Visa pilots small business reporting tool

Source: Visa

Visa USA today launched a flexible, user-friendly, web-based reporting solution designed to specifically meet the financial reporting needs of small businesses. The new service, called Visa Information Source (VIS) Select, will first be piloted to small business cardholders with accounts at Wachovia and U.S. Bank.

Visa's latest small business tool automates the costly paper reporting processes that traditionally accompany small business payment transactions. At the same time, it provides a highly effective way for financial institutions to offer an enhanced and more robust level of reporting to their small business customers.

Moreover, VIS Select is the only reporting solution that provides Member financial institutions the ability to customize the service to provide small business payment card users the ability to track and view all enrolled credit and signature-based debit card transactions in one place. Additionally, enrolled Visa Business Check Card users will be able to track and view all PIN-based Interlink transactions.

"This is an important milestone for both small businesses and the payment industry," said Jean Burkhart, vice president, small business products, Visa USA. "Not only does VIS Select simplify the management of Visa Business card purchases through automated reporting, but it does so regardless of the type of Visa card. Small businesses have the same expense, cash flow, and accounting needs across all payment types - regardless of whether their transactions are made using credit or debit."

Customer Roll-Out

Visa is assisting two of its issuing banks - Wachovia and U.S. Bank - in the implementation of broad VIS Select pilot programs for their small business customers. Wachovia is piloting VIS for its debit card small business customers, and US Bank is testing VIS for its credit card small business customers. Each financial institution is working closely with Visa to customize and brand their VIS Select offering for their unique customer base.

"We want to give all business credit card customers - from the very smallest to the very largest - access to their account data in a manner that best suit their needs," said Robert McKay, Senior Vice President, U.S. Bank. "VIS Select offers us another way to automatically provide detailed business card reports to ease our customers' financial management."

"Small Business owners have so many obligations and responsibilities to manage," said Jeanine Tabaczynski, director, access services for Wachovia Bank, N.A. "Visa Information Source Select is just one small way Wachovia can help make our Business Check Card customers' lives a little easier."

The Wachovia and U.S. Bank pilot programs are scheduled to launch this week, delivering live reports and data to the participating companies through August. Upon successful completion of the pilot program, the service will be rolled out to Wachovia and U.S. Bank's small business cardholders later this year.

Customizing Tools for Small Business Needs

The new VIS Select option is part of a larger umbrella program, called Visa Information Source, which was made available to Visa commercial customers in 2002. The original Visa Information Source enables Member banks to select from a wide variety of reporting capabilities to design solutions to satisfy their individual market segments and customer bases. These capabilities include:
  • More than 60 standard report options that can be viewed online or delivered via email
  • Easy integration into common financial software accounting programs, such as Intuit Quicken, QuickBooks and Microsoft Money
  • Flexible data management - small businesses can import data into spreadsheets or general ledger software, or create customized reports
  • Other expense management tools, including cost allocation and expense reporting

    Service Features

    Reports offered through VIS Select represent a subset of the Visa Information Source reports most applicable to the needs of small business debit and credit cardholders. These reports provide summary and detail level information of spending by cardholder, by company and by specific merchant categories.

    Through a simple, easy-to-navigate web interface, small businesses can establish and maintain profiles for the reporting they wish to receive. Users can register their Visa Business Credit or Check cards, select from the variety of report options, establish frequencies for receipt and designate e-mail recipients for each report.

    Through VIS Select, small businesses are able to benefit from sophisticated reporting tools without having to make additional technology investments. Member banks can offer this value-added service to their Visa Business card programs without costly development efforts.

    "Visa Information Source Select offers small businesses the opportunity to improve the efficiency of their expense management and accounting processes through an easy-to-use automated solution," said Mike Dreyer, senior vice president, commercial solutions, Visa USA. "With today's technology, there is no reason why small businesses can't have access to the same type of time- and money-saving solutions as larger organizations. VIS Select furthers our mission to assist our Member banks in helping their small business clients make better business decisions, while realizing greater efficiency and cost savings through information technology."

    Additional Visa Member financial institutions are currently reviewing plans to offer Visa Select to their business cardholders.
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