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Managing marketing spend with virtual cards

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Presented by

Guillaume Bouvard

COO/CMO, Co-founder

Small marketing agencies do big things, and in a world where every dollar counts, you need to effectively manage your marketing spend — for both your agency's and your customers' sake.  

Unfortunately, many firms still depend on outdated, manual approaches to payments. Whether you rely on a stack of physical credit cards to manage various business expenses or a single card that multiple employees use simultaneously, you may be creating massive challenges. 

These approaches not only make it time-consuming to reconcile expenses, but they’re also inefficient, insecure, and excruciating for your finance team. They dedicate too much time to connecting the dots instead of closing the books on time and prioritizing revenue-generating work. 

Good news: you can reclaim control of your agency's finances, streamline reconciliation, and manage marketing budgets more effectively.

But you need a better way to pay. 

That's where spend management powered by virtual cards comes in. 

With virtual cards as part of your payment strategy, you can quickly regain the time and energy to focus on what you do best: creating and executing effective marketing campaigns that drive stellar results for your clients. 

What is a virtual card, and how does it work? 

Virtual cards are just like any other credit card, except they only exist in digital form and come with additional insights and controls. They have their own expiration dates and security codes, and although they are associated with your primary credit card, they can’t compromise your account due to their unique card numbers. You can use virtual cards to make purchases online, over the phone, and in-store by keying in the 16-digit number at checkout, and with some banks, you can even use them with ApplePay and GooglePay. 

So, what’s so great about virtual cards? Their digital nature. 

Virtual cards free you from the hassle of handling multiple physical credit cards and sharing them among various employees and client accounts. Even better, they provide complete oversight and control of your marketing spend, something a physical credit card will never be able to do. 

How to use virtual cards in your agency 

You can use virtual cards in various ways, for example, to:

Manage ad campaigns and high-volume media buying

With so many moving parts in a campaign, it's easy to go over budget and lose track of the myriad of ads you might be running. With virtual cards, you can allocate funds to various digital ads and online campaigns without losing spending oversight. Create a virtual card for each campaign, project, or client, and you'll be on your way to a more efficient method of managing advertising campaigns. 

Empower your employees  

Rather than asking employees to foot the bill, submit tedious expense reports, and wait for reimbursements, equip them with virtual cards. Whenever they need to make a payment, like sending gifts to clients, they'll have a secure and agile method to do so without hurting their finances. Moreover, you’ll ensure they always have a way to pay by issuing ongoing virtual cards, which they can use for recurring monthly expenses, or one-time-use cards, which they can use to take care of conference and event expenses. 

Cover recurring expenses

Ensure your marketing team never misses a beat by using virtual cards to pay for recurring expenses, like software. Create recurring virtual cards that auto-refill every month with a pre-determined spending limit to cover subscriptions for Canva, Hubspot, and any other tool your team uses every day. Set it and forget it, knowing you will never get overcharged or lose access to business-critical tools.  

Pay vendors 

Quickly pay vendors by using a designated virtual card for each one. This ensures you keep finances organized and protected since you don't need to keep your real account number on file with multiple individuals. On top of that, you can strengthen your working relationship with vendors by paying them instantly without having to issue a check or wait for ACH payments to clear. 

Book travel 

Whenever employees need to travel for business, send them a virtual card to pay for travel-related items, like flights and hotels. This way, you can more easily manage T&E spending, and they can travel at ease and without the unnecessary stress of incurring expenses they might not be able to afford. 

Benefits of using virtual cards for marketing spend management

Virtual cards offer a number of benefits that immediately put you a step ahead when it comes to marketing spend management.

1. Ease of use 

Virtual cards are extremely easy to use and offer great flexibility. You no longer need to carry a physical credit card around nor jump on video calls to "securely" share credit card details with remote employees who need to charge an expense. Instead, you can easily create a virtual card through a web or mobile app and distribute it to whoever needs it in a matter of seconds. 

