Key take aways from EDC’s participation at B2B payment conference CPI

Key take aways from EDC’s participation at B2B payment conference CPI

Gregoire Toussaint
November 6, 2023

Panel discussion – Opening session of CPI

Greg Toussaint had the pleasure of moderating 3 sessions at the Commercial Payments International - CPI Summit on 17th-18th October in New York City.

1. The first session was the CPI Summit's opening session with:
  • Luis Silva, Vice President, Digital Partnerships, Mastercard
  • Dan McKenzie, Senior Product Manager, Discover
  • Jason Turner, VP, National Solution Consulting Manager, Commerce Bank
  • Felix Ayarza, Global Corporate Payments Head, Senior Vice President, Citi

A great session with insightful perspectives and in-depth analysis of B2B payments:

  • What has shaped the industry over the past years, looking at the key changes related to commercial cards including cheque replacement, robust corporate embracement of payment digitalisation, the acceleration of virtual card adoption and usage, and the impact of real-time payments
  • What are the key trends we can expect for the upcoming years, analysing the growth of mobile apps and virtual cards, the requirement to drive efficiency including reconciliation and processes and the need to integrate and embed payment flows for a better customer experience while providing more control to mitigate risks

We concluded the panel discussion with the need to have a greater focus to unlock card acceptance, bring innovation across the board to automate workflows and enable connectivity and enable a more digital experience for corporates to embed and leverage payments.

2. The second session was a panel discussion focusing on the current and future applications of virtual cards in commercial payments with:
  • Sebastien Delasnerie, Executive Vice President, Commercial Cards, Mastercard
  • Angelo Impoco, Head of Air Services, Strategic Partnerships and the Aviation Center of Excellence (ACE), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
  • Orna Albus, Chief Product Officer, Extend
  • Irfan Kamdar, Global Online Commerce Head, Senior Vice President, Citi

This session provided a detailed analysis of virtual card usage in B2B payments:

  • The current state - benefits/advantages of virtual cards, providing data, security, fraud management, control configurability, process efficiency and analysing when corporates use virtual cards (e.g., tail spend, uncarded employees, growing usage of virtual cards beyond travel to procurement)
  • Looking ahead - emerging use cases of virtual cards across verticals/industry needs thanks to the acceleration of digitalisation of the economy, e-commerce growth, consumerisation of customer experience with different levers such as technology, API and integration with different stakeholders in the value chain. The rise in interest rates also created a foundation to provide more value to both buyers and suppliers taking into consideration financial rebates and cost of funds. Industry verticals / use cases such as AP, bill payments, tax, utility, software & IT cloud, digital economy platforms were highlighted as strong usage for virtual cards
  • How to accelerate the adoption of virtual cards: by focusing on the customer journey for both buyers and suppliers, improving data aggregation and reconciliation, developing embedded finance in procurement to pay or order to cash workflows and defining standards related to embedded payments, we can expect an accelerated growth of virtual cards adoption and usage
3. The third session was another panel discussion, focusing on the usage of virtual cards in business travel with:
  • Edward Galvin, Vice President of Sales, Visa Business Solutions North America, Visa
  • Janet Guthrie, Head of Global Travel, Product Commercialization and Latin America Local Issuing, Bank of America
  • Jørgen Christian, CEO, Cardlay
  • Andrew Unwin, Product manager, Dataflexnet Limited

This session provided an in-depth analysis of virtual card usage in business travel:

  • What are the specificities and trends related to business travel: the panel discussed the specificities of business travel and its value chain, the different types of virtual cards used in business travel, the evolution of cardholder behaviour and the wallet provisioning with tap and go providing more control and flexibility for both corporate travellers and corporations
  • How can virtual cards capture this business travel opportunity: with changes post pandemic, travellers are increasingly moving to pure digital vs. re-issue plastic cards. Occasional business travellers, recruitment and non-employees create new use cases for virtual cards. The use of virtual cards for hotel and air allow to reduce credit limit and facilitate expense management and reconciliation. Emerging use cases and aspects such as rail, sustainability, importance of data, security are also factors underpinning the growth of virtual cards in business travel. The provisioning of virtual cards in mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay is a game changer, facilitating the creation, distribution and usage virtual cards with instant card issuing and a digital platform to manage virtual cards. This can be enabled thanks to a greater partnership between financial institutions and fintech to achieve a faster time to market leveraging fintech more nimble technology and UX and contributing to the consumerisation of commercial payments
  • How to go beyond current hurdles to grow further the business travel virtual card market: some hurdles still need to be overcome such as virtual card payments at hotels and reception of hotel invoices. However, thanks to a greater industry education, integration with different partners and a greater focus on customer experience, the usage of virtual cards at hotels is expected to be smoother. Regarding the airline sector, IATA’s TIP (Transparency In Payments) programme creates an industry solution for the usage of virtual cards provided that airlines give their consent. A greater focus on education, expanding virtual cards beyond the occasional traveller to the hardcore traveller, simplified customer experience and data mining will contribute to a higher usage of virtual cards in business travel in the coming years

Reach out to me and the team at Edgar, Dunn & Company if you want to discuss commercial and B2B payments. You can access our latest white paper on B2B payments highlighting pain points for corporates and best practices for payment providers:

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