As payment card-issuing banks eye a larger role in the virtual corporate card space, City National Bank has launched a new service that enables client companies to deliver City National-issued virtual Visa cards to mobile wallets. The bank is partnering on the initiative with virtual payments specialist Extend, which in December inked a deal with Mastercard to distribute that network’s virtual cards via mobile devices.
A subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada, Los Angeles-based City National’s corporate card clients operate mainly in the entertainment and construction industries. With many companies in those sectors having returned to on-site work amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the hygienic advantages of contactless virtual cards are particularly appealing to that client base, the companies said.
The service enables City National’s clients to issue virtual Visa-branded credit cards via Extend’s mobile app to employees, contractors and vendors. Recipients then can load the cards into the Google Pay or Apple Pay mobile wallet for contactless payments at point of sale or online purchases. Card numbers are tokenized by the Visa Token Service to enhance security, and spending managers can set spending limits to control activity on the card, the companies said.
With Covid-19-induced hygiene concerns expected to drive widespread adoption of contactless payment capabilities by merchants, the appeal of mobile wallet-based virtual corporate cards is on the rise. Major corporate issuers including U.S. Bank and Bank of America have taken note, expanding virtual payment offerings over the past several months.