2. Spending controls

With dynamic spend controls, like spending limits and custom expiration dates, you can make sure your team only spends on what they need to, even when spending is distributed over multiple channels. Additionally, with more control comes more accountability and less risk of misuse. 

3. Tracking and reporting

The great thing about virtual cards is they give you a centralized view of all spending, which you can track in real-time, 24/7. With detailed transaction data, it's easy to keep tabs on expenses and reconcile accounts on time at the end of the month. Moreover, you can download reports and integrate the data into your accounting system, saving you time and reducing manual errors. 

4. Security 

With virtual cards, you gain an extra layer of security and reduce the risk of fraud, misuse, or unauthorized charges. Since each virtual card generates a unique credit card number, and you can set spending limits and “active until” dates, they're a great way to control funds and safeguard your real account information.

5. Enhanced budget planning

With several campaigns operating simultaneously and multiple team members handling various marketing tactics, channels, and clients, messy marketing budgets can quickly become a challenge. For that reason, allocate budgets to specific projects. If and when you can do this will depend on the platform you decide to use. For example, with Extend, users benefit from this functionality and enable employees to create and send virtual cards within a pre-determined budget, leading to a clearer view of payments and reduced unnecessary spending.

6. Improved cash flow management

Virtual cards play a critical role in improving your cash flow. Due to their instant purchasing power, it's easier to keep track of your cash and deploy it effectively across numerous projects and business initiatives.

7. Ensure business continuity 

Using a single credit card is unreliable if you manage paid media campaigns via multiple channels, like search and social channel ads. You can quickly come up against a credit limit, causing ad spend transactions to decline or even triggering fraud alerts leading to blocked accounts and interruption to marketing campaigns. By assigning virtual cards to every account instead, you reduce the risk of disruption. 

Steps to use virtual cards for marketing spend management 

Using virtual cards is simple. Follow these steps to get started: 

1. Choose a virtual card provider.

Get clear on your agency's needs. While there are many virtual card providers to choose from, they aren't created equal. Some operate away from traditional financial institutions and require you to open new lines of credit, while others, such as Extend, partner with your preferred bank and enhance the capabilities of your existing corporate credit card. Perform your due diligence and arm yourself with a comparative analysis to make an informed choice that suits your business needs.  

2. Create virtual cards.

Once you've selected a provider, it's time to create your first virtual card. The process should be simple and intuitive, although it depends on the platform you decide to use. Once you create a virtual card, a unique card number will be generated in association with your existing account, including a unique expiration date and security code. This happens in a few seconds, giving you a secure and agile payment method to immediately streamline your agency's financials and manage media budgets for multiple clients. 

3. Set controls and spending limits.

To ensure recipients use virtual cards responsibly, determine a budget and set spending limits. Doing so will give you increased controls to prevent overspending and guarantee you always stay within client budgets.

4. Distribute virtual cards.

When an employee needs to make a payment, send them a virtual card to cover the expense. You can also pay vendors and contractors for recurring monthly services and issue unique virtual cards for each client account in your agency. For more granularity, you can set a virtual card for a specific marketing tactic or channel or create budgets your employees can create virtual cards from, streamlining payments and providing even more visibility and control over every transaction that takes place. 

5. Monitor spending.

With virtual cards, managing and controlling spend is easier than ever. Thanks to real-time reporting and monitoring, finance leaders gain greater visibility into how and where the team spends marketing dollars. This round-the-clock visibility lets you control business spending and identify potential issues before they derail campaigns.  

6. Analyze spending. 

Having your funds in order means your finance department can finally take the necessary steps to identify opportunities for improvement. With improved data visibility, they can not only optimize agency spend but make more data-driven decisions that produce better business results for you and your clients. 

Manage your marketing spend with Extend. 

Whether you're looking to fund campaigns, enable employees, or streamline your payment processes, you can leverage better spend management with virtual cards. 

Get in touch to learn more. 

