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How Virtual Cards Can Help Prevent B2B Payment Fraud

preventing b2b payment fraud with virtual cards

Most businesses have taken at least some steps in order to mitigate the risk of fraud in their organization. However, some instances of fraud are incredibly difficult to avoid. In 2018, 82% of organizations were victims of attempted or actual fraud.

Many believe keeping credit cards outside of their vendor payment strategy will reduce their risk of fraud. While this made sense at one point in time, new virtual card technology is changing the way businesses think about credit card payments. Here are two ways virtual cards make it safer for your business to make online payments with credit cards:

Tokenization Protects Credit Card Information From Getting Exposed

Virtual credit cards use a method called tokenization to protect your account information. Tokenization creates tokens: randomly generated payment credentials that replace your static card number. The tokens can only be charged one-time for a specific amount. Tokens are used in the payment process and do not expose your primary account number (PAN) or other details. Your PAN is held safe in a secure token vault. Since your token is not your PAN, it cannot be used outside the context of a specific transaction.

Additionally, like encryption, tokenized data is not mathematically reversible unless you have the original key used to create the token. If a hacker breaches into a system, the number stored can’t be extracted into any value. This makes virtual cards a much more secure method than traditional paper checks. Whereas paper checks are incredibly easy to forge, virtual cards conceal all private information during the payment process from beginning to end.

Charges Can Appear as Debits on Your Bank Account

Paying with a check can take a minimum of one week to be received and processed. Therefore it is extremely time consuming and leaves room for ambiguity in your books. AP automation solutions make it easy for your business to pay individual invoices with virtual card technology, and continue utilizing invoices as a payment control for credit card payments. Rather than all charges appearing in a monthly statement and covering them all with one payment, individual virtual card transactions can appear as debits in your bank account. This increases your visibility into every credit card transaction and eliminates the risk of missing fraudulent charges until they show up at the end of the month on the monthly statement. This also enables you to dispute inaccurate charges more promptly, and also saves your employees time to continue focusing on forward-thinking work rather than making reconciliations in bulk at the end of the month.

Virtual Cards and AP Automation – A Winning Combination

The transition to virtual cards is simplified with AP automation technology MineralTree streamlines the process of paying with virtual cards by centralizing the AP process into one cohesive workflow, and offers the SilverPay virtual card program as one of many available payment options at no additional cost. SilverPay utilizes the Visa Network and provides rewards in the form of cash-back rebates for purchases made using SilverPay.

According to most middle-market businesses, one of the greatest barriers to adding cards to their B2B payment repertoire is a lack of visibility into which vendors can accept card payments. With MineralTree, this is a non-issue. MineralTree reaches out on your behalf and will be automatically enabled in your account. This provides the flexibility to pay other vendors with ACH or check. Pairing accounts payable automation with virtual card payments is a simple way to streamline your existing accounts payable process, and create the benefits of increased efficiency, improved command over cash flow, and mitigated risk of fraud.

Curious to learn more about how accounts payable automation can help your team leverage electronic payments? Contact MineralTree for a personalized demo.


Mike Flynn
Mike is the Senior Marketing Manager at MineralTree. He heads up lead and demand generation efforts in addition to his contributions to the P3 Blog.


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