Payment Options to Streamline Corporate Meetings and Event Management

GE corporate card unit debuts integrated settlement suite for corporate meeting planners

GE corporate card unit debuts integrated settlement suite for corporate meeting planners

Salt Lake City — August 10, 2005 — While studies show budgets for corporate meetings and events to be on the rise, so is the need to track and control expenditures. Now GE Consumer Finance's Corporate Payment Services unit has developed a suite of payment solutions for corporate meeting planners, offering features designed to provide increased control and streamlined accounting for complex, large-budget events.

The solutions include special purpose credit cards as well as vPayment On-Demand, an electronic settlement tool that uses virtual accounts without physical cards.

"More than ever, businesses need controllership and transparency when it comes to events and meetings," said Jeffery R. Dye, president and CEO of Corporate Payment Services, the commercial card unit of GE Consumer Finance. "With good payment controls and accounting processes in place, organizations can keep costs down and within policy. Our payment suite helps meet these needs."

Three Options

The Corporate Payment Services' Meeting Planning suite includes three options. With all options, the client organization can specify restrictions, such as certain merchant codes or dollar amounts. Set-up options can also ensure that all transactions are coded to a limited set of general ledger accounts, for efficient cost accounting. The options include:

  • Special Purpose Account (SPA) —A high-limit credit card, the SPA card is a centrally billed MasterCard embossed with the meeting planner's name. It has "adjusted velocity" controls, meaning it can handle dozens and dozens of transactions per day without being blocked. The card's limits refresh on a monthly basis, making it convenient for planners organizing multiple events on an ongoing basis, GE said.

  • Controlled Value Card — The Controlled Value Card is a credit-based payment tool that caps the amount of funds available on the account. Limits decrease with use and do not refresh at the monthly cycle, effectively providing a meeting planner with a card that sticks to a budget. These cards are typically used to manage one event before the card limit is refreshed for a subsequent project. For added control, the account can be set to expire in as little as two months.

  • vPayment On-Demand — The newest addition to the Meeting Planning suite, vPayment On-Demand uses GE technology comprised of a virtual credit account with single-transaction limits for increased control. An authorized user accesses the vPayment system via a secured Web site and requests an account number for a specific transaction. In the set-up, the user inputs the dollar value allowed and a date range. If the merchant attempts to charge more than the amount allowed or attempts to charge to the account after the approved date, the transaction is declined. vPayment On-Demand also captures an exact meeting identifier and appends it to the transaction record, regardless of the merchant's data capture capability (Level 1, 2 or 3). This can help increase accounting accuracy and efficient transaction reconciliation.
"In combination with our SAM reporting system and other technology, these options give the meeting planner the ability to control and track meeting spending in an efficient manner," Dye said.

Additional Articles of Interest

— P-cards continue to advance, and e-payables solutions are making headway, but the convergence of the financial and physical supply chains is still a work in progress. Read more in "Enabling the Financial Supply and Demand Chain," in the April/May 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— For more information on the current state of the payment solutions market, see the article "The Analyst Corner: Payment" in the December 2004/January 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— A survey of consumer healthcare decision-makers shows opportunities for manufacturers to gain competitive advantage by focusing on some key points in their supply chains. Read more in the In Depth article "Leveraging the Supply Chain for Competitive Advantage."