Presented by

Guillaume Bouvard

COO/CMO, Co-founder
Blog

Managing marketing spend with virtual cards

Virtual Card Spend
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Small marketing agencies do big things, and in a world where every dollar counts, you need to effectively manage your marketing spend — for both your agency's and your customers' sake.  

Unfortunately, many firms still depend on outdated, manual approaches to payments. Whether you rely on a stack of physical credit cards to manage various business expenses or a single card that multiple employees use simultaneously, you may be creating massive challenges. 

These approaches not only make it time-consuming to reconcile expenses, but they’re also inefficient, insecure, and excruciating for your finance team. They dedicate too much time to connecting the dots instead of closing the books on time and prioritizing revenue-generating work. 

Good news: you can reclaim control of your agency's finances, streamline reconciliation, and manage marketing budgets more effectively.

But you need a better way to pay. 

That's where spend management powered by virtual cards comes in. 

With virtual cards as part of your payment strategy, you can quickly regain the time and energy to focus on what you do best: creating and executing effective marketing campaigns that drive stellar results for your clients. 

What is a virtual card, and how does it work? 

Virtual cards are just like any other credit card, except they only exist in digital form and come with additional insights and controls. They have their own expiration dates and security codes, and although they are associated with your primary credit card, they can’t compromise your account due to their unique card numbers. You can use virtual cards to make purchases online, over the phone, and in-store by keying in the 16-digit number at checkout, and with some banks, you can even use them with ApplePay and GooglePay. 

So, what’s so great about virtual cards? Their digital nature. 

Virtual cards free you from the hassle of handling multiple physical credit cards and sharing them among various employees and client accounts. Even better, they provide complete oversight and control of your marketing spend, something a physical credit card will never be able to do. 

How to use virtual cards in your agency 

You can use virtual cards in various ways, for example, to:

Manage ad campaigns and high-volume media buying

With so many moving parts in a campaign, it's easy to go over budget and lose track of the myriad of ads you might be running. With virtual cards, you can allocate funds to various digital ads and online campaigns without losing spending oversight. Create a virtual card for each campaign, project, or client, and you'll be on your way to a more efficient method of managing advertising campaigns. 

Empower your employees  

Rather than asking employees to foot the bill, submit tedious expense reports, and wait for reimbursements, equip them with virtual cards. Whenever they need to make a payment, like sending gifts to clients, they'll have a secure and agile method to do so without hurting their finances. Moreover, you’ll ensure they always have a way to pay by issuing ongoing virtual cards, which they can use for recurring monthly expenses, or one-time-use cards, which they can use to take care of conference and event expenses. 

Cover recurring expenses

Ensure your marketing team never misses a beat by using virtual cards to pay for recurring expenses, like software. Create recurring virtual cards that auto-refill every month with a pre-determined spending limit to cover subscriptions for Canva, Hubspot, and any other tool your team uses every day. Set it and forget it, knowing you will never get overcharged or lose access to business-critical tools.  

Pay vendors 

Quickly pay vendors by using a designated virtual card for each one. This ensures you keep finances organized and protected since you don't need to keep your real account number on file with multiple individuals. On top of that, you can strengthen your working relationship with vendors by paying them instantly without having to issue a check or wait for ACH payments to clear. 

Book travel 

Whenever employees need to travel for business, send them a virtual card to pay for travel-related items, like flights and hotels. This way, you can more easily manage T&E spending, and they can travel at ease and without the unnecessary stress of incurring expenses they might not be able to afford. 

Benefits of using virtual cards for marketing spend management

Virtual cards offer a number of benefits that immediately put you a step ahead when it comes to marketing spend management.

1. Ease of use 

Virtual cards are extremely easy to use and offer great flexibility. You no longer need to carry a physical credit card around nor jump on video calls to "securely" share credit card details with remote employees who need to charge an expense. Instead, you can easily create a virtual card through a web or mobile app and distribute it to whoever needs it in a matter of seconds. 

2. Spending controls

With dynamic spend controls, like spending limits and custom expiration dates, you can make sure your team only spends on what they need to, even when spending is distributed over multiple channels. Additionally, with more control comes more accountability and less risk of misuse. 

