted training for new managers

Maybe it’s time to assemble a new steering committee or advisory group to help guide and improve the program—much like such a team does during the initial implementation stage. 

Give your card program a spark of energy through a blend of promotion and celebration. 

Give your card program a spark of energy through a blend of promotion and celebration. 

Celebrate

Just as a big wedding can be acceptable at any age, there’s no reason why you should not share and celebrate achievements in the workplace. For example, celebrate:

You don’t have to go overboard. In some cases, simply announcing an achievement is a sufficient celebration.

Be Positive

Too often, there’s a negative energy hanging over a card program—overly prohibitive rules (“do not…”), magnifying a minor issue, only reporting what is wrong or could go wrong, etc. Regularly introduce some positivity to retain program interest and excitement.

The results you achieve will be in direct proportion to the effort you apply.
— Denis Waitley

For more information on program management, visit the related webpage. See also how one end-user made marketing a priority


About the Author

Blog post author Lynn Larson, CPCP, is the founder of Recharged Education. With more than 15 years of Commercial Card experience, her mission is to make industry education readily accessible to all. Learn more

Subscribe to the Blog