Implementing virtual card accounts in your corporate travel process can offer better travel data collection, prevent fraud, and improve your existing expense management processes. In the world of corporate travel and expense reports, it’s the next big thing.

Today, many businesses have employees book travel through a central account. Using a central or ‘ghost’ account can be problematic, since detailed data on individual transactions might be difficult to capture and report. Using individual virtual account numbers for each travel transaction – flight, hotel, and car rental – allows a company to gain more insight and report at a more granular individual transaction level.

Individual virtual account numbers can include controls based on frequency of use or dollar amounts.  Merchants or merchant categories can also be limited. Compared to a traditional corporate card, a virtual account offers more protection against fraud and theft.

Implementing and aligning with existing expense processes and software should be carefully planned and tested to avoid unforeseen technology or process issues. Consider initially piloting virtual card accounts with a small department or group of regular travelers to work out kinks and gain quick insights from employees that will be regularly using this new technology. Once you have worked through glitches and smoothed out the overall process, you can roll out virtual card accounts more broadly.

Does your company use virtual card accounts? Let us know the benefits you have seen through having your employees use virtual card accounts as opposed to central accounts.


Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care. Sally Abella, Director of Corporate Travel Harman International
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic. Ben Zastrow Zelle