Jour­ney o Trav­eller OF THE

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The Business Travel Magazine - - Corporate Cards -

worked fine but ut we nee need to straighten aighten  out some of the pro­cesses on the ac­counts payable side,” says s Cor­pora Cor­po­rate Pur­chas­ing, as­ing, Global Cat­e­gory Man­ager an­ager Tra Travel & Mo­bil­ity, obil­ity, Rüdi­ger Bruss.

Oth­er­wise, Con­ti­nen­tal’s ntal’s trav­ell trav­ellers world­wide dwide have an Amer­i­can Ex­press press card a and, “most st trav­ellers have a sec­ond d card, de­pend­ing dep on whether the coun­try they y are in fe feels it is nec­es­sary, largely be­cause there here is dis­cus­sion about ac­cep­tance of Amex – though I have never run into any prob­lems”, Bruss ex­plains. “In prin­ci­pal, any­one can get a card. The sug­ges­tion is that they should do at least three trips a year but that is not en­forced.”

He con­tin­ues: “We have walk­ing plas­tic to cover the cost of ho­tels and rental cars, and have a lodge card for air spend and meet­ings. We use pre­paid cards in some Asian coun­tries and East­ern Europe, where the av­er­age pay is low com­pared to what you would spend in a week on a busi­ness trip in Ja­pan, Ger­many or the US.

“Most likely those peo­ple would not be able to get a card, so we tend to is­sue pre-paid cards or those that have to be ac­ti­vated by an ad­min­is­tra­tor, de­pend­ing on what is of­fered in that coun­try,” he says.

Mak­ing con­tact It has long been the case that cor­po­rate life fol­lows con­sumer trends and con­tact­less pay­ments are fi­nally fol­low­ing suit, a process largely hin­dered by the £30 thresh­old.

“Last year saw early adopters of con­tact­less com­mer­cially and this year pretty much all is­suers will be pro­vid­ing it,” says Mas­ter­card’s Fel­lowes. “Fewer trans­ac­tions come un­der the thresh­old but there is stuff we would like to mop up, like taxi rides.”

Amer­i­can Ex­press has been in­tro­duc­ing the func­tion over the past year in Europe and Citi rolled it out in EMEA in June.

The United States is hardly trail-blaz­ing with its re­cent en­try into chip and pin tech­nol­ogy but Citi in North Amer­ica and Asia will go mo­bile first.

Sim­i­larly, BOAML has pro­vided con­tact­less to card­hold­ers in EMEA and Aus­tralia and is launch­ing nch­ing mo­bile mo pay­ments ments in N North Amer­ica and Canada in Septem­ber; ber; an and the rest of the world orld fol­low fol­lows.

Dig­i­tal dis­cus­sions The T move to­wards dig­i­tal is uni­ver­sal. Citi aims to be 100% dig­i­tal by the end of the year – state­ments, apps, in­for­ma­tion sent to card­hold­ers on mo­bile phones or by email; and it is em­bed­ding the cor­po­rate card into Google Pay.

“It is likely we’ll see an in­creased ap­petite for ewal­lets that house cor­po­rate cards along­side con­sumer cards. This will en­able trav­ellers to tog­gle be­tween pay­ment op­tions,” says Bar­clay­card’s Maria Par­pou.

The wider world is presenting other dig­i­tal op­por­tu­ni­ties too. “Point of sale tech­nol­ogy is rapidly mov­ing on and izettle and Square are bring­ing peo­ple on to the card net­work,” says Steve Rob­son.

“In ar­eas where there are in­fras­truc­tural chal­lenges, phones read QR codes and au­tho­rise pay­ment. We have to be alive to what the fu­ture looks like in other ter­ri­to­ries – Asia is a leader in that and Africa has been leader in true mo­bile wal­lets with M-pesa.”

And Amer­i­can Ex­press is “in­vest­ing in digi­ti­sa­tion, to­keni­sa­tion and con­tact­less tech­nolo­gies”, says Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Man­ager, Global Client Group In­ter­na­tional, Global Com­mer­cial Ser­vices, Fa­bi­enne Cauli. It has in­tro­duced Ap­ple, An­droid, Sam­sung and Amex Pay in var­i­ous Eu­ro­pean mar­kets.

It has long been the case that cor­po­rate life fol­lows con­sumer trends and con­tact­less pay­ments are fi­nally fol­low­ing suit, a process largely hin­dered by the £30 thresh­old”

Have a care The vo­lu­mi­nous data col­lected through cor­po­rate card trans­ac­tions de­liv­ers in foren­sic de­tail ex­actly what a trav­eller is do­ing, when and where. “En­hanced data at­tached to each trans­ac­tion con­tin­ues to be ex­panded. For in­stance, PNR num­bers and VAT break­downs are in­creas­ingly re­quired,” says Din­ers Club’s Adrian Steele.

For duty of care, data is para­mount. “Clients are ask­ing us for more than stan­dard in­sight,” says Steve Rob­son. “Through richer data we hope to be able to give them ad­vice on pin­ning to­gether their card­holder be­hav­iour.”

Card data demon­strates how far in ad­vance a trav­eller books and how much ex­tra they spent by not do­ing so; over 40,000 trav­ellers, this mounts up. In ad­di­tion, it can show not only what an em­ployee planned to do but what he ac­tu­ally did – booked a ho­tel but didn’t check in. And it can track in real time that he landed at the des­ti­na­tion air­port, bought cof­fee and used his card on the metro sys­tem. “The chal­lenge is how we present that and whom we might part­ner with in the in­dus­try to pro­vide that data be­cause that is not our spe­cial­ism.”

Amex is also see­ing grow­ing de­mand for spend anal­y­sis tools. “Data alone is not enough and we have launched Com­pli­ance In­sights, which helps clients iden­tify how they can best pre­vent out of pol­icy spend and en­sures greater cost con­trol,” says Fa­bi­enne Cauli.

Also new is Amer­i­can Ex­press Ready Re­sponse, which gives real-time spend data. It alerts travel man­agers to an in­ci­dent and show­ing re­cent trans­ac­tions of em­ploy­ees in or near the af­fected lo­ca­tion, help­ing to pin­point their where­abouts.

Digi­ti­sa­tion will move on card ser­vices apace and with vir­tual cards and mo­bile, the in­dus­try is re­spond­ing to what is hap­pen­ing in the con­sumer world, hope­fully to cre­ate a per­fect storm.

Through richer ch data we w hope e to be able to g give clients li ad­vice d on pin­ning in to­gether g their t card­holder a d be­hav­iour” h r

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