Contactless payments can usually be made up to £100 (as long as the retailer has approved this level), and for employees using business credit cards it can be a quick and easy way to pay.
But there are some steps to ensure that the benefits of contactless are not offset through using it improperly. Here’s how to make sure that doesn’t happen.
It’s so easy to pay with contactless, that it can be simple to just tap and go, forgetting to get a receipt in order to validate the expense, or for tax purposes.
But whether there’s a vendor present or an automatic on-screen option, in most cases you can still get paper receipts with contactless. Getting employees in the habit of asking for one will save a lot of hassle when it comes to checking and processing expenses at a later date.
You can also use additional expense management tools such as ExpenseIn, which allow employees to take a picture of paper receipts on their phone and are then automatically uploaded into your online account.
There may be some cases when employees can’t easily get receipts with contactless payments. As an example, paying for travel at the gates on London Underground is contactless yet the process for obtaining a receipt is lengthier involving a TfL payment account. So the question is: how do you formulate your expense policy in these cases?
On the one hand, travel is zero rated for VAT so you won’t need a receipt to claim tax back, so it’s not a problem on that front.
On the other hand, you might decide that for low value payments a receipt is not always needed. Be careful with this though, because not reclaiming any applicable VAT on lots of these transactions could add up.
Inherently, putting in a PIN for every business payment might seem like it offers more control, but there is still a lot of security backing up contactless payment.
When you look at your account, every payment made by contactless will be flagged up, allowing you to see where it was used, how much was spent, and by which card.
And through your account you can put in place some very useful controls if you need to.
You might decide you want to limit some employees’ contactless use – if, for instance, their role means you’d prefer to limit the way in which they can use the business card. In the Allstar Online portal, you can switch contactless off at an individual card level, so they can only pay by using a PIN. It’s a really handy extra security feature.
With Allstar fuel cards and Allstar Plus, we don’t offer contactless payment on fuel because the specific nature of the purchase and the huge amount of data to be added into the fleet management system requires the card to go through the terminal.
By using the terminal, mileage and registration numbers can be entered, providing fleets with HMRC-compliant invoicing and vehicle data without the need to collect paper receipts, helping to speed up the admin process.
There’s also the security of knowing that fuel purchases were only made for the specific vehicle, and no other goods were paid for by the card. It means drivers can access any discounted fuel deals available too.
If you’re concerned about the security of allowing employees to pay for expenses with contactless cards, there are a lot of systems in place to limit the opportunity for fraud.
Every employee must enter the PIN when they are first sent the card, regardless of the transaction type, and they will be asked from time to time to re-enter the PIN when they make payments.
The systems facilitating payment will also monitor for unusual activity, such as lots of contactless activity in a short space of time and either flag an issue or ask for a PIN to be entered.
If an employee has forgotten their PIN, for a VISA-backed card they can get a reminder of it digitally through their Allstar Online portal. You can also cancel a lost card on there too.
Because of the controls and security in place, alongside a clear policy on usage, paying for expenses with contactless is a convenient way to make business payments.
For more details about Allstar’s contactless business payment cards, click here.