Comdata Virtual Payments provides several platforms for sending electronic payments to your vendors as well as services for different types of vendors. See the list below to determine which method is best for your company.
Accounting Software Integration
If you prefer to send virtual cards through a batch file process, you must integrate Comdata’s systems with your accounting software, allowing you to send payments via a secure FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server or web portal. Currently, Comdata offers three methods of integration:
- Sterling File Integration. Sterling is a file data mapping tool that can take your batch payment files and map them to Comdata’s standard files for processing and generating a virtual card. Once the mapping procedure is completed the first time, Sterling is smart enough to remember the file format of each payment file you send, as long as no changes are made on your end. On Comdata’s end, we will take our standard response and reconciliation files, and map them to a file format that meets your system requirements.With Sterling, you can send payment files via an FTP server, or by uploading them to the myFileGateway web portal. Sterling integration provides an accelerated process for onboarding and requires few back-office development resources on your end.
- ConnectPay. Comdata ConnectPay offers the ability to consolidate your payment methods into one electronic payment platform. In addition to virtual payment processing, ConnectPay supports other payment types including ACH, wire, check, and international (SWIFT, IBAN, ACH international).ConnectPay can remember the preferred method to pay all of your vendors and automate those payments on your behalf. Similar to Sterling, you will just need to send a payment file through ConnectPay’s integrated FTP, and it will do the rest. With ConnectPay, you have more control and efficiency in your payment processes.
- Native Integration. Comdata can also work with your IT department to do a customized integration to your accounting software. You will need an FTP client with the ability to handle Secure Socket Layer (SSL), Secure Shell (SSH), or Pretty Good Protection (PGP) encryption for file processing. You can use any FTP client such as FileZilla and Comdata will provide the needed login information and encryption key. Comdata will also provide our standard payment file layout, and assist with submitting the first payment.
Comdata’s web services allow you to integrate our data systems with your in-house applications, providing you with cost-saving flexibility to configure and control how Comdata solutions are used.
API (Application Programming Interface, a set of instructions for developers to link the software to another web-based application) options like web services are tools for customized data integration. With web services, Comdata places our unembellished data into your hands to develop as you see fit. You can use your own website or web-enabled application to manage your virtual payments program. Using web services, you can design your own interface to issue and monitor payments through a secure online channel.
Using an API tool like web services can bring your company considerable savings. For example, setting up a virtual card program through web services could eliminate the resources invested in learning a foreign software system or monitoring security across more than one platform.
Web services are programmed in a standard format designed to work with any application. You can undertake your own development using two basic building blocks provided by Comdata:
- WSDL (Web Services Definition Language), an XML-based language for making card program requests
- SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), language used to communicate these requests
The ICD web portal offers the ability to issue virtual cards on a one-off basis, or one at a time. When you issue one-off virtual cards in ICD, your program administrator can control the information fields needed when your associates issue or edit a virtual card. This includes your company’s own customized requirements such as discretionary data, limits by merchant groups and individual MCCs (Merchant Category Codes), and payment breakdowns by your GL coding.
Unlike batch files, issuing virtual cards through ICD requires no system integration.
In addition to issuing virtual cards, ICD offers several features for managing your Virtual Payments program, such as reporting options, dashboards, and real-time transaction history. So, no matter what payment option you choose, you will most likely use ICD as well.
Virtual Payments Manager
Virtual Payments Manager (VPM) is an ICD application separate from the one-off virtual card orders. VPM does not require system integration but can store your vendor and payment details, so you can schedule future payments and review paid invoices.
Key features include:
- Adding vendors to your VPM account by searching Comdata’s network of MasterCard- accepting vendors or enrolling vendors that are not already in Comdata’s network
- Paying multiple invoices from the same vendor in one transaction
- Scheduling single or automatic recurring payments
- Receiving email payment confirmation and generating remittance advices for your vendors
- Setting up customized two-party approvals and notifications based on payment amounts
Comdata offers the PayForYou service for vendors who only accept MasterCard payments through telephone or their own website. With PayForYou, Comdata makes the payment on your behalf, meaning that vendors who do not accept email remittances are no longer off-limits to your Virtual Payments program. Once a vendor is enrolled to receive PayForYou payments, simply submit a payment in a batch file like you would for any other vendor, and Comdata will handle the rest.
Comdata leverages a 24/7 customer support team to ensure timeliness and responsiveness in processing these payments with a five-day SLA (Service Level Agreement) for payment submission.
ComdataDirect is a straight-through virtual card option that transfers settlements directly to the vendor’s bank account, running on Comdata’s own proprietary network. This is beneficial for vendors that want to receive an electronic payment, but cannot or will not accept a MasterCard payment.
ComdataDirect solves two of the most common issues that keep vendors from participating in Virtual Payments program:
- High transaction fees that come with typical MasterCard, Visa, or American Express transactions
- Overhead acceptance with merchant card acceptance
ComdataDirect is only available to vendors with an annual spend of $100,000 or more. You will need to work with a Vendor Enrollment Specialist to identify these vendors and enroll them to ComdataDirect. Once a vendor is enrolled, you can simply issue payment in a batch file to have it directly posted to the vendors’ account.
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