Overlooked Business Consequences When Changing Company Credit Cards

We have all likely had to deal with updating or changing a company credit card, whether we own a business, are in marketing, are in sales or fill other roles within an organization. However, many of us may not have completely thought through the potential consequences of that action and, unfortunately, some very thorny issues can arise due to that oversight.

Credit cards need to be updated or changed for many reasons, ranging from simple expiration to the more recent increase in security and fraud issues. The company may get a call from the bank or card company stating there has been suspicious activity or the company may notice bogus charges and contact them. Either way, the common action is to deactivate the old card, issue a new card and hopefully stay one step ahead. Sounds reasonable, right?

Absolutely reasonable, but most overlook and have not kept track of what services, accounts, tools etc. that credit card was used on and thus what will now be BROKEN due to changing the card. The longer the credit card has been utilized, the more things it was likely used for and the more things that need to be updated.

In the web marketing realm specifically, some of the common services painfully affected by a company credit card change can include:

  • Web Site Hosting Accounts
  • Paid Advertising Accounts
  • Domain Name Registration Accounts

These are all vital to marketing and sales – if the regular monthly hosting payments cannot be processed by the host due to the deactivated card and no new card has been provided, the site may be taken down until payment is completed. I think we can all imagine the consequences of a company website not being available to current and prospective customers – the potential revenue and public relations losses alone should make people hyper aware. The potential loss of a company’s domain name is even worse. If the domain name expires and is scooped up by another party or, heaven forbid, a competitor, due to a credit card change, there could be significant damage to the company.

Writing from first hand experience, we recently had to assist a client who had changed their company card connected to both the domain name registration and web site hosting accounts. The change was not communicated to us until considerable time had passed and problems started to arise. As we looked into the situation, we discovered the site had been taken down due to non-payment, the domain name registration was days away from expiration and they also urgently needed to renew their SSL certificate for their online store. Thankfully, we were able to rectify those issues and save them from substantial damage, but it reminded us of how a simple action such as changing a company credit card can have far reaching repercussions and how many do not fully appreciate that reality. We highly recommend keeping records on how company credit cards are used and make sure someone is responsible for following through on updating the credit card on all the relevant sources immediately.

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