3. Tracking and reporting

The great thing about virtual cards is they give you a centralized view of all spending, which you can track in real-time, 24/7. With detailed transaction data, it's easy to keep tabs on expenses and reconcile accounts on time at the end of the month. Moreover, you can download reports and integrate the data into your accounting system, saving you time and reducing manual errors. 

4. Security 

With virtual cards, you gain an extra layer of security and reduce the risk of fraud, misuse, or unauthorized charges. Since each virtual card generates a unique credit card number, and you can set spending limits and “active until” dates, they're a great way to control funds and safeguard your real account information.

5. Enhanced budget planning

With several campaigns operating simultaneously and multiple team members handling various marketing tactics, channels, and clients, messy marketing budgets can quickly become a challenge. For that reason, allocate budgets to specific projects. If and when you can do this will depend on the platform you decide to use. For example, with Extend, users benefit from this functionality and enable employees to create and send virtual cards within a pre-determined budget, leading to a clearer view of payments and reduced unnecessary spending.

6. Improved cash flow management

Virtual cards play a critical role in improving your cash flow. Due to their instant purchasing power, it's easier to keep track of your cash and deploy it effectively across numerous projects and business initiatives.

7. Ensure business continuity 

Using a single credit card is unreliable if you manage paid media campaigns via multiple channels, like search and social channel ads. You can quickly come up against a credit limit, causing ad spend transactions to decline or even triggering fraud alerts leading to blocked accounts and interruption to marketing campaigns. By assigning virtual cards to every account instead, you reduce the risk of disruption. 

Steps to use virtual cards for marketing spend management 

Using virtual cards is simple. Follow these steps to get started: 

1. Choose a virtual card provider.

Get clear on your agency's needs. While there are many virtual card providers to choose from, they aren't created equal. Some operate away from traditional financial institutions and require you to open new lines of credit, while others, such as Extend, partner with your preferred bank and enhance the capabilities of your existing corporate credit card. Perform your due diligence and arm yourself with a comparative analysis to make an informed choice that suits your business needs.  

2. Create virtual cards.

Once you've selected a provider, it's time to create your first virtual card. The process should be simple and intuitive, although it depends on the platform you decide to use. Once you create a virtual card, a unique card number will be generated in association with your existing account, including a unique expiration date and security code. This happens in a few seconds, giving you a secure and agile payment method to immediately streamline your agency's financials and manage media budgets for multiple clients. 

3. Set controls and spending limits.

To ensure recipients use virtual cards responsibly, determine a budget and set spending limits. Doing so will give you increased controls to prevent overspending and guarantee you always stay within client budgets.

4. Distribute virtual cards.

When an employee needs to make a payment, send them a virtual card to cover the expense. You can also pay vendors and contractors for recurring monthly services and issue unique virtual cards for each client account in your agency. For more granularity, you can set a virtual card for a specific marketing tactic or channel or create budgets your employees can create virtual cards from, streamlining payments and providing even more visibility and control over every transaction that takes place. 

5. Monitor spending.

With virtual cards, managing and controlling spend is easier than ever. Thanks to real-time reporting and monitoring, finance leaders gain greater visibility into how and where the team spends marketing dollars. This round-the-clock visibility lets you control business spending and identify potential issues before they derail campaigns.  

6. Analyze spending. 

Having your funds in order means your finance department can finally take the necessary steps to identify opportunities for improvement. With improved data visibility, they can not only optimize agency spend but make more data-driven decisions that produce better business results for you and your clients. 

Manage your marketing spend with Extend. 

Whether you're looking to fund campaigns, enable employees, or streamline your payment processes, you can leverage better spend management with virtual cards. 

Get in touch to learn more. 

Blog

Managing marketing spend with virtual cards

Author
Guillaume Bouvard
COO/CMO, Co-founder
Virtual Card Spend
No items found.
Share post

Small marketing agencies do big things, and in a world where every dollar counts, you need to effectively manage your marketing spend — for both your agency's and your customers' sake.  

