New Visa Global Cash Management Survey Reveals Companies to Increase Corporate Payment Card Use and Decrease Check Use

    Survey Examines Use and Perceptions of Corporate Cash Management
Processes on a Global Basis; Finance Practices Changing around the World

    PARIS, March 27 /CNW/ - Today, at the Visa Global Commercial Forum in
Paris, Visa released a global survey that finds approximately 25 percent of
companies plan to increase their use of corporate payment cards and decrease
their reliance on checks in the near future. Companies believe that corporate
payment cards will reduce costs and enable greater cash flow management as a
result of more transparent financial data for payables and receivables,
according to the survey that was commissioned by Visa.

    The Visa Global Cash Management Survey examined the use of corporate
payment cards on a global basis. The survey was conducted in two phases. Phase
I, conducted by, a firm specializing in internet market research,
involved US-based financial, treasury and cash management executives. Phase
II, conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, Inc., a strategic
communications and market research firm, involved senior finance and treasury
executives in four Visa regions, including Asia Pacific (AP), Central and
Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA), Europe, and Latin America and
Caribbean (LAC). Corporate payment cards are payment and expense management
solutions with information management services that are designed to help
businesses and the public sector achieve cost savings, greater efficiency,
control, and convenience.

    "This international research shows that corporate payment cards are
increasing in popularity as their transparency and information management
benefits are becoming better recognized by financial executives around the
world," said Aliza Knox, senior vice president, Visa Commercial, Visa
International. "The research points to a growing industry trend that checks
are declining in popularity because more companies are seeking solutions that
optimize payment and expense management to help them make better business

    "According to the worldwide survey, companies in Europe - similar to
those in the US - are already accustomed to using corporate payment cards for
account payables and receivables and as a result already appreciate the
associated benefits," said Luc Janssen, Head of Visa Commercial, Visa Europe.
"We're excited to learn from the survey results that companies in all markets
around the world intend to use corporate payment cards more in the future."

    Intention to Increase Use of Payment Cards

    In the US and Europe, more than one in three companies (67 percent), and
in AP, LAC, and CEMEA, more than one in four companies (34 percent), plan to
increase their use of corporate payment cards in the next 12-18 months.

    Improved Efficiency Through Corporate Payment Cards

    The most important reason that companies worldwide plan to incorporate
corporate payment cards is to reduce the associated administration and
processing costs. In addition, companies recognize that electronic payment

    --  Eliminate paper invoicing and payments

    --  Ease facilities payables and receivables

    --  Provide card transaction data for better vendor negotiations

    Importance of Financial Transparency Cited

    In general, 75 percent of companies recognize that the most important
capability of electronic payment methods is to provide easier access to more
transparent financial data. Companies ranked online access to payment and
invoice-related detail as the second most important electronic payment
capability. In addition, companies believe that electronic payments provide:

    --  Automated information reporting and back-end integration capability

    --  Ability to process high value payments

    --  Ability for buyer to control amount and frequency of payments

    --  Ability for buyer to initiate payments

    --  Ability for buyer to defer settlement of funds

    Reasons for Current Cash Management Inefficiency Vary

    Companies view their current cash management process as inefficient,
primarily because of labor-intensive administrative work and inadequate
information and reporting capabilities.

    --  In Europe, LAC, and CEMEA, cash positioning and forecasting is seen
as the least efficient process.

    --  In the US and AP, collection and application is seen as the least
efficient process.

    --  In LAC, disbursements are viewed as the least efficient process.

    Visa Global Cash Management Survey: Objective and Methodology

    The objective of the Visa Global Cash Management Survey was to provide a
global view of cash management practices, and gauge the use and perceptions of
corporate payment cards worldwide.

    The first phase of the survey, conducted by, was completed in
August 2006, and involved the responses of 400 financial executives and cash
managers from across more than 20 industries in the US. The majority of
respondents (85 percent) had annual sales of more than US$50 million per year,
of which 56 percent represented companies with sales of more than US$500
million annually.

    The second phase of the global survey was completed by Penn, Schoen &
Berland Associates, Inc. in late February 2007, and included 383 telephone
interviews of treasury managers, cash managers, and chief accounting officers
and financial managers reporting to chief financial officers. The respondents
across four Visa regions were employed by companies with over 100 employees
and annual sales of at least US$25 million annually.

    For additional information about global cash management practices, visit

    Notes to Editors:

    About Visa Commercial: Visa Commercial payment solutions -- Visa
Business, Visa Corporate and Visa Purchasing -- combine payment with
information to create intelligent payment solutions that are designed to
enable business and government organizations of any size and type to reduce
costs, streamline operational and payment processes, and make more informed
business decisions. Backed by Visa's unsurpassed acceptance, Visa Commercial
products and services are designed to provide a complete way to manage
payment-related processes, including travel and entertainment and procurement
expenditures, payroll distribution, and information management. For more
information, visit

    About the Global Commercial Forum: The Visa Global Commercial Forum,
hosted by Visa International, is a global conference targeting multinational
and large market Visa members. The Visa Global Commercial Forum brings
together Visa member bank executives from around the world to showcase
successful Visa Commercial programs and share best practices on "Driving
Efficiencies with Intelligent Payment Solutions."

    About Visa: Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial
institutions through the world's largest electronic payments network. Visa
products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence
in both the physical and virtual worlds. Visa is committed to the sustained
growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders
and to drive economic growth.

    Visa products currently generate more than $4 trillion in sales volume
worldwide. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world. In addition,
Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash
access in local currency in over 170 countries. For more information, visit

For further information:

For further information: Visa International Sabine Middlemass,
+1-650-432-8307 or Visa Europe Angela Sherratt, +44 (0)20
7795 5103 or Burson-Marsteller Carolyn Krytzer,

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