With mid-sized corporation facing the challenge of managing expenses effectively Card programs such as American Express Corporate Card program plays an effective tool.
What are the benefits of the corporate card program for the SMEs?
With the American Express Corporate Card Program, SMEs can put their Corporate Cards to work for their company and drive end–to-end efficiencies and savings. The program offers effective payment systems to corporates around the world with major benefits including: Streamlined payment processing, extended payment terms, real bottom line savings, increased visibility and control, and membership rewards and employee benefits.
Specifically designed to help manage business travel expenses and entertainment expenses, the American Express Corporate Card Program can be extended to manage everyday business expenses like electricity, telecom, office supplies and more.
How do you take this solution to the market? Is it through channel partners or direct? Please elaborate
American Express provides consistent products and solutions to mid-market companies and large corporations worldwide. We issue local currency Corporate Cards in more than 65 countries and territories, Global U.S. dollar and Euro Corporate Cards in approximately 100 countries and territories, and offer Corporate Cards issued through our Global Network Services partner relationships in an additional 35 countries and territories.
What is the percentage of SMEs who are using these solutions vis-a-vis outdated expense methods?
In India, a large number of SMEs rely on ad hoc methods to manage their business travel and related expenses. This includes managing cost on their own or using travel agents, centralized administration process; third party travel service and spending personal cash and getting it reimbursed later.
However, SMEs indicate high levels of satisfaction while using a Corporate Card for their business purposes – while the credit limit is the important factor for the SMEs; other factors include measures for fraud protection and use of the Card as an expense management tool.
What are the challenges faced by SMEs in terms of complying purchasing policy? How does a corporate card program save costs for SMEs?
One of the key challenges that mid-sized corporations face is managing expenses effectively. This is where the American Express Corporate Card program comes in as an effective tool to help mid-market companies – both in facilitating ease of payment processes and in driving savings. Besides bringing savings, the program also provides various liability options as well as user defined spend controls and limits that help companies control expenses even at merchant level.
Moreover, business travel is highly important for the growth and development of the business specifically within the SME segment. A substantial spend gets directed towards business travel and lodging. Marrying this business need with spend cuts is an important challenge for SMEs – and that’s where American Express’ expense management solutions come into play.
How big is the opportunity for this solution in the market?
In India, American Express defines mid-sized corporation as using a combination of number of travelers (2-100), business turnover (>Rs. 5- 600 crore) and size of travel and entertainment expenses (upto Rs. 10 crore). With evolving Indian economy there are a large no. of organizations which fall under these categories – hence we see a big opportunity for this solution in the market.
What is the market share you command?
We issue a number of core card products as well as co-brand card products. Globally, we serve 63 percent of Fortune 500 companies.
What is the feedback you received till now from SMEs?
As per our long standing policy, we cannot disclose client related details. However, American Express Corporate Card program targets a diversified set of companies – Indian companies, SMEs and MNCs, across industries like IT, Retail and Manufacturing. We already work with several mid-sized companies across the country to deliver expense management solutions, and we are seeing an increased demand from tier 2 cities.
Our expense management solutions have received a very favorable response from the companies and SME’s in India. We continue to receive requests and queries on an ongoing basis.
What is your future roadmap?
We are represented in 12 cities across India currently and plan to extend our solutions and offerings to newer cities this year.