Unfortunately, many firms still depend on outdated, manual approaches to payments. Whether you rely on a stack of physical credit cards to manage various business expenses or a single card that multiple employees use simultaneously, you may be creating massive challenges. 

These approaches not only make it time-consuming to reconcile expenses, but they’re also inefficient, insecure, and excruciating for your finance team. They dedicate too much time to connecting the dots instead of closing the books on time and prioritizing revenue-generating work. 

Good news: you can reclaim control of your agency's finances, streamline reconciliation, and manage marketing budgets more effectively.

But you need a better way to pay. 

That's where spend management powered by virtual cards comes in. 

With virtual cards as part of your payment strategy, you can quickly regain the time and energy to focus on what you do best: creating and executing effective marketing campaigns that drive stellar results for your clients. 

What is a virtual card, and how does it work? 

Virtual cards are just like any other credit card, except they only exist in digital form and come with additional insights and controls. They have their own expiration dates and security codes, and although they are associated with your primary credit card, they can’t compromise your account due to their unique card numbers. You can use virtual cards to make purchases online, over the phone, and in-store by keying in the 16-digit number at checkout, and with some banks, you can even use them with ApplePay and GooglePay. 

So, what’s so great about virtual cards? Their digital nature. 

Virtual cards free you from the hassle of handling multiple physical credit cards and sharing them among various employees and client accounts. Even better, they provide complete oversight and control of your marketing spend, something a physical credit card will never be able to do. 

How to use virtual cards in your agency 

You can use virtual cards in various ways, for example, to:

Manage ad campaigns and high-volume media buying

With so many moving parts in a campaign, it's easy to go over budget and lose track of the myriad of ads you might be running. With virtual cards, you can allocate funds to various digital ads and online campaigns without losing spending oversight. Create a virtual card for each campaign, project, or client, and you'll be on your way to a more efficient method of managing advertising campaigns. 

Empower your employees  

Rather than asking employees to foot the bill, submit tedious expense reports, and wait for reimbursements, equip them with virtual cards. Whenever they need to make a payment, like sending gifts to clients, they'll have a secure and agile method to do so without hurting their finances. Moreover, you’ll ensure they always have a way to pay by issuing ongoing virtual cards, which they can use for recurring monthly expenses, or one-time-use cards, which they can use to take care of conference and event expenses. 

Cover recurring expenses

Ensure your marketing team never misses a beat by using virtual cards to pay for recurring expenses, like software. Create recurring virtual cards that auto-refill every month with a pre-determined spending limit to cover subscriptions for Canva, Hubspot, and any other tool your team uses every day. Set it and forget it, knowing you will never get overcharged or lose access to business-critical tools.  

Pay vendors 

Quickly pay vendors by using a designated virtual card for each one. This ensures you keep finances organized and protected since you don't need to keep your real account number on file with multiple individuals. On top of that, you can strengthen your working relationship with vendors by paying them instantly without having to issue a check or wait for ACH payments to clear. 

Book travel 

Whenever employees need to travel for business, send them a virtual card to pay for travel-related items, like flights and hotels. This way, you can more easily manage T&E spending, and they can travel at ease and without the unnecessary stress of incurring expenses they might not be able to afford. 

Benefits of using virtual cards for marketing spend management

Virtual cards offer a number of benefits that immediately put you a step ahead when it comes to marketing spend management.

1. Ease of use 

Virtual cards are extremely easy to use and offer great flexibility. You no longer need to carry a physical credit card around nor jump on video calls to "securely" share credit card details with remote employees who need to charge an expense. Instead, you can easily create a virtual card through a web or mobile app and distribute it to whoever needs it in a matter of seconds. 

2. Spending controls

With dynamic spend controls, like spending limits and custom expiration dates, you can make sure your team only spends on what they need to, even when spending is distributed over multiple channels. Additionally, with more control comes more accountability and less risk of misuse. 

