Why Smart Corporate Cards Are a Must for Businesses

Picture of Francesca Burkhardt
Francesca Burkhardt

Product Marketing

Payment methods have been undergoing a massive modernization phase, and the traditional corporate credit card is no exception. But the real question is, are these cards truly smart or just another gimmick?

Corporate cards have long been a valuable tool for businesses looking to keep their business purchases and finances in check. However, traditional cards have their limitations, with limited insights only accessible at the end of the month and little control over spending limits. And let’s not forget the frustration of dealing with opaque corporate spending.


Enter the smart corporate card, touted as the solution to these age-old problems. With real-time insights and complete transparency, finance teams can keep track of every action taken. No more last-minute scrambling to make sense of a month’s worth of expenses!


Despite the apparent benefits, some businesses remain skeptical of the hype surrounding smart corporate cards. But with research by Allied Market Research predicting the annual value of the smart card market to exceed $15.57 billion by 2027, it’s hard to deny that this modern payment method is gaining momentum.

So, are smart corporate cards really a must-have for businesses?

Table of Contents

What is a smart corporate card?

Corporate credit cards have been around for a long time, but it becomes increasingly clear that they need an overhaul for our digital age. Compared to a traditional corporate card, smart corporate cards have somewhat of a brain. 


At its most basic level, a smart corporate card allows a user to conduct payments using debit, credit or prepaid – just like a traditional corporate card. However, smart corporate cards are also integrated into financial software and provide data-based insights.


So in short, a smart corporate card is a modern version of a corporate credit card that offers advanced features and capabilities beyond those of traditional cards. These features include improved security and control measures, real-time expense management, automated accounting and reporting, and streamlined user experience for cardholders.

Smart corporate cards often use advanced technology such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data analytics to offer these enhanced capabilities. 


By leveraging these technologies, smart corporate cards help companies to manage their business expenses more efficiently, reduce fraud, and gain valuable insights into their spending patterns.

What are the benefits of a smart corporate card?

Smart cards can be configured with built-in spend limits for specific payments, employees, or entire company departments, for full control of company spending.

In addition, they fully integrate with finance software such as the Yokoy spend management solution, enabling seamless finance automation. Thanks to this integration, every transaction with a smart corporate card is fed directly into Yokoy, making it easy for you to track them.


Moreover, transactions are automatically  reconciled with stored receipts. As a result, your finance team is able to maintain control over the entire card portfolio and all associated transactions, providing an unprecedented level of oversight. 


So to sum it up, there are many advantages to using a smart corporate card. These include:

Increased transparency and control

Smart corporate cards offer businesses greater transparency and control over their employees’ spending. Transactions and cards are clearly displayed on a dashboard, allowing businesses to monitor spending activity in real-time. This enables finance teams to easily identify any unauthorized or non-compliant spending and take immediate action.


Smart corporate cards also offer the ability to set limits on how much money employees are allowed to spend, as well as where and when they can spend it. This allows businesses to more tightly control their budgets and prevent overspending.

Actionable data insights

Smart corporate cards collect transaction data that can be used to provide insights into departmental and employee spending patterns. This data is automatically reflected in the expense management tool, making it easy to identify inefficiencies and cost-saving opportunities in real time. 

For example, if the data reveals that a particular department is consistently overspending on travel expenses, businesses can enforce stricter spend controls by adjusting the limits or approval flows. Smart corporate cards can also help businesses to better understand their cash flow and financial position, enabling them to make more informed decisions about future spending.

Reduced workload

The automatic reconciliation of transactions and receipts is a major advantage of smart corporate cards. Employees no longer have to manually track paper receipts for their business travel, for example, as all transactions are automatically visible in the expense reporting tool.


This not only saves employees time and effort but also reduces the workload for the finance team. Reconciliation of transactions and expense reports is done in real-time using AI, so the finance team doesn’t have to waste time manually matching expenses and receipts. This reduces the likelihood of errors and enables businesses to process expenses more quickly and efficiently.

Reduced expenditure

Smart corporate cards allow businesses to set spend limits for their employees. This enables them to more tightly control their budgets and prevent overspending. By limiting the amount that employees can spend and where and when they can spend it, businesses can reduce unnecessary expenses and ensure that their funds are being used effectively.


Smart corporate cards also offer the ability to track spending in real-time, enabling businesses to identify any potential overspending issues before they become a problem. Overall, this helps businesses to reduce their expenditure and optimize their spending.

Enhanced security and compliance

Smart corporate cards offer increased security features such as real-time transaction monitoring, instant alerts for suspicious transactions, and the ability to block and unblock cards quickly in case of fraud or loss.


