Mobility Budget: Virtual Credit Card vs. Invoice Scanning - Which Solution to Choose?

Mobility budgets are gaining popularity in Germany as companies seek sustainable and flexible mobility solutions for their employees. But how can mobility budgets be best implemented within a company? Which solution offers the greatest advantages and is the easiest for both employers and employees to handle? We compare the two most popular solutions for implementing a mobility budget: the virtual credit card as a mobility budget card and the reimbursement principle based on receipt tracking. Discover which option offers employees the greatest flexibility and benefits, and why companies should consider adopting it.

Mobility Budgets as an Employee Benefit and Company Car Alternative

Some DAX companies, SMEs, and startups, such as SAP or the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, are leading the way by replacing company cars with a mobility budget to promote flexible, sustainable, and multimodal mobility. This means that employees can choose how they want to commute to work every day. Options include leased e-bikes, carsharing, the Germany Ticket, but also fuel or charging cards for car owners. The goal is to create more incentives to make employee mobility more sustainable while making alternatives to cars as attractive as possible. At the same time, companies can optimize their costs compared to the traditional company car concept.

Various digital solutions are available to companies to implement the mobility budget, simplifying the administrative processes for both employers and employees.

Virtual Credit Card vs. Receipt Tracking: How Do They Work?

Employers can grant their employees the mobility budget through the reimbursement principle. Employees record their travel expenses via receipt scan using a provided app and get reimbursed. Various mobile apps like Mobiko, Bonvoyo, or Lofino enable easy and transparent management of the mobility budget through receipt tracking.

A convenient solution for both employers and employees is the use of a virtual credit card as a mobility budget card. This card is provided to employees via a mobile app and recharged monthly with the agreed credit. Employees can use this mobility budget card or virtual credit card as a payment method in mobility service apps and directly pay for their mobility expenses with the budget. The advantage of this solution over the reimbursement principle is that employees do not need to advance the money and wait for a reimbursement. Providers of virtual credit cards for the mobility budget include NAVIT, belmoto, or Free Now.

Advantages of a Virtual Credit Card as a Mobility Budget Solution

Using a virtual credit card as a mobility budget solution offers various advantages. A significant benefit is the flexibility it provides employees. With a virtual credit card, they can easily and quickly pay for their mobility expenses, whether for public transport fares or fuel bills. Additionally, the effort required to apply for and process travel expense reimbursements by the employer is eliminated.

Another advantage is the possibility to use a virtual credit card for other expenses within the mobility budget. For example, alternative providers such as carsharing services or e-scooter rentals can be billed directly through the card. This not only promotes sustainable mobility but also eliminates the administrative effort for separate billing processes.

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Use Cases for the Mobility Budget Card

One use case for a mobility budget card is to offer employees a flexible alternative to the traditional company car. Instead of being tied to a specific vehicle, the card allows employees to freely choose their mobility solution. Whether they prefer to use public transport, carsharing services, or e-scooters for their journeys - the mobility budget card provides them the freedom to decide according to their needs and preferences. This flexibility also enables companies to save costs, as they only pay for services actually used. Moreover, this sustainable solution helps reduce CO2 emissions and supports environmental awareness among both companies and employees.

By using a mobility budget card, companies can also offer additional benefits to their employees. For instance, the job ticket can be integrated into the mobility budget, allowing employees to use public transport for free or at a reduced price. This is not only attractive to employees but also contributes to promoting the environmentally friendly use of transportation.

Furthermore, a digital solution like the mobility budget card simplifies the billing and documentation of travel expenses for both employers and employees. This saves time and effort in the manual recording of receipts and facilitates accounting for all involved parties.

In Germany, various providers already offer such mobility budget solutions that meet the needs of companies and employees. However, companies should also consider the legal aspects when using digital solutions for the mobility budget to avoid potential risks.

Overall, the use of a mobility budget card offers numerous advantages for companies and employees. The flexibility in choosing a mobility solution, the integration of the Germany Ticket, and simplified billing and documentation are just a few examples. It is now up to companies to decide whether a virtual credit card or receipt tracking is best suited to their individual mobility budget.