3. Tracking and reporting

The great thing about virtual cards is they give you a centralized view of all spending, which you can track in real-time, 24/7. With detailed transaction data, it's easy to keep tabs on expenses and reconcile accounts on time at the end of the month. Moreover, you can download reports and integrate the data into your accounting system, saving you time and reducing manual errors. 

4. Security 

With virtual cards, you gain an extra layer of security and reduce the risk of fraud, misuse, or unauthorized charges. Since each virtual card generates a unique credit card number, and you can set spending limits and “active until” dates, they're a great way to control funds and safeguard your real account information.

5. Enhanced budget planning

With several campaigns operating simultaneously and multiple team members handling various marketing tactics, channels, and clients, messy marketing budgets can quickly become a challenge. For that reason, allocate budgets to specific projects. If and when you can do this will depend on the platform you decide to use. For example, with Extend, users benefit from this functionality and enable employees to create and send virtual cards within a pre-determined budget, leading to a clearer view of payments and reduced unnecessary spending.

6. Improved cash flow management

Virtual cards play a critical role in improving your cash flow. Due to their instant purchasing power, it's easier to keep track of your cash and deploy it effectively across numerous projects and business initiatives.

7. Ensure business continuity 

Using a single credit card is unreliable if you manage paid media campaigns via multiple channels, like search and social channel ads. You can quickly come up against a credit limit, causing ad spend transactions to decline or even triggering fraud alerts leading to blocked accounts and interruption to marketing campaigns. By assigning virtual cards to every account instead, you reduce the risk of disruption. 

Steps to use virtual cards for marketing spend management 

Using virtual cards is simple. Follow these steps to get started: 

1. Choose a virtual card provider.

Get clear on your agency's needs. While there are many virtual card providers to choose from, they aren't created equal. Some operate away from traditional financial institutions and require you to open new lines of credit, while others, such as Extend, partner with your preferred bank and enhance the capabilities of your existing corporate credit card. Perform your due diligence and arm yourself with a comparative analysis to make an informed choice that suits your business needs.  

2. Create virtual cards.

Once you've selected a provider, it's time to create your first virtual card. The process should be simple and intuitive, although it depends on the platform you decide to use. Once you create a virtual card, a unique card number will be generated in association with your existing account, including a unique expiration date and security code. This happens in a few seconds, giving you a secure and agile payment method to immediately streamline your agency's financials and manage media budgets for multiple clients. 

3. Set controls and spending limits.

To ensure recipients use virtual cards responsibly, determine a budget and set spending limits. Doing so will give you increased controls to prevent overspending and guarantee you always stay within client budgets.

4. Distribute virtual cards.

When an employee needs to make a payment, send them a virtual card to cover the expense. You can also pay vendors and contractors for recurring monthly services and issue unique virtual cards for each client account in your agency. For more granularity, you can set a virtual card for a specific marketing tactic or channel or create budgets your employees can create virtual cards from, streamlining payments and providing even more visibility and control over every transaction that takes place. 

5. Monitor spending.

With virtual cards, managing and controlling spend is easier than ever. Thanks to real-time reporting and monitoring, finance leaders gain greater visibility into how and where the team spends marketing dollars. This round-the-clock visibility lets you control business spending and identify potential issues before they derail campaigns.  

6. Analyze spending. 

Having your funds in order means your finance department can finally take the necessary steps to identify opportunities for improvement. With improved data visibility, they can not only optimize agency spend but make more data-driven decisions that produce better business results for you and your clients. 

Manage your marketing spend with Extend. 

Whether you're looking to fund campaigns, enable employees, or streamline your payment processes, you can leverage better spend management with virtual cards. 

Get in touch to learn more. 

