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Review of developments in payment systems 2010: Payment cards

Payment cards are now being integrated into banks’ overall payables and receivables solutions, as shown in Figure 1. As Alan Koenigsberg, head of international card products at J.P. Morgan, explains, "Our business model complements the way our clients do business. They don’t split up their supply chain so why should we? By having an integrated suite of products and services, we’re in a strong and comprehensive position to deliver solutions that will increase working capital, promote efficiency and mitigate risk."

The battle for supremacy in multi-country regional and global payment card solutions has grown considerably as more banks establish themselves as truly regional players, as J.P. Morgan, now operating its global cards programme in 95 countries, became a major competitor for Citi and American Express, and as Bank of America gears up to become a major player in the global corporate card marketplace. Multinational corporations will have many more options to choose from in the coming year. In 2009 the number of tenders for new corporate card programmes fell but demand now seems to be growing again as companies focus on exploiting the potential cost savings and operational improvements payment cards offer. Vince Eavis, at VE Consulting, describes it as follows, "T&E is now well covered. A new phase in the usage of corporate cards is emerging where companies are using the same payment cards and control systems to capture and manage many more types of spend, particularly for low-value items.

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