March 2013: Payment Options for Small Business Card Holders

The Small Business Card Monitor Report takes a look at the payment capabilities offered by our eight SBCM firms. In our research, we found that all covered firms allow business card holders to schedule both one-time and automatic card payments online. All but one SBCM firm offer these payment options within a single area of the private site. Although all SBCM firms offer the same type of payment options, we found differences in their payment interface presentation, payment amount options and payment time and date availability. In addition, we discuss related services, such as the option to view past payments and manage bank accounts. Lastly, the report mentions help features that aid clients during the payment process.
When examining the payment options, we found that firms feature distinct same-day payment cut-off times, future payment dates availability and pre-set payment amounts. Currently, five SBCM firms allow business card holders to submit payments past 5 PM ET for same-day payment posting, with one SBCM firm featuring the latest cut-off time of 11:59 PM ET. In regards to future payment date availability, six SBCM firms allow clients to schedule payments beyond the payment due date. Seven SBCM firms also provide clients with pre-set payment amounts that allow them to see the minimum payment amount and payment due date on the payment interface, with some firms offering much more than that.

The payment amount and payment date options for automatic payments vary by firm. Five SBCM firms automatically set a payment date for clients, while the three other SBCM firms allow customers to select a date from a list of options. Seven SBCM firms also allow clients to select from set payment amounts to be made every month, such as the minimum payment amount. Two of these seven SBCM firms allow customers to select from unique payment amount options, such as a payment amount that includes the minimum payment amount plus the total amount of purchases that fall under a select spending category. One SBCM firm offers a different type of automatic payment option that requires clients to choose a payment frequency.

As for related payment services, we found that 75% SBCM firms allow clients to modify pending payments. Seventy-five percent of SBCM firms also provide an archive of past payments within the payment center. To help with these payment services, all SBCM firms offer a type of assistance, either via progress meters or help links. Two SBCM firms excel in payment assistance by offering chat tools.