About the author

Guillaume Bouvard

COO/CMO, Co-founder

A payments industry expert, Guillaume spent 12 years at American Express, where he built a track record of advising C-level executives, transforming organizations, driving innovations, and leading global businesses and P&L. Prior to his roles at American Express, Guillaume led marketing functions at Capital One. He earned an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Blog

Managing marketing spend with virtual cards

Presented by

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Presented by

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Guillaume Bouvard

COO/CMO, Co-founder

Small marketing agencies do big things, and in a world where every dollar counts, you need to effectively manage your marketing spend — for both your agency's and your customers' sake.  

Unfortunately, many firms still depend on outdated, manual approaches to payments. Whether you rely on a stack of physical credit cards to manage various business expenses or a single card that multiple employees use simultaneously, you may be creating massive challenges. 

These approaches not only make it time-consuming to reconcile expenses, but they’re also inefficient, insecure, and excruciating for your finance team. They dedicate too much time to connecting the dots instead of closing the books on time and prioritizing revenue-generating work. 

Good news: you can reclaim control of your agency's finances, streamline reconciliation, and manage marketing budgets more effectively.

But you need a better way to pay. 

That's where spend management powered by virtual cards comes in. 

With virtual cards as part of your payment strategy, you can quickly regain the time and energy to focus on what you do best: creating and executing effective marketing campaigns that drive stellar results for your clients. 

What is a virtual card, and how does it work? 

Virtual cards are just like any other credit card, except they only exist in digital form and come with additional insights and controls. They have their own expiration dates and security codes, and although they are associated with your primary credit card, they can’t compromise your account due to their unique card numbers. You can use virtual cards to make purchases online, over the phone, and in-store by keying in the 16-digit number at checkout, and with some banks, you can even use them with ApplePay and GooglePay. 

So, what’s so great about virtual cards? Their digital nature. 

Virtual cards free you from the hassle of handling multiple physical credit cards and sharing them among various employees and client accounts. Even better, they provide complete oversight and control of your marketing spend, something a physical credit card will never be able to do. 

How to use virtual cards in your agency 

You can use virtual cards in various ways, for example, to:

Manage ad campaigns and high-volume media buying

With so many moving parts in a campaign, it's easy to go over budget and lose track of the myriad of ads you might be running. With virtual cards, you can allocate funds to various digital ads and online campaigns without losing spending oversight. Create a virtual card for each campaign, project, or client, and you'll be on your way to a more efficient method of managing advertising campaigns. 

Empower your employees  

Rather than asking employees to foot the bill, submit tedious expense reports, and wait for reimbursements, equip them with virtual cards. Whenever they need to make a payment, like sending gifts to clients, they'll have a secure and agile method to do so without hurting their finances. Moreover, you’ll ensure they always have a way to pay by issuing ongoing virtual cards, which they can use for recurring monthly expenses, or one-time-use cards, which they can use to take care of conference and event expenses. 

Cover recurring expenses

Ensure your marketing team never misses a beat by using virtual cards to pay for recurring expenses, like software. Create recurring virtual cards that auto-refill every month with a pre-determined spending limit to cover subscriptions for Canva, Hubspot, and any other tool your team uses every day. Set it and forget it, knowing you will never get overcharged or lose access to business-critical tools.  

Pay vendors 

Quickly pay vendors by using a designated virtual card for each one. This ensures you keep finances organized and protected since you don't need to keep your real account number on file with multiple individuals. On top of that, you can strengthen your working relationship with vendors by paying them instantly without having to issue a check or wait for ACH payments to clear. 

Book travel 

Whenever employees need to travel for business, send them a virtual card to pay for travel-related items, like flights and hotels. This way, you can more easily manage T&E spending, and they can travel at ease and without the unnecessary stress of incurring expenses they might not be able to afford. 

Benefits of using virtual cards for marketing spend management

Virtual cards offer a number of benefits that immediately put you a step ahead when it comes to marketing spend management.

1. Ease of use 

Virtual cards are extremely easy to use and offer great flexibility. You no longer need to carry a physical credit card around nor jump on video calls to "securely" share credit card details with remote employees who need to charge an expense. Instead, you can easily create a virtual card through a web or mobile app and distribute it to whoever needs it in a matter of seconds. 

