Optimise Employee Expenses with Company Cards

4 min read
Jun 1, 2023
Optimise Employee Expenses with Company Cards


Increasingly, organisations are looking to leverage their own spend data to improve the quality of service provided by external companies. The reason for this is that direct access to transaction data offers opportunities to speed up administrative processes, leaving more time for things that positively impact the organisation’s bottom line.

For example, giving a third party access to credit card transaction data can save a lot of time in the tracking, submitting and processing of company credit card expenses.

What is a credit card data feed?

A data feed is an an enriched output file that allows for the automation and data transfer from banks and payment providers to external solutions or platforms. In the case of a company credit card data feed, we are talking about transaction data.

The feed automatically links expenses paid with a business credit card with the relevant transaction information such as the amount, date, currency, source currency, exchange rate, merchant, merchant category code (MCC), etc.

How a company credit card data feed works

With a data feed activated, employees who use a company credit card are proactively informed of their transactions. Thanks to push notifications, each transaction nudges the user into adding the corresponding receipt or invoice.

Users can easily do this by taking a picture of their invoice or receipt with their smartphone. The process simplifies the corporate expense creation and submission process for employees. It also makes the administrative handling of company credit card transactions and statements a lot faster and more effective. In turn, this leads to faster controls and reimbursements, making for more satisfied travellers and finance department employees.

The latter also benefit from credit card data feeds in that they get access to real time spend data. Not only this, the instantaneous availability of receipts captured with a mobile app means no more chasing down receipts that have been lost or become unreadable. Analytics and financial reporting become much more accurate, based on data, allowing for more strategic decision-making.

What company credit cards are available?

The availability of an automatic transaction data feed depends on the type of card and the card issuer. The issuer is usually, but not always, your bank.

Mastercard company credit cards

If you use Mastercard through your bank, the process can be a little trickier. In this case, the bank or issuer must obtain a Smart Data Online license directly from Mastercard. This license is required to be able to activate data feeds for end customers.

Unfortunately, not all European banks have a Smart Data Online license. Therefore, you will have to check your bank’s status with them if you wish to enable Mastercard transaction data feeds to third party software.

Visa company credit cards

With Visa company credit cards, the process is a little more complex. There is no 'product' available to set up transaction data feeds. Banks are not allowed to license this product.

To receive VISA transactions automatically, your bank (issuer) must develop this data feed and deliver you the transactions. You are therefore dependent on the bank’s willingness to develop such a data feed.

According to our information, only a few banks are currently able to develop transaction data feeds for VISA cards in Europe.

Amex company credit cards

Finally, if your organisation uses Amex company credit cards, the process is a lot simpler.

Amex is the only card supplier without issuers and therefore has a direct relationship with its customers. Setting up the transaction data feed is both simple and free.

What if my credit card doesn't have a data feed?

If you aren’t able to set up a data feed with your company credit card transactions, expense management tools offer you a viable solution.

The statements you receive monthly from your company credit card issuer are easily imported into one of these tools. From there, the transactions are automatically read and assigned per employee. Receipts or invoices that are already available in the solution are immediately linked to the correct transaction.

And if there is no receipt available yet, one can always be added at a later time.

This method is the most cost-efficient alternative in Europe for the automated processing of VISA corporate card transactions and those of many other issuers.

In addition, Mobilexpense supports the automatic upload of all types of statements in various file formats and makes no distinction between card issuers.

One app to manage expenses and company credit cards

An additional advantage of an expense management solution is that employees can account for all business expenses in one user-friendly app.

Expenses are captured by simply photographing the receipt or invoice with one’s smartphone after being paid for with a corporate card. And mileages or daily allowances can easily be calculated and added in a few taps on the same app, by entering dates and a destination.

Having all expenses in one handy app gives both employees and their supervisors real-time insight into their spending. This avoids any nasty surprises on either side and makes for more accurate spend reporting.

Company credit card data feeds with Mobilexpense

Mobilexpense boasts intuitive apps, with a great user-experience and easy onboarding at the forefront.

Employees receive push notifications for pending corporate card transactions, making it almost impossible for receipts to go missing. And the periodicity of the data feed import makes it easy to quickly spot discrepancies or out-of-policy spending.

That cup of coffee with your colleague from Finance becomes extra enjoyable when you know that the expense will be approved and reimbursed quickly, while requiring zero follow up.

In conclusion

Company credit cards are on the rise to manage employee expenses, and with good reason. They are an easy way to cap and keep track of spending, while empowering employees to spend where it matters.

Corporate cards provide users and Finance departments with visibility and insights, as well as reducing the incidence of human error and fraud.

While corporate card feeds aren’t necessarily easy to manage on their own, importing the feeds into an expense management solution like Mobilexpense removes the hassle and simplifies spend management.