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BMO Financial Group Partners with Conferma to Bring Virtual Card Benefits to Travel and Entertainment Corporate Clients

The first of the large Canadian banks to partner with Conferma, BMO Financial Group is making business travel easier and more secure

BMO Financial Group (BMO) today announced a partnership with Conferma, a leading global fintech company specializing in virtual payment innovations, to bring virtual card payment technology to BMO corporate card clients.

This new, joint solution, backed by Conferma’s extensive ecosystem of travel management companies and partners, makes business travel more convenient, cost-effective and secure for BMO clients across North America.

“We’re helping our clients manage payments effectively and efficiently by removing the need for manual processes,” said Steve Pedersen, Head of North American Corporate Card Products at BMO Financial Group. “Paper can be cumbersome for travelers and accounts payable teams, who often need to delay payments because required back up detail is missing. Together, we’re solving this problem by capturing all the information companies need to reconcile – before the transactions occur. Settling is finally accurate, easy and fast.”

BMO is the first of the big five banks in Canada to partner with Conferma to provide an enhanced virtual card solution for both Canada and the United States. The new offering enables simplified, digital payments with the creation of a single-use virtual card number that can be used within booking platforms to pay travel suppliers.

Simon Barker, Conferma’s CEO said, “Adoption of virtual cards is growing at a phenomenal rate, yet there are still too many businesses missing out on this incredible opportunity. Our virtual payment technology adds additional control, security, and flexibility, as well as enriched data analysis to meet the needs of the business travel industry. As innovators at heart, we are pleased to be working with BMO, who is known as an innovator in the corporate card space, and believe our partnership will provide greater efficiencies and value to their clients.”

The solution is designed to keep account information safe. A unique token is tied to one travel reservation with set parameters on what can be charged. This token is used to match that specific information to the corresponding supplier payment, which makes reconciliation much easier.

“The spending controls prohibit the card from being used for a purchase it’s not intended for. This significantly lowers vulnerabilities and reduces costs for all companies involved in the transaction process, while taking stress off the traveler, because there’s no ambiguity about approved spending,” added Pedersen.

The new product will be available in July 2018, and promises time and money savings for participating organizations. Flight Centre Travel Group, one of the world’s largest travel agency groups, has already seen tangible operational benefits from using the technology.

“BMO’s Conferma-powered virtual cards bring tremendous efficiency and control gains for both our internal team and our clients. The thought of reconciling booking and payment data no longer keeps us up at night. The process happens automatically when the unique card codes are used, saving us hours of back office file-checking and bill back headaches,” according to the Flight Centre Travel Group. “We can also give clients as much transaction detail as they want up front, making internal tracking and spend reporting much easier for organizations.”

Virtual card technology can save travel management agencies an average of 25 minutes on each transaction, and over 300 hours a year through efficiency gains in the reconciliation process. The approach also enables agencies to hedge against fraudulent activity and get paid for all their bookings – avoiding almost $8,000 annually in write-offs.