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Getting Ahead With Savvy Payment Management Andre Hattingh outlines the benefits of SMEs choosing the credit route.

By Andre Hattingh

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You are a growing business and you are juggling managing it along with financial processes. You do not have the huge financial departments of a large corporation and have to look after your cash-flow either on your own or with a small team, so what can you do to make the process simpler? Andre Hattingh, Head of Commercial Product, Visa Inc. CEMEA, shares how to simplify financial management so you can concentrate on the important stuff- the growth of your business.

SMEs: The backbone of the economy

There is a growing recognition that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can be a vital resource to combating some of the challenges facing the region by contributing to job growth and the economy, and bridging some of the regional economic development imbalances that have emerged within countries.

SMEs have been widely recognized as effective and successful in developed markets, where they are responsible for much of the growth in new jobs, and contribute to over 60%–70% of employment and more than 50% of GDP.

A constantly changing and competitive region, the uncertain global economy and the increasing globalization of businesses and customers present SME's with new issues, including having to drive greater efficiency and productivity, and scaling to grow and change the company. Financial control and flexibility aided with good payment management can help businesses thrive in the transforming business environment.

Whether you're a small business, entrepreneur, independent contractor, or sole proprietor; operational efficiency is increasingly critical for you to remain competitive and to drive real growth beyond cycles. Financial processes such as payment management are a critical component of running your business and you need control, convenience and cost-savings. Payment management is designed to enhance the efficiency of small businesses processes and improve your bottom line, better manage your cash flow and help growth – not just with start-ups, but for those who need to grow to the next stage.

Streamlining expenses and better access to funds

Streamlining expenses with business cards is an easy way to separate company and personal expenses, manage business and travel spending, and simplify bookkeeping. Managing outgoings on a business card allows you greater control of your business spending - you can track expenses by category; issue cards to key employees, set spending limits, and better manage your company's cash flow. Fueling growth for your business by transitioning from business cheques to business cards not only comes through faster, more cost-effective ways to pay, but also as purchasing flexibility through online purchasing and business travel bookings. Automating payments and leveraging the internet as a tool for business makes business easier to do.

Access to funds whenever and wherever you need it gives businesses more malleability to scale up, increase revenue and cost efficiency. Other benefits that offer savings in cost and time with business cards include offers from business travel and accommodation to business support services and products.

Bargain hunter

You are where you are today thanks to a savvy business sense and knowing a good deal when you see one. So do not stop now, keep a sharp look out for the perks that come with using business cards and make them work for you. There are many out there that are designed to enhance the efficiency of your business processes and improve your bottom line. Do you travel overseas a lot for your business? Make sure you choose a card that gives you a better price on flights, accommodation and car hire. Or perhaps you need gifting services or access to key news publications and services.

Payment solutions for SME's are fast evolving to meet the needs of your business, so explore your options and make these solutions work for you. From simple things like choosing your business payment card to enlisting the help of an efficient online management system – you can increase productivity, streamline your financial processes and keep your mind focused on the big opportunities ahead.

Andre Hattingh

Head of Commercial Products, CEMEA Visa

Andre Hattingh, as the Head of Commercial Products CEMEA Visa has over 15 years of experience in card payments in consumer and commercial products. He has been with VISA for seven years, first heading up core products in Sub-Saharan Africa, and for the past three years, he has been overseeing commercial products for the CEMEA region. 

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