Anil Goyal

Commercial credit cards have become essential in the ever-evolving world of business-to-business payments. These products are increasingly sought after by large and midsize companies for managing cash flow, employee expenses and vendor payments. Many community and regional banks exclude those cards in their treasury management offerings and, when included, they often lack the modern features necessary to compete with national issuers. Consequently, most local companies turn to national banks or fintechs for commercial credit card needs.

Recent advancements in digital commercial credit card technology enable community and regional banks to offer state-of-the-art, comprehensive capabilities to commercial customers, allowing the banks to compete effectively and meet their clients’ sophisticated needs.

Most community banks choose an agent bank relationship, which offers fewer benefits for the banks and their customers and often leads to more negative relationship outcomes. With their former agent bank relationship, Busey Bank in Champaign, Illinois, found that many card applications were rejected because the agent bank did not fully understand the needs of Busey’s commercial customers. The card product’s revenue share was not representative of Busey’s contributions to the program – including resources and liability investments – especially when the agent bank declined applications.

In alignment with a history of prioritizing the best product options for their customers and considering recent technological advancements in the digital commercial credit card space, Busey saw an opportunity to offer customers the benefits of a commercial card without the downfalls of an agent bank program. The bank established a partnership with CorServ to offer a comprehensive credit card program to its business clients.

By owning the commercial card program, Busey, an FDIC-insured institution, makes credit decisions for its commercial cards, receives the interchange and fees and better serves business customers while increasing profit. Their commercial cards can help customers better manage cash flow and employee costs through an expense management system included with the cards. Customers receive local support and can pay vendors and suppliers more securely and effectively with virtual cards.

Earn Higher Profitability
When a bank owns its card program, commercial cards offer a promising avenue for growing fee revenue. These cards rank among the most-profitable credit card products. By offering customized credit limits and tailored rebates that share some of interchange revenue with their business customers, banks can attract and retain a substantial local client base, boosting transaction volume and driving revenue growth.

Customers who have more financial product options show improved retention with more activity and higher profitability. Banks can use relationship data in underwriting for commercial credit cards to achieve higher approvals and lower loss rates. Commercial credit cards have the highest spend by companies using them, the highest interchange and lower credit losses, making them the most-profitable credit card for banks.

Commercial card spend volumes are substantially higher than consumer cards because businesses issue more cards for employees to use for corporate expenses and increasingly use associated virtual cards to pay suppliers and vendors. Higher volume combined with higher interchange rates result in high non-interest revenue for the bank, which can be shared with the businesses. Since it is a pay-in-full, non-revolving product, commercial cards experience significantly lower loss rates.

Deepen Relationships With Business Customers
Banks constantly evolve to meet customers’ growing needs. Introducing a best-in-class program is a strategic decision that aligns well with a commitment to local businesses and reinforces the bank’s position as a key financial partner.

Investing in programs that meet customers’ needs and add value to their banking experience builds upon the trust and loyalty relationship while deepening relationships in their communities.

For banks, owning a credit card program enables their commercial customers to carry a local bank card and have benefits competitive with national providers, while continuing to work with their trusted relationship team, who understands their needs and overall goals.

In a competitive banking landscape, regionally operated banks must differentiate themselves from national banks. Offering commercial cards with advanced functionality is an effective strategy, positioning those banks as both community-focused and forward-thinking institutions capable of providing sophisticated financial tools.

Offering commercial cards also enhances the brand value of community banks, signaling technological adeptness and responsiveness to the evolving needs of the business community, from established businesses to tech-savvy entrepreneurs and local municipalities. The strategic introduction of commercial cards enhances revenue streams, lowers risk, strengthens client relationships and differentiates the bank in the market.


Anil Goyal


Anil Goyal is the CEO of CorServ, a company that provides innovative payment card issuing solutions to banks and fintechs. CorServ’s offering combines deep credit, compliance and marketing expertise with modern API-based technology to quickly build and manage a successful card-issuing program.