The Net Best Thing: P-Card Update

What the year ahead holds for the purchasing card &#8212 and why you may want to give your p-card program another look


And, like other companies in its space, MasterCard is looking to offer new ways to further integrate corporate cards into an enterprise's procure-to-pay process. MasterCard already offers its e-P3 program, which integrates the card company's settlement options into electronic invoice payment and presentment (EIPP) platforms to provide paperless electronic commerce, along with Level III data in its transaction reporting. Verdin says that her company will continue to expand on its electronic payment initiatives by offering new solutions in addition to e-P3. The goal: to move as many of an enterprise's payments as possible onto an electronic platform that offers built-in efficiencies and cost-effectiveness.

"Companies are looking for a global payment solution that has all the benefits of a [corporate] card with some of the attributes of [automated clearing house (ACH) settlements]," Verdin says. "ACH is very efficient, but you don't get much information, and the card is good for information, but it may not be a good price performer in the higher ticket areas." The challenge that the card companies are tackling, she continues, is to combine all the attributes of the existing payment methods to provide a flexible payment solution that's global in nature and that provides solid reconciliation and reporting capabilities. "That's the Holy Grail of payments, so to speak," Verdin concludes.

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