Manage expenses on the go with mobile

Manage expenses on the go with mobile

A commercial card program administrator uses mobile banking to help employees stay productive.

An interview with Anna DeMarco, Card Services Administrator, Urban Outfitters, Inc.

Describe Urban Outfitters and your role at the company.

Urban Outfitters is an innovative specialty retailer with a range of brands and locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

I'm the commercial card services administrator. Any time someone charges a card on behalf of the company, it goes through the Wells Fargo program. A challenge for our company is we're unique in the way we spend. We have more than 1,500 purchasing cards in our program, and no transaction or cardholder is the same. There's no template we can use. Our buyers travel all over the world, and cards often get declined because of the "odd factor" of the transactions. For example, a store-opening employee uses the card for hotel bills for his or her team, but the transaction is declined because of a single transaction amount. These are the types of issues I'd handle.

Do you consider a buyer's inability to make purchases a business disruption?

Yes. We deal with high-volume transaction amounts. If cardholders cannot use their company cards, they may not have the available funds in their personal accounts to cover the charges. It's vital that I'm able to review and respond to those declines 24 hours a day.

What systems have you put in place to help you respond in the event of an emergency, outage, or other business disruption?

I started using the CEO Mobile® Commercial Card Expense Reporting service about a year ago. It's been so helpful because, in the past, if I had a card emergency during off hours, I'd have to be near a PC. Now, any time someone calls or emails, I'm never more than two seconds away from my smartphone to fix whatever issue they have. I can change spending limits, review charges and declines, and edit merchant category codes. In the event of a power outage or business disruption, I know this flexibility would help.

How has the service affected your emergency response?

I'm much more confident that if anything comes up, I can handle it right away instead of finding out about it on Monday morning. It definitely has improved my work flow. Our buyers use the CEO Mobile app on their smart phones to proactively check their card balances before they shop or go on a long trip. The result is they're getting fewer declines.

Any advice for companies considering incorporating mobile banking into their business continuity plans?

Give this service a chance to wow you. Don't shy away from the technology, because your cardholders definitely need this benefit. As a commercial card program administrator, you don't want to find out people were scrambling for something at night or over the weekend and realize you could have fixed things if you'd had a tool like this.