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Young Brits demand corporate cards to cope with the soaring cost of living

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Businesses less keen to respond

People do not want to use their personal credit cards for work expenses due to their concerns about tight personal finances. Companies, however, are slow to respond to this demand.  This is according to research commissioned by Emburse.

The survey looked at expense processes within UK-based businesses, questioning employees about business policy enforcement about spending and employee preferences around business travel expenses and other related costs.

According to the research conducted by Censuswide, 16-34-year-olds were most likely to prefer corporate cards over personal cards (55%) compared to just 41% of those over 55.

Of these younger respondents, 47% said the cost-of-living crisis is the key factor. This is unsurprising considering that 78% of 16-24-year-olds reported cost-of-living increases, compared to 42% in January/February 2022.

The reasons that 94% of young employees want a corporate card include the following:

  • Long expense reimbursement processing time incurring the risk of late fees
  • Preference for not mixing personal and business spend
  • Streamlining the expenses process
  • Concerns about their own finances
  • Low credit limits
  • Ease in managing expenses at the end of a trip.

The data also revealed a limited desire to use personal cards for air/hotel points which can later be used for personal leisure and travel – only 10% of employees mentioned this as a reason to use personal cards.

According to the survey, only 6% of employees are required to use corporate cards at mid-size and larger companies. The majority of organisations do not use corporate cards. This is likely due to increased fraud cases due to cost-of-living hikes.

Jamie Anderson, Chief Revenue Officer at Emburse, commented: “We’re all feeling the impact of rising prices, so it’s more important than ever for companies to listen to employees and understand how best to support them. This is even more important for younger employees who often earn less and may not have large amounts of credit available. When almost half of young workers say that the cost of living makes them want a company-paid card for their expenses, it’s something that companies should seriously consider. It’s an easy – and free – way to show employees you care.

 “Giving employees credit cards also makes sound business sense. By setting restrictions on how and when, and where they can be used, it’s much easier to control purchases in advance, instead of having to wait for expense claims to come in after the fact. They also give much easier, accurate and timely insight into corporate spend, and the rebates that come back will also benefit the corporate coffers.”

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