It’s Time to Get Serious with Automation and V-Cards


By Karen Wainwright

February 21, 2019


Mitigate fraud, earn rebates and transform your AP operations into a revenue generation center all with one payment method…how is this possible?


The answer is automation with virtual cards or V-cards, if you will.


Let’s talk about what a V-cards are in the context of automation, some statistics and how you can benefit from this approach whenever you make a payment.


A V-card is almost like a traditional credit card like you have in your wallet, but with some key differences. It is not a physical card, but still operates as you might imagine. It comes with a 16-digit account number for one-time use only. Once it’s used, it’s can’t be used for another transaction. Also, the payment amount is fixed, along with the vendor being paid and an expiration date. It’s as simple as that.


When you make a payment to a vendor, you will simply use this “card” to make the payment and then when the next payment comes up, a new 16-digit card with amount and expiration date will be generated. This is the future of AP automation and it’s that easy.


Automation is not just using ERP software with ability to cut checks and generate files for your bank. It means utilizing rules, workflows, analysis and paper-less systems. It also deals with how you manage files, approvals and signature authority with decreased human intervention each time AP professionals make payments. Additionally, executive management will expect an actual process or a dependable system to capture discounting, track cash flow and eliminate fraud.


Food for thought…

  • According to a study by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the number of checks issued by companies declined by 2.3 billion between 2012 and 2015; electronic payments, including V-cards, have increased.

  • Using V-cards becomes part of the overall AP automation strategy that executives strive for. These leaders have seen a 33% increased net profit and income margins due to automation per CFO Research.

  • The executives love how payment processes cost 60% less in an automated electronic payment environment vs. manual paper-based systems. This was extracted from Ardent Partners 2016-2017 Technology and Innovation Outlook Report.

  • The most recognized AP organization, IOFM, states that 68% of controllers prioritize improving cash flow visibility in their Senior Finance Executive Survey.

  • Depending upon what study you read, the cost of issuing a paper check can be from $3-$20, while electronic payments are significantly less at less than a dollar for electronic payments and under two dollars for card payments.


These powerful statistics prove that paper checks are consistently becoming a thing of the past for companies and organizations. Automation is leading the way with V-cards being an integral part of the journey.


How can you benefit? Think about the decreased fraud within your organization. Look forward to the potential of cash rebates which many companies offer if you qualify in a V-card environment. Enjoy increased efficiencies with automation and actual processes. Transform your AP operations into a best-in-class department.


It’s time to modernize your AP department with world-class automated solutions. The more you delay, the more it will cost long-term and inhibit your growth.