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Well, the holiday season is well and truly upon us. If you’re like us, your personal credit cards are getting a major workout as you cross gift and other holiday purchases off your lists. For many consumers, the convenience of credit card payments at this time of the year is tempered by fears about the security of these payments, especially online. The massive security breach that affected shoppers at Target and other major retailers in December 2013 was a Grinch-y reminder that easy payment forms can also be easily compromised. 

As banks, retailers, and Silicon Valley continue to seek consumer credit card security solutions, it’s hugely reassuring to know that the Accounts Payable community is actually ahead of the curve in terms of protected payments. We’ve long known that electronic payments like ACH and wire offered more protections than cash or check. But the advent of virtual card solutions has brought next-level security that is unmatched in the corporate payables and consumer spheres.

What are some of the key ways virtual cards lock up your organization’s payments? Some may surprise you:

Single-Use, Sixteen-Digit Account Numbers: Each virtual card payment is processed through a randomly generated, 16-digit account number that is created explicitly for that single payment and is never reused or reusable.

Specific Payment Amounts: The single-use virtual card number is good only for the amount you specify. Unlike with a check or other, less-secure payment forms, no one else can alter the payment amount once it’s generated. 

PIN-Protected: In order for your vendor to access your payment, they need to provide a unique PIN. 

Non-Forwardable Payment Notification Email: The email your vendor receives notifying them of your payment is not able to be forwarded to any other recipient. 

At Kontrol, Lost & Found’s virtual card partner, we’re constantly assessing the security of our clients’ payment options and ensuring that the AP solutions we offer them – including virtual card, ACH and wire – are as simple, streamlined and secure as they need them to be. Because payment security shouldn’t be a luxury; it’s an essential element of a balanced and successful AP program. 

Is a better-automated payment program on your holiday list this year? Lost & Found can help. 

Tom Parrish is SVP of Sales at Kontrol Payables, a Lost&Found partner focused on commercial payments solutions.

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