Kimmy runs a small export-oriented textiles business based in Hong Kong. While also attending to day-to-day operations in her office, Kimmy’s typical workweek frequently involves flying across Asia Pacific to meet customers, attending trade shows, and connecting with suppliers and manufacturers. This means long waits at immigration, layovers between connecting flights, and lots of taxi rides, hotel stays and meals.
And when she gets back to her office, Kimmy spends valuable time recording her paper receipts for her accountant, reconciling business and personal expenses.
Those are just a few of the challenges facing small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which in the Asia Pacific region make up about 90 percent of all businesses.
Now, SMEs are saving time and money by moving their payments and receivables from cash and paper-based processing to MasterCard’s suite of business payment solutions.
A business card offers a number of advantages to SMEs including more convenient access to capital, speed of payment, ability to pay anywhere in the world, efficiency, and the creation of an electronic paper trail to track how and for what the money is spent and where.
Business payments solutions enable SMEs to buy and sell online as well as cross-border, cutting down on the time it takes to make or to receive a bank transfer and reducing the risk of not getting paid as well as protecting the user from currency exchange rate fluctuations. A number of MasterCard solutions like SME Online or Simplify Commerce™ are available for SMEs to set themselves as a merchant accepting card payment from buyers all over the world.
With a business card, business and personal expenses can be separated, with the built-in advantage of an electronic, real-time record. Business owners like Kimmy can access a financial statement immediately, as well as calculate goods and sales tax. In some countries, business card reports can be easily generated and directly used for VAT declaration.
Many small business owners are reluctant to hand out business cards to employees, worrying about the possibility of unauthorized spending. With MasterCard In Control™ for Business, business owners can be at ease as they are empowered to set restrictions on how and where employees can use the card.
Managing cash flow is a frequent challenge to small SMEs. Some need access to short-term credit – say, to pay a supplier. A business credit card gives them that capability.
Business cards also carry many other benefits tailored for businesses, such
as travel insurance, purchase protection, logistic insurance – the same way personal credit cards offer benefits that matter to consumers.
If you’re a small business owner, we’d love to hear what a typical day looks like for you and how you use technology to create efficiencies in your operations.
- For testimonies from small business owners on the advantages of a MasterCard business card, click here.
This article first appeared in bankITasia on 2 December 2014.