WEX Inc.'s virtual card business has continued to grow as the company makes more payments to hotels for its online travel company clients.
The virtual card products are expanding significantly within the U.S. but are also branching out into the European, Asian and Australian markets as well.
While expanding into these other countries, the most work comes from getting regulatory approval and dealing with currency differences, said Melissa Smith, CEO of WEX, during an interview after the company released its third-quarter earnings. "The nuances are mostly related to the currencies, to settle and issue those currencies to lock down the control features of those cards so people don't spend more than they are supposed to," she said.
For instance, WEX pays a hotel on behalf of Expedia, and when the customer checks in at the hotel and wants to rent a movie or buy dinner, that purchase should be charged to the consumer's personal card and not Expedia's virtual card account with WEX.
While WEX was traditionally a payment provider for the fleet industry, the company started expanding into virtual card products a decade ago and health care payments recently. Its purchase of Evolution1, a technology for consumer-directed healthcare payments, has increased spend volume growth 39% year over year, Smith said.
"It was a strong quarter for us with 16% revenue growth in the quarter," said Smith. Revenue increased from $191.5 million to $222.1 million.