2. Spending controls

With dynamic spend controls, like spending limits and custom expiration dates, you can make sure your team only spends on what they need to, even when spending is distributed over multiple channels. Additionally, with more control comes more accountability and less risk of misuse. 

3. Tracking and reporting

The great thing about virtual cards is they give you a centralized view of all spending, which you can track in real-time, 24/7. With detailed transaction data, it's easy to keep tabs on expenses and reconcile accounts on time at the end of the month. Moreover, you can download reports and integrate the data into your accounting system, saving you time and reducing manual errors. 

4. Security 

With virtual cards, you gain an extra layer of security and reduce the risk of fraud, misuse, or unauthorized charges. Since each virtual card generates a unique credit card number, and you can set spending limits and “active until” dates, they're a great way to control funds and safeguard your real account information.

5. Enhanced budget planning

With several campaigns operating simultaneously and multiple team members handling various marketing tactics, channels, and clients, messy marketing budgets can quickly become a challenge. For that reason, allocate budgets to specific projects. If and when you can do this will depend on the platform you decide to use. For example, with Extend, users benefit from this functionality and enable employees to create and send virtual cards within a pre-determined budget, leading to a clearer view of payments and reduced unnecessary spending.

6. Improved cash flow management

Virtual cards play a critical role in improving your cash flow. Due to their instant purchasing power, it's easier to keep track of your cash and deploy it effectively across numerous projects and business initiatives.

7. Ensure business continuity 

Using a single credit card is unreliable if you manage paid media campaigns via multiple channels, like search and social channel ads. You can quickly come up against a credit limit, causing ad spend transactions to decline or even triggering fraud alerts leading to blocked accounts and interruption to marketing campaigns. By assigning virtual cards to every account instead, you reduce the risk of disruption. 

Steps to use virtual cards for marketing spend management 

Using virtual cards is simple. Follow these steps to get started: 

1. Choose a virtual card provider.

Get clear on your agency's needs. While there are many virtual card providers to choose from, they aren't created equal. Some operate away from traditional financial institutions and require you to open new lines of credit, while others, such as Extend, partner with your preferred bank and enhance the capabilities of your existing corporate credit card. Perform your due diligence and arm yourself with a comparative analysis to make an informed choice that suits your business needs.  

2. Create virtual cards.

Once you've selected a provider, it's time to create your first virtual card. The process should be simple and intuitive, although it depends on the platform you decide to use. Once you create a virtual card, a unique card number will be generated in association with your existing account, including a unique expiration date and security code. This happens in a few seconds, giving you a secure and agile payment method to immediately streamline your agency's financials and manage media budgets for multiple clients. 

3. Set controls and spending limits.

To ensure recipients use virtual cards responsibly, determine a budget and set spending limits. Doing so will give you increased controls to prevent overspending and guarantee you always stay within client budgets.

4. Distribute virtual cards.

When an employee needs to make a payment, send them a virtual card to cover the expense. You can also pay vendors and contractors for recurring monthly services and issue unique virtual cards for each client account in your agency. For more granularity, you can set a virtual card for a specific marketing tactic or channel or create budgets your employees can create virtual cards from, streamlining payments and providing even more visibility and control over every transaction that takes place. 

5. Monitor spending.

With virtual cards, managing and controlling spend is easier than ever. Thanks to real-time reporting and monitoring, finance leaders gain greater visibility into how and where the team spends marketing dollars. This round-the-clock visibility lets you control business spending and identify potential issues before they derail campaigns.  

6. Analyze spending. 

Having your funds in order means your finance department can finally take the necessary steps to identify opportunities for improvement. With improved data visibility, they can not only optimize agency spend but make more data-driven decisions that produce better business results for you and your clients. 

Manage your marketing spend with Extend. 

Whether you're looking to fund campaigns, enable employees, or streamline your payment processes, you can leverage better spend management with virtual cards. 

Get in touch to learn more. 

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