Business Controller

    Advancing Control. Advancing Commerce.

    Small business owners know that every dollar counts. MasterCard Business Controller makes it possible for them to delegate card spending to employees safely and efficiently.

    There's a tremendous opportunity to gain share of cash and check spending by small businesses – if only business owners felt they could adequately delegate and manage the credit, debit or prepaid card spending of their employees. Now they can. The MasterCard Business Controller application can help issuers capture more spend on cards and create a differentiated offering that extends real value to small business owners.

    Product customization features create peace of mind for small business owners

    Small businesses use credit and debit cards for less than 10% of $5 trillion worth of payments.(1) This reality stems largely from a reluctance to distribute cards to employees because of the perception of limited control. As a result, those employees often end up paying for business expenses with checks or even personal cards that then require the employee to seek reimbursement from management.

    The availability of the MasterCard Business Controller application makes employee spending efficient, transparent, and secure. This flexible solution allows small business
    owners to:

    • Create customized spending profiles for each employee that determines exactly how, when and where a card can be used. For example, a maximum single purchase amount can be set, or transactions can be limited for specific merchant categories or to the total amount spent over a time period, such as a month.
    • Adjust spending profile settings in real time. Anytime, from anywhere.
    • Receive real-time alerts via email or text whenever spending occurs outside established parameters.

    Additionally, our research shows that small business owners are active online business shoppers.(2) The MasterCard Business Controller application allows owners to create limited-use virtual card numbers so their employees can make secure purchases and payments online. When such transactions are processed, the virtual card numbers are recognized by MasterCard so proper authorization controls can be imposed. This allows owners to keep their actual card details safe while delegating online purchasing to their staff.

    Benefits to financial institutions

    MasterCard research indicates that small business owners are eager for just the type of capability that Business Controller offers. Half of small business owners surveyed said they would deploy some combination of transaction controls and receive account alerts if their financial institution offered the Business Controller application.(3) Plus, the overwhelming majority of that group expressed a willingness to pay a fee for these services and even to switch banks to take advantage of such a benefit.

    Other key findings among those who said they would use the MasterCard Business Controller application:

    • Almost all would switch spend from a personal account to a small business account.
    • A majority would sign up for a new small business credit card.
    • A majority would double the number of cards on their account because of the comfort level provided by the customized control and real-time alert features.

    This research shows that the MasterCard Business Controller can increase the profitability of financial institutions by attracting new cardholders and deepening the relationship with existing customers. The small business card payments opportunity is significant and still under-penetrated. Business Controller can drive new revenue streams for issuers with the addition of more cards per account, new volume generated from replacement of cash and check transactions and additional spend per account.

    (1) Dove Consulting 2008 for Small Business Credit and Debit October 2008: "Cardable Spend" or "Cardable Market" is defined as current spend that is and could be on cards today, which includes indirect (non-cost of goods sold, non-capital expenditure), T&E, Internet, and MRO expenses
    (2) MasterCard inControl Small Business Concept Screening Research, August 2009; 6 in 10 owners shop online monthly
    (3) MasterCard Quantitative Small Business Payments Research, November 2009



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