Absa - Virtual payments help to eliminate fraud


Absa's Virtual Pay generates a single-use account number for each transaction, explains Julie Hayes.

Julie Hayes, commercial card product manager at Absa, believes that the Finance Indaba provided the perfect platform to position the Absa Virtual Pay solution to the a broader audience of finance professionals. 

“The quality of attendees, from finance professionals to procurement specialists, reflect the level of decision-making on offer especially from a customer perspective. We used the event to position the Absa Virtual Pay solution to a broader audience following its launch last year that was targeted at the travel sector,” she says.

Absa Virtual Pay is a digital payables solution considered to be the first of its kind on the continent addressing the corporate travel and procurement environment.

Hay explains:

“Given the high level of fraud on physical cards, Virtual Pay allows for a dynamic single use account number to be created for each transaction. As this is digitally generated there is no physical card stored in the process, and never any impact around card replacements. As each card can be linked to specific merchant for a specific timeframe, the virtual card number cannot be used for anything else except for the transaction that it was created for.”

During the card request process, all travel addendum data is matched to the financial record providing 100 percent matched data.

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“In the past, people could, for example, easily use the mini-bar in their hotel rooms and put it through as an expense. However, with this solution a company can manage remote payments more effectively. This means companies could only settle the room and breakfast costs and restrict all other expenses.”

Now fully reconciled transactions can be automatically incorporated into companies’ accounts or finance systems, eliminating the need for vendors or accounts payable staff to manually key in invoices.

Absa has also received dispensation from the South African Reserve Bank to take Virtual Pay into Africa. This means that a corporate based locally can create and issue virtual cards for its suppliers in other countries with settlement occurring back in South Africa.

Hayes says: 

“Since Absa has taken the product to market we are converting corporate supplier payments onto the solution, eliminating current challenges on fraud and misuse, driving automation in account invoicing processes and improving access to supplier data.”

Given the digital world in which we live, it is time that payment solutions catch up to business requirements and provide decision-makers with a more secure, reliable, and easily manageable solution for transactions.

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