These features help to prevent fraudulent activities, reduce the risk of theft, and protect the company’s financial assets.


Moreover, with smart corporate cards, businesses can enforce spending policies and comply with regulatory requirements more easily. The transaction data collected can be used to monitor and enforce compliance policies, ensuring that employees are not spending money on unauthorized or non-compliant expenses.


Maximizing Compliance through Automated Expense Reporting

Automated expense reporting has been gaining traction as a solution to help finance teams streamline their workflows and gain real-time insights into company expenses. But there’s one more area where automation can help tremendously: Staying compliant.

Lars Mangelsdorf, 

Co-founder and CCO, Yokoy

Faster expense management

Smart corporate cards automate the expense management process, allowing employees to submit expenses and receipts in real-time. This reduces the time and effort required by the finance team to manually process expense reports and speeds up the reimbursement process.

Better employee experience

Employee cards provide a modern, hassle-free way to manage expenses, so they’re nice perks if you want to make your employer brand more attractive.


With a mobile app, employees can view their spending activity, submit receipts, and manage their expenses on-the-go. This improves the overall employee experience, leading to higher satisfaction and better retention rates. 


Overall, smart corporate cards offer businesses a range of benefits that traditional corporate credit cards simply cannot match.

Planted keeps spend under control with Yokoy

“A corporate card should be secure and uncomplicated – and this is exactly what the Yokoy Mastercard offers. In addition, the card is smart, saving us significant time.”

Christoph Jenny, Co-founder Planted


Smart card administration & corporate virtual cards

Another major benefit of smart corporate cards is that they come with significantly less administrative effort compared to a traditional corporate card.


An integration into a tool like Yokoy makes card administration a much smoother process. Now you have one central point of contact, where you can issue new cards and manage them – all at the touch of a button.


Just think about it: an employee loses their card or has it stolen. How do you go about getting them a new one?


Traditionally, this is a time-consuming and tedious process from blocking the old card, requesting a new one, to receiving and activating it.


With an integrated smart corporate card on the other hand, you are in full control. Freeze or block a card that has gone missing by simply pressing a button. You can issue a new card without having to go through all the paperwork, printing out forms and sending them by post.


If you want even more flexibility, you can leverage corporate virtual cards, which you can provide directly to your employees phones. These come with no annual fees, no transaction fees, and make it easy to centralize all transactions in one place. Thus, they gain access to a means of payment in seconds, tailored exactly to their needs.


A marketing colleague needs to pay recurring subscription fees for different tools? Give him access to a virtual card. There has been a change of plans and your sales agent needs to rearrange her business flight? Give her access to a virtual card and increase spend limits temporarily.


Overall, a virtual company card provides you with all the features of a smart corporate card in physical form – e.g. the ability to set individual spend limits – as well as being integrated into your backend software for detailed spend insights.

Smart lodge cards

Before we wrap this up, it’s worth noting the distinction between smart corporate cards and lodge cards.


Lodge cards are used to automate business travel payments, and just like the other cards issued by Yokoy, the lodge cards come with no FX fees, no transaction fees, and cashback on all transactions.

The matching of travel invoices and transactions is done automatically, and the travel managers or finance team can see all the transactions in real time, in Yokoy’s expense management module.


Thus, if you’re considering upgrading your corporate card program, it might make sense to look not just into purchasing cards or employee cards, but also into lodge cards, to simplify your travel expense management. 


You can learn more below. 

Yokoy Smart Lodge Card

One card for all your travel bookings

Securely pay for flights, rail, hotel, and travel services with one central Smart Lodge Card. No transaction fees, no foreign exchange fees, no card fees.

Towards an automated future

The move towards a digital future of payments is well underway and the pandemic has only hastened the speed of that transition. 


The path of progress is clear and shows that cash is being replaced more and more by contactless payments. Virtual wallets, virtual travel documents and biometric data are becoming the norm for individuals and businesses. They allow for greater security, added convenience, improved oversight, and cost reduction. 


A range of factors is continuing to grow, including the increased adoption of smartphones, growing online purchasing, and easier way to make digital payments.


Smart corporate cards are just one method which companies can use to gain a new level of control over spending while improving efficiency and reducing workload. Flawless integration with analytical systems allows for the easy identification of fraud, and for the financial process to be greater refined in the future.

Next steps

At Yokoy we know about this potential and offer smart corporate cards that are directly integrated into our overall spend management solution, providing you with all the finance automation, convenience, and cost control that you should expect from a modern payment solution. 


If you’d like to see how you can integrate our cards into your spend management solution, you book a demo below.

Simplify your spend management

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