Receipt Tracking for Travel Expense Reimbursement: Benefits and Challenges Within a Mobility Budget

Receipt tracking for travel expense reimbursement is an alternative solution within a mobility budget. Companies can offer their employees the reimbursement of travel expenses based on submitted receipts.

What applies to the mobility budget card also applies to the receipt tracking solution. One advantage is the flexibility for employees. They can use various modes of transportation, such as public transport or their own car, and receive reimbursement for the costs afterward. This means they are not tied to a specific provider and can choose the appropriate means of transport according to their needs.

Furthermore, receipt tracking enables sustainable mobility. Employees have the opportunity to use environmentally friendly means of transport and thus actively contribute to environmental protection. This solution also promotes the use of the Germany Ticket or job tickets, as the use of public transport is tax-free in Germany.

However, there are also challenges with receipt tracking for travel expense reimbursement. The recording and verification of submitted receipts can be time-consuming, both for employees and the company itself. Efficient process design is required to keep administrative effort as low as possible.

In summary, receipt tracking within a mobility budget offers benefits such as flexibility and sustainable mobility. Nevertheless, the administrative challenges must also be considered. Companies should weigh which solution better meets their requirements and the needs of their employees - a virtual credit card or receipt tracking for travel expense reimbursement. Choosing the right solution can help implement an effective mobility budget and support employees in their individual mobility.

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Legal Aspects to Consider When Using Digital Solutions for the Mobility Budget

Using digital solutions for the mobility budget brings numerous advantages. However, companies should also consider the legal aspects to avoid potential risks. In particular, with regard to data protection and compliance with legal requirements, it is important to ensure that all relevant legal requirements are met.

When using a virtual credit card as a mobility budget solution, it is essential to ensure that employees' data is protected. Factors such as secure data transmission and encrypted storage of information play a crucial role. Additionally, user rights must be clearly defined, and the company should ensure an adequate level of access and control.

There are also legal aspects to consider with receipt tracking for travel expense reimbursement. It is important to ensure that all necessary receipts are properly recorded and contain the required information. Furthermore, it must be ensured that the recorded data is accurate and complete.

Employers in Germany should also keep an eye on applicable tax regulations. Depending on the type of mobility budget solution, different tax implications may arise. It is therefore advisable to inform oneself early about these aspects and, if necessary, seek tax advice.

To minimize potential legal risks, it is advisable to comply with applicable data protection regulations and legal requirements when using digital solutions for the mobility budget. Careful examination of the offered solutions and transparent communication with employees are essential.

Which Solution Prevails? Virtual Credit Card or Receipt Tracking

Mobility budgets are an innovative way for companies to offer their employees flexibility in terms of mobility. Various solutions are available, such as the use of a virtual credit card or classic receipt tracking. But which solution prevails?

The virtual credit card as an alternative to receipt tracking offers several advantages. Through the use of an app, employees can easily and quickly record their mobility expenses. Additionally, the tedious collection of receipts and manual filling out of forms is eliminated. Costs are directly billed via the virtual credit card, significantly simplifying the travel expense reimbursement process.

Companies also benefit from this solution. They have a better overview of their employees' expenses and can manage them more efficiently. Moreover, the virtual credit card enables more sustainable mobility, as alternative means of transport such as the Germany Ticket or job tickets can be used.

Receipt tracking, on the other hand, has the advantage of being independent of technical solutions. Employees can easily prove their mobility expenses by submitting receipts. This allows greater flexibility in the choice of transport and also takes into account those who do not wish to use virtual solutions.

However, there are also some disadvantages to consider. The manual recording of receipts requires time and effort from both employees and employers. There is also an increased risk of errors or loss of receipts, which can slow down the travel expense reimbursement process.

Ultimately, the choice between a virtual credit card and receipt tracking depends on the individual needs and requirements of the company. It is important to weigh which solution best fits the organization's goals - whether it is cost savings, increased efficiency, or sustainability.

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Stefan Wendering
Stefan is a freelance author and editor at NAVIT. Previously, he worked for startups and in the mobility sphere. He is an expert in urban and sustainable mobility, employee benefits, and New Work. In addition to creating blog content, he also produces marketing materials, taglines, and website content, as well as case studies.
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