expense management tools

Corporate card comparison: DBS vs. Stripe vs. Spenmo

February 18, 2020

There are plenty of corporate card providers in Singapore, and naturally, you want to know which is the most affordable and most beneficial for your company. A great card program combined with a transparent expenditure management policy can reduce excessive costs and improve employee satisfaction.

We’ve prepared a list of some of the corporate and small business card programs that are popular in Singapore. Take a look and see if any might be right for you.

DBS Commercial Cards

DBS Bank is a Singaporean multinational banking corporation popular across Southeast Asia. They offer a large selection of commercial and corporate cards, each of which have different fees, terms, and conditions.

When employees charge their full travel fare to their DBS card, they can receive up to S$1 million in complimentary travel insurance coverage. DBS commercial cards also offer an employee misuse protection policy. When you sign up for two or more cards of the same type, they can cover employee misspending of up to US$25,000 per cardholder and US$1.65 million per company.

DBS World Business Credit Card (Mastercard)

Fees: $406 per year per card, waived for the first year

Minimum income: $80,000+ per annum

Minimum age: 21+

The DBS World Business Card comes with optional membership to the DBS Priority Pass program, which allows cardholders to enjoy up to 10 complimentary visits per annum to over 1,000 airport lounges around the world. It’s great for business and leisure (and bleisure) enthusiasts.

Each purchase with the card receives DBS Rewards Points, which can be redeemed for shopping vouchers, air miles, or up to 2% cash rebates:

  • 2% cash rebate on overseas spending: Every S$10 spent earns you 10 DBS Rewards Points (equivalent to 2% cash rebate/20 air miles).
  • 1% on local dining, entertainment and travel: Every S$10 spent earns you 5 DBS Rewards Points (equivalent to 1% cash rebate/10 air miles).
  • 0.3% on other transactions: Every S$10 spent earns you 1.5 DBS Rewards Points (equivalent to 0.3% cash rebate/3 air miles).

Benefits:

  • Mastercard Easy Savings® rebates at participating merchants are automatically applied to your monthly statements
  • 24/7 online reporting and expense tool (for some additional fees/charges)
  • 24-hour dedicated service with DBS BusinessCare
  • Allocate spending limits to each assigned cardholder
  • Recurring bill payment

DBS Visa Platinum Business Credit Card

Fees: S$192.60 per year per card, waived for one year

Minimum income: S$30,000+ per year

The DBS Visa Platinum Business Card is intended to be used for day-to-day business expenses.

For every $5 charged to the card, employees will earn 1 DBS point, which can then be redeemed for vouchers, air miles, or 0.4% cash rebate. To limit the misuse of company funds, managers can allocate company spending limits per employee.

Visa Business Advance Debit Card

Fees: None

The Visa Business Advance Debit Card offers similar features to the aforementioned World Business Mastercard. It’s intended to be a multi-use business card.

Travelers will receive complimentary travel insurance of up to S$350,000 per cardholder when they charge full airfare to the card. Using a Business Advance Card, you can withdraw foreign currencies at overseas ATM with the Visa Plus logo.

Cardholders can earn 0.3% cash rebates on all charges, which are credited to your Business Account quarterly.

DBS Virtual Corporate Card

Fees: None

DBS Virtual Corporate Cards are issued in the company’s name, so you can consolidate charges into one centralised account.

The DBS Virtual Cards have no annual fee and no late charges. Rather than using different cards for each flight, you could use the DBS Virtual Card—it’s often used as a centralised travel account for booking airfare with travel management companies.

Features:

  • 24/7 online reporting and monitoring tool to manage expenditures charged to the DBS Virtual Credit Card
  • Control which personnel can request limit adjustments and/or new cards
  • Set spending categories, number of transactions and total transaction limit allowed per month. For example, you can opt to use the card only for travel-related expenses such as airfares, hotels, travel agencies and car rental.

DBS Corporate Charge Credit Mastercard/Visa

Fees: None

Charges: Effective interest rate of 18% p.a. (subject to compounding if the charges are not repaid in full)

The DBS Corporate Card is designed for employee expense management. It provides up to 50% off thanks to Commercial Card business privileges for Travel, Petrol, and Business categories. The DBS Indulge program also offers up to 50% off at selected restaurants around the world.

