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Small business credit card management gets yet easier

by Peter Andrew

In late March, we reported on some recent innovations from MasterCard that were designed to make it easier for small businesses to track and manage credit card expenses (see MasterCard improves receipt management for business credit cards). However, the competitive advantage provided by some of those new technologies may prove short-lived, as Chase recently unveiled a seemingly similar alternative.

Small business credit cards and smartphones

It was on May 6 that Chase announced enhancements to its Jot expenses-management service. This now offers a free app for Android and Apple iOS-compatible products, although those without smart devices can use their laptops or desktops to achieve similar outcomes.

The Chase app sends the cardholder an alert whenever a purchase is made using a Jot-compliant card. This prompts the user to take a photo of the paper receipt with his or her smart device. At that point there's also an opportunity to tag the receipt with the appropriate expense-accounting code. The picture and tag are then automatically synced with (uploaded to) the Chase server, and it can be accessed at any time simply by logging onto the Chase account. Employers who need to monitor employee card usage closely can elect to be copied live on purchase alerts.

The purpose of the innovations from MasterCard and Chase is to make it easier for managers to monitor, analyze and control spending on small business credit cards -- in close to real time. As Richard Quigley, president of Ink from Chase, commented in a statement:

Small business owners are constantly on the go and do not want to be reconciling reports with a shoebox full of receipts… With less time spent reconciling receipts, small business owners and their employees can devote more time to growing their businesses.

Now that's sounds like something small business owners can get behind.

Published 05/22/13 (Modified 11/18/13)

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