Wells Fargo Launches Virtual Card Service

The new tool allows businesses to pay suppliers using a one-time virtual card number.

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Need to Know

  • The WellsOne Virtual Card Payments service, which is available to Commercial cardholders, allows customers to pay invoices using one-time virtual card numbers.
  • The service, which replaces paper checks, also offers an option for customers to send virtual card payments directly to their suppliers’ banks, eliminating the need for manual payment entry.
  • Virtual Card Payments come as more Wells Fargo customers are transitioning to digital-only business practices.

Analysis

As more businesses rely on digital interactions with their customers and suppliers, Wells Fargo has released a new tool that allows customers to pay invoices online.

The WellsOne Virtual Card Payments service, which the financial services company announced on November 19, provides Commercial Card customers with the option to issue payments via one-time virtual card numbers.

To use Virtual Card Payments, customers who use the Wells Fargo Commercial Card—which is a purchasing tool used by businesses for payments, as well as procurement and expenses, among other enterprise needs—issue payment instructions from their business management software. Suppliers who are to be paid by card are sent to the WellsOne Virtual Card Payments service, where each payment is given a unique virtual number. The number is then sent through a digital secure channel to the supplier for payment processing. Each virtual number can only be used once, and only for the exact amount owed to the supplier.

“It’s important we continue to introduce simple ways to help our customers transition to new digital payment strategies by using products and channels they are already familiar with,” Mary Mazzochi, senior vice president and manager of the Commercial Card product suite at Wells Fargo, said in a statement announcing Virtual Card Payments. “Unlike paper checks, our virtual card service provides more transparent, precise payment timing to help optimize working capital, and added controls like single-use numbers help further mitigate the risk of fraud.”

In addition to the above payments option, Virtual Card Payments also offers an automated processing option allowing customers to send virtual card payments directly to a supplier’s bank account, eliminating the need for manual entry by a supplier. This also allows customers to more accurately time their payments, as they are not dependent on vendors or suppliers to deposit payments themselves. Wells Fargo has also launched an analysis and onboarding service that will help customers navigate the Virtual Card Payments system.

Wells Fargo is one of the “big four” banks in the US, with more than 70 million customers across the country. The bank was valued at $97.4 billion as of Aug. 21, 2020, and reported a net income of income of $19.55 billion in 2019.

The launch of Virtual Card Payments comes just under a month after American Express expanded its partnership with Coupa to offer Coupa Pay, which, like the Wells Fargo tool, is a B2B solution that allows businesses to pay suppliers using virtual Cards. Coupa Pay has been available in the U.K. and Australia through American Express since last year and was introduced to the U.S. market to respond to the rising demand for digital payments brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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