An essential component of loss-control efforts at my company, Clean-Co Systems, is a purchasing card program with effective purchase alerts reporting.
Clean-Co is a leading industrial and specialty cleaning company in Texas and Louisiana. We serve downstream companies in the energy industry, such as chemical, natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and refineries. We have three offices serving Texas and the Gulf Coast region and more than 100 employees, including supervisors, salespersons and office staff, many of whom regularly make business purchases for things like travel and machine parts and repair.
Unfortunately, credit card fraud has historically been a problem for us. For instance, some of our workers conspired with a manager at a local gas station to fraudulently charge $86,000 in fuel to one of our company cards in just one year.
External fraudsters are an ever-present threat as well. Once one took a picture of one of our cards, set up a phony account on Amazon and went online and used the stolen account information to charge nearly $12,000 worth of purchases over 18 months.
Card fraud is a major challenge, but today I’m keeping scams like these at bay with a purchasing card program from Hancock Whitney that features real-time Visa® Purchase Alerts.
I previously had a purchasing card program with a big national bank, but its alerts reporting was ineffective. Information about card purchases took days to arrive, and when I received it, the details I needed about the purchase were often insufficient. I decided to look for a better program – and a new commercial banking relationship that provided a credit limit that met my business needs.
A new relationship and card program
I took out a home loan from Hancock Whitney about 10 years ago, but had never done business with the commercial banking team. Seeking a more attentive relationship, I turned to Kent Omoniyi, my private banker at Hancock Whitney, who brought in the bank’s Treasury expert Kim Rorabaugh and Commercial Banker Noi Bozdag. They provided commercial financing — a working capital line of credit and an equipment guidance line to help me buy hydro blasting machines, compressors, vacuum trucks and the like — and I subsequently adopted a Hancock Whitney purchasing card program. The bank gave us a significantly higher line of credit on our card accounts than we had with our previous program, along with true real-time purchase alerts reporting. Once I signed up, we had cards in less than a week.
I now receive text alerts or emails with the purchase amount, merchant name and location, and the last four digits of the card used. Receiving such details immediately following every significant transaction allows me to catch fraud on the spot, as well as assign job-related expenses to customers on a timely basis.
Creating an environment of deterrence
The Hancock Whitney purchasing card program with real-time alerts is central to my loss-control program. The gas theft and Amazon shopping scams I described earlier would have been caught immediately if I had real-time alerts when they occurred. Furthermore, the card-purchase alerts complement other monitoring measures I’ve implemented, such as onsite security cameras to combat theft and GPS devices on trucks to monitor their speed and use. Together, these measures allow me to have unparalleled insight into card spending, and they help us address any fraud or misuse on the spot.
There’s a strong connection between an effective loss-control program and profitability. When you can drastically curb fraud and lost materials, the bottom line gets a lot rosier.