Benefits:

  • Monitor and analyse all card expenditure with the 24/7 reporting tool
  • Define where and how regularly the card can be used to prevent misuse
  • Control which personnel can request limit adjustments and/or new cards
  • Recurring bill payment and bill consolidation

DBS Purchasing Credit Mastercard/Visa

Fees: None

Charges: Effective interest rate of 18% p.a. (subject to compounding if the charges are not repaid in full)

The DBS Corporate Charge Card, like the DBS Purchasing Card, comes with Invapay, a one-stop cloud-based B2B procurement platform that seeks to improve corporations’ operational efficiency. The platform automates procurements and helps companies consolidate payments, which reduces processing costs. It’s intended to increase efficiencies in purchase-to-pay processes.

Benefits:

  • Monitor and analyse all card expenditure with the 24/7 reporting tool
  • Define where and how regularly the card can be used to prevent misuse
  • Control which personnel can request limit adjustments and/or new cards
  • Recurring bill payment and bill consolidation

Stripe

Stripe is an American fintech company that has gained major traction over the past few years. It began offering corporate credit cards in Q4 2019⁠—the cards offer 2% cashback for the top two spending categories each month, and 1% cashback on everything else. This cashback is automatically credited to the monthly bill.

Stripe promises not to charge fees of any kind⁠—no late fees, annual fees, or foreign transaction fees. The company _does _charge their standard payment processing fees, which are pegged at 2.9% + $.50 on every transaction made.

To request an invite to Stripe’s card program, you’ll need a Stripe account. The company says that you don’t need paperwork or a personal guarantee⁠—so you can “be up and running with a virtual card in minutes.” It’s unclear whether Stripe’s corporate credit card users will also be able to use a physical Stripe card.

Other features:

  • $50,000 in free payment processing after your first $5,000 in spend
  • Text, email, or upload your receipts to the Dashboard and Stripe will match the receipt to the right transaction
  • Partner benefits and credits such as Google Ads credit, Hubspot discounts, and more
  • Custom authorization rules like allowed merchant categories and per-cardholder spending limits

Unfortunately, the corporate credit card is only available for US-based companies, so for now Singaporean companies will have to seek other solutions.

Spenmo

Spenmo is a Singaporean startup that provides corporate spending Mastercards to companies. It offers an extra layer of spend management beyond regular business cards—Spenmo’s software can detect fraud, flag suspicious behavior, and predict future spending amounts.

At the beginning, Spenmo cards will operate like a debit card—you can send money through bank transfer to your Spenmo account, then allocate the funds by team and individual employee.

Purchases are automatically tracked on the platform, reducing the need for lengthy reimbursements, manual reconciliations, and paper receipts. The real-time analytics and reporting gives managers a current and complete overview of company spending habits, which can help pinpoint and tackle high expense areas so you never overspend again.

Spenmo charges a flat 1.5% foreign exchange fee. Companies are charged on a monthly basis depending on how many employees are within the organization: $49 for 1-25 employees, $99 for 26-50 employees, and $199 for 51-100 employees.

Other features:

  • Approve or deny top-up requests from your phone
  • Activate/deactivate a specific card or modify limits in seconds
  • Automatic notifications when someone makes a transaction
  • Complimentary physical cards for everyone in the organization
  • Up to 1% cashback on all purchases

Which corporate card is right for you?

Corporate card programs become increasingly important as a company hires more and more employees. It’s very easy for employees and accountants to get inundated with the flurry of paper receipts, and if a clear expense management strategy isn’t implemented ASAP, you’ll end up spending too much time on expense reporting and compliance and not enough time on what matters: growing your company.

You can combat this by selecting any of the aforementioned cards we’ve listed, or inquiring with your favorite banking institution to see if they offer a program you might enjoy. Keep in mind that some card programs may have difficult minimum requirements (for example: many corporate credit cards require a minimum of 15 employees and hundreds of thousands in yearly spending).

We recommend choosing a straightforward card program that can be accessed from your phone and computer (especially for startups and SMEs). A card program like Stripe or Spenmo, for example, has an attractive UI, and Spenmo also offers intuitive tools which can increase expense policy compliance and significantly reduce expense processing times, especially among younger employees.

Assess your employees’ spending habits, then select the program that’s best for your unique needs. To inquire more about how Spenmo might be an affordable solution for your startup, contact us today.

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