Top tips on choosing a global corporate card provider

Gurjit Degun
5 February 2014

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5 February 2014 | Gurjit Degun

When tendering for a global corporate card provider buyers need to ensure they have senior management buy-in, should not underestimate how long it will take and follow up references.

That’s according to George Castlehow, global process owner – employee reimbursement at Rolls-Royce, who was speaking at the Business Travel Show in London today.

It took Rolls-Royce 14 months to complete the tender process and pick the Bank of America Merrill Lynch as its preferred supplier. Castlehow explained that Rolls-Royce took a stringent approach having had a bad experience with its previous supplier. For example, the company had 137 request for proposal questions compared to the 12 when it last went to market.

Castlehow also wanted a more standardised approach across the engineering business, which operates in several countries.

He had the following tips to consider when choosing a card provider:

Make sure you have senior management buy-in. “This will help you to get things done,” said Castlehow.

• Involve all areas of the business no matter how big or small. People will get upset if they don’t know what’s going on.

Learn from past experiences, be it good or bad.

Know what you want on a long-term basis and how you are going to get there. “Don’t change your mind halfway through the process,” said Castlehow.

Don’t underestimate how long it takes to negotiate the contract.

Take up references. “Make sure you pick the references from a list, don’t let the supplier choose them for you,” Castlehow advised.

Ensure you get the right partner. “Otherwise you are stuck with them”, Castlehow added. "We had our fingers burnt once so that was the main thing for us."

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