As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, startups and businesses face a tough battle to stay alive as major non-tech industries shut down and non-essential international travel is banned across the world.
Most employees have been unceremoniously transitioned to remote work to allow for social distance to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All these and other massive consequential impacts of COVID-19 on various industries threaten the survival of small businesses, startups and corporations.
During this difficult time, much change needs to happen simultaneously and quickly across departments in many companies. Product features that may have been further down the pipeline may need to be brought forward to enable the business to cater to customers and survive the COVID-19 health crisis.
Startups and businesses need to move quickly yet strategically to close any gaps between them and their customers. As the world turns to digital channels to communicate and work, the need to prioritize these digital channels to provide value and support to customers is paramount for any business or startup with a strong will to survive.
It is important, however, that before jumping to action, business owners and managers pause and evaluate their current financial position to see what is best to do based on their position. Liquidity, runway and burn rate are important metrics to measure to determine priority and urgency.
There are many ways that startups and businesses can optimize their products or services to cut costs and serve their customers during this crisis.
Make International Payments Using Virtual Debit Cards
To reduce the spread of coronavirus, most cities across the world are on lockdown or allow limited movement. Walking into shops, malls, banks and airports is minimally possible across the world, and businesses must adjust to this reality to stay alive during the coming months.
One of the top priorities for businesses now is to easily, affordably and quickly send and receive payments from customers and suppliers in countries across the world and at scale. As most borders are closed, the only way to do this is through secure, digital means.
Fortunately, Banking as a Service (BaaS) platforms exist to break down previously insurmountable barriers in sending, spending and receiving money from clients locally and internationally.
To adapt your business to today’s reality and continue to serve your customers regardless of where they are, you can use virtual debit cards also known as virtual card numbers (VCNs) in the following ways.
Manage Customer Card Programs
Issuing virtual debit cards to your customers enables them to easily pay for your products or services from anywhere in the world. This simplifies payments for the customers and increases the chances that they continue to use your product regardless of where they live.
Using virtual card numbers (VCNs) also streamlines cash management on your end by integrating with your current accounting systems. It helps you cut costs, reduce transaction fees and avoid issues with foreign exchange fluctuations.
Unlike checks and ACH payments, virtual debit cards do not tie back to a customer’s bank account, so they are more secure. They can be created for a one-time transaction or specific amount which makes it even more secure for the customers to use.
Easily Payout to Customers’ Cards
Once you have a customer card program set up, you can easily refund or payout owed amounts to your customers with their virtual cards. In this difficult time, you can offer to give bonuses, discounts or even donations to members or communities who are suffering in different ways because of the ongoing pandemic.
A gesture of this sort and the convenience of transacting via your business’s virtual cards will build customer trust and loyalty. Using VCNs reduces the complexity of disbursing these and other kinds of payments to your customers.
Handle Payroll Remotely
Another important task virtual debit cards can help you tackle during this COVID-19 pandemic is to pay out salaries to employees as they work from home or in other operational regions where your company operates.
This will encourage them to sit tight knowing that regardless of where they are in the world, your business will pay their salaries to them on time and without fuss. Corporations with global workforces or businesses working with remote workers and freelancers to get through COVID-19 can benefit from setting up VCNs for their staff in various regions.
Our world is in uncharted waters as we tackle coronavirus. We know the world will step up to this current challenge, but it is unclear when businesses will be back to normal, or if the definition of normal will change because of this event.
In the meantime, we will continue to play our roles, support each other and keep our businesses alive. Businesses with international clients and multiple operational zones can use virtual debit cards to streamline their international payments, making things easier for them, their customers and suppliers. Most importantly at this time, it helps to maintain trust and keep your business going with customers and employees even without physical presence.