On Tuesday, Extend, launched an API that enables SMBs to issue digital cards from any company, including American Express.
A spokesperson said that SMBs could input the new system with the providers they are used to without paying switching costs.
Orna Albus, chief product officer at Extend said businesses could speed up their transactions.
“SMBs have rarely had access to open APIs to issue and manage virtual cards for payments, let alone options that work with their current and preferred financial institutions,” Albus said. “By using the Extend API, businesses across industries can speed reconciliation, increase control, and manage heavy transaction volume, freeing up valuable time and resources that can be put toward growth, not drudgery.”
Why rely on manual?
SMBs that rely heavily on payments to run their businesses struggle with inadequate, manual solutions without proper control or efficiency, Albus said. Manual processes can delay payments, waste valuable resources on tedious reconciliation and bookkeeping, and fuel costly fraud or misuse.
While businesses want to automate and streamline payment processes, they also want to retain the customer service, rewards programs, trusted relationships, and credit lines they enjoy from their banks, the firm said in a release.
One partner, American Express, said it is happy to improve commercial workflows. Trina Dutta, CP and GM of B2B payments automation at AmEx, said.
“SMBs want payment innovation — whatever industry they’re in,” Dutta said. “American Express continues to enhance our API infrastructure, and how we work with Extend is one example of that innovation. By integrating virtual card issuance and management directly into their systems, SMBs benefit from virtual cards within existing workflows and records, simplifying commercial transactions.”
Extend said its onramp allows SMBs to keep the credit lines they already use. To date, these sorts of powerful APIs have been reserved for a bank’s largest customers.
Virtual card issuance
All can benefit from integrating virtual card issuance and management directly into customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and other systems. Adam Gleiss, VP of technology at aResTravel, said his firm manages digital payments constantly.
“With the Extend API, we manage thousands of payments every month to our hotel partners, all in a frictionless, behind-the-scenes process,” Gleiss said. “Our customers get a high-touch service, and we get more control over payments while maximizing the benefit of our card rewards.”
The Extend API enables SMBs to tackle three must-solve challenges, all within the core platforms they already use:
- Manage high-volume transactions: Businesses reliant on many individual cards and transactions can instantly create virtual cards for specific purposes at scale, get real-time authentication and clearing, and maximize their card rewards.
- Instantly match transactions: SMBs can integrate payments directly into their existing workflow and systems, thereby linking all card controls and transactions to client and payment records.
- Set strict security controls: Companies can leverage the Extend API to send unique card numbers directly to individuals and merchants and set strict controls related to dollar amount and time period for use. Such controls eliminate the risk of overcharging and reduce fraud.