Advertorial: Diners Club – Instant Supplier Settlements

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Diners Club South Africa has launched the Dynamic Virtual Card (DVC) – a revolutionary solution to the challenges of billbacks.

The Dynamic Virtual Card is a complete travel supplier payment solution that facilitates immediate supplier settlement, enabling cost-savings and improving cash flow. By providing additional transactional reference data, the DVC enhances reporting and simplifies reconciliation. Furthermore, the DVC vastly reduces the risk of fraud as it limits the need to store and distribute card information to third parties/suppliers.

“Diners Club has led innovation in the T & E space since Frank McNamara founded Diners Club in 1950,” says Kevin Lomax, head: commercial card, Diners Club and Standard Bank SA. “Our progress into virtual cards is a logical evolution of this innovative nature.  With over 1,500 lodge cards in circulation, we have a foundation from which to do this.”

 Lomax reveals more about this inventive new service.

Q: How does a virtual card differ from other payment methods
A:
The virtual card is an innovation on our market-leading lodge card. In a nutshell, it is a single use, pre-determined value, limited time frame card. Unlike other virtual cards on the market,  it does not require pre-funding as it utilises the lodge card credit facility issued by Diners Club. 

Q: How does the Dynamic Virtual Card benefit corporate travellers? 
A:
Quite simply,  no more charges on personal credit cards. Organisations that don’t issue corporate cards, such as public sector due to National Treasury regulations, often require travellers to pay for hotels and car hire using their personal cards, and then refund after a long and arduous expense management and reconciliation process.  With our virtual card, the company policy can still be implemented and the traveller does not have to pay out of his or her pocket.  The bookings are authorised in advance and settled on check-out. 

Q: What benefits do virtual cards offer corporate travel managers?
A:
The corporate travel manager is better able to ensure compliance with travel policy; they don’t have to reconcile billbacks and they don’t have to manage claims from corporate travellers. The travel manager is also better positioned to manage costs as they can ensure their preferred suppliers accept the cards and don’t have to reconcile fees from multiple areas.

Q: What other industries will benefit from a virtual card? 
A:
 Diners Club prides itself on being a preferred travel and entertainment solution provider.  However, we are seeing trends toward using our solutions for other corporate expenses such as paying utility bills and other procurement spend. The virtual card has application in any accounts-payable process where card details need to remain confidential.  This is an important component in the increasingly onerous arena of card data security standards.

Q: How does a virtual card fit into the payment process? 
A:
We have designed the solution to fit into various scenarios. For some customers, we offer a fully integrated solution where we integrate into the online booking tools and expense management systems. Let’s take a scenario of Nomonde, a corporate sales exec, who has to travel to Cape Town for two days. She will complete her travel requisition according to company policy, using an online system or any other process with the TMC. After the TMC goes out to suppliers to receive quotes, these are approved as per the normal course of business. At the point of confirming the accommodation booking, rather than sending a bill back voucher, the TMC will request a virtual card from Diners Club. This information is then sent to the hotel for them to pre-authorise the booking. When Nomonde checks out of the hotel, the hotel sends a request for cvv and expiry date which is presented to them to submit the card details to Diners Club for settlement. Immediate payment to the hotel, and all costs, are consolidated on the lodge card. If the accommodation provider was a smaller supplier such as a B&B, they would use our online portal to request card details and then upload the card details that are emailed to them. 

Q: How will the virtual card change the way business travellers travel? 
A:
The business traveller will have peace of mind that their costs are covered, they don’t have to spend hours reconciling trip expenses, and they are able to comply with policy. The business traveller has enough to worry about just doing deals and getting the job done without having to worry about payments.

For more information, contact Lomax at kevin.lomax@standardbank.co.za