Comerica Commercial CardSM virtual card payment solutions provide a variety of benefits that streamline the procure-to-pay process for all types of business expenses.

In addition to streamlined processes and the elimination of paper-based payments, using the Comerica Commercial Card for payments offers: 

  • Improved cash flow with extended payment terms
  • Enhanced access to and control of your payment information
  • Increased fraud protection with more control over your vendor payments
  • Increased opportunity to earn revenue share by moving payables to card-based transactions
  • Reduced expenses by eliminating check and postage fees
  • Simplifed payment process and reduced costs

Secure solutions

With Comerica's Commercial Card virtual card vendor payment, you will benefit from ease of use, added security and greater control, as follows:

  • Issued for one-time use for a specific dollar amount, and a specific time limit, which you control
  • Issued with a limited expiration of 30 days maximum
  • Issued for a single payment to simplify reconcilement, and can include information such as an invoice number, payment number, vendor ID, cost center, and account GL as part of the posted transaction data
  • Once the expiration has passed or the authorization has been fully utilitzed, the virtual card is permanently blocked

Your vendor will benefit, as well:

  • No need for vendors to provide you with sensitive bank information
  • No need for vendors to retain sensitive card information on file
  • Vendors receive timely, same-day notification that you have authorized a payment
  • Vendors simply process your payment using their existing merchant acquiring service
  • Vendor notification email can include invoice and payment details

What is a virtual card?

A virtual card is a Commercial Card account number issued without plastic. Virtual cards feature a "single-use" card account number that is used for a specific payment; the account expires upon your authorized payment being processed or when the authorization date expires.

How it works

Your Commercial Card program enables you to take advantage of virtual card payments in two ways:

  • Single payment online entry using the Card Management System
  • Batch payments via secure FTP transmission

These options provide different levels of technical integration to meet your needs and the ability to address both one-time "spot" payments, as well as traditional payables payments approved and processed on a regular production schedule.

Comerica Commercial Card virtual card vendor payment process overview


The setup for virtual card payments is simple and straightfoward

First, a virtual card model account is created and plays a variety of roles:
  • To direct a virtual payment settlement into each of your designated bank accounts, so you can establish virtual cards that roll up to your designated hierachies
  • Is used by our system to create one-time use card numbers for each vendor payment you initiate

Initiating a virtual card vendor payment via the Card Management System (CMS)

  • Select the model account you have established for your virtual card payments
  • Enter required fields, such as the authorization amount, authorization expiration date, vendor ID, vendor name and the vendor notification email address
  • Submit the vendor payment

All on one input screen!

Comerica will issue a virtual card with your authorization instructions and notify your vendor via email that you have authorized a payment.

When creating your virtual card vendor payment, you have the option of entering additional data to your payment that may assist in posting and reconciling the transaction after it has posted. These fields include: invoice or payment number, a second email address, description (100 characters of free-form text that will displayed on the vendor notification email), cost center and account GL.


Transmission of batch payments through secure FTP

File integration for processing payments in batch is also simple and straightforward. Before the first production-ready payment file is processed, we will work together to test the file layout and establish the secure file transfer protocol transmission.
Comerica offers transmission via secure file transfer protocol and the following file layout options for this service:
  • Tab delimited text
  • MS-Excel spreadsheet: xlsx file

File processing is performed hourly from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern time.

  • Files received by 5:15 p.m. Eastern will processed the same day.
  • Files received after this time will be processed the next business day.

Refer to the Virtual Card Batch File Technical Guide for complete details.

Commmercial Card payables website

Each virtual card vendor notification email will include a link to a unique URL that your vendors will use to securely retrieve their virtual card account information. To further protect the virtual card information, your vendor will be required to enter authentication information, made up of certain information unique to each payment. We will work with you during the launch of your program to explain the authentication code format in greater detail.

Sample vendor email notification


Getting your vendors ready to accept virtual card payments

If your vendors are set up as merchants to accept credit cards, they are already able to accept Commercial Card payments. All you need to do is identify which vendors you wish to pay by virtual card.

We’re here to help.

If you aren’t sure which vendors already accept credit cards, we can help you identify your suppliers who accept cards for payment.

Comerica also offers vendor registration assistance and will work with you to develop your strategy and contact your vendors to help migrate them to card payments. We will assist with identifying your suppliers that can best beneft from virtual/single-use cards by focusing on key attributes and payment behaviors, which helps target suppliers and purchase categories that are right for electronic accounts payable. Please see the vendor registration assistance schedule for further details about this option.

Three easy steps for you

Contact your vendors

  1. Confirm their willingness to accept Commercial Card as payment for services.
  2. Explain the process and the authentication information they need to obtain the Card information via the Commercial Card Payables website.
  3. Submit the payment.
    • Vendor notification emails are sent at the top of each hour for all payments processed in CMS or by batch in the previous processing hour.

Three easy steps for your vendors

  1. Receive an email with a unique website URL.
  2. Enter authentication code and view virtual card information.
  3. Enter card information into merchant acquiring system to authorize the payment.

Vendor acceptance letter sample

We will provide you with a letter template to notify your vendors of your intent to make payments with a virtual card.


Managing Comerica Commerical Card virtual card payment

With Comerica’s Card Management System (CMS), managing your Comerica Commercial Card program is effortless. CMS allows you to manage and monitor your program on a daily basis, in real time, providing you ultimate control. With CMS, in addition to initiating individual virtual card payments, you have online access to:

  • Monitor all your Comerica Commercial Card accounts
  • Establish alerts for program administrators as well as cardholders
  • Initiate and cancel virtual card payments
  • Order, manage and cancel cards
  • View and export comprehensive reports, including vendor notification email, vendor authorization status and transaction reports

Additional reporting options are available, such as data file feeds and Mastercard® Smart Data expense reporting.

How to get started

To get started or learn more about the benefts of Comerica Commercial Card virtual card vendor payments or other Comerica Commercial Card solutions, contact your Treasury Management Representative or call Treasury Management Services at 888.341.6490.