Finding value in travel transactions the number one challenge for travel managers

Travel payment provider AirPlus International has suggested that travel managers are under increasing pressure to find value in travel transactions, at the recent CAPA/ACTA Sydney Corporate Travel Day Summit.

David Newington, country manager – Australia at AirPlus International suggested that the fast-changing environment in which travel managers have to balance risk, cost control and traveller convenience has become increasingly challenging. The number one concern for travel managers is finding value in travel transactions while maintaining quality.

“Like any other asset in your organisation – you need to wring every last dollar of value from the payment of your money to your travel suppliers. This takes teamwork, technology, and integration between your payment and your agency’s systems,” said David Newington.

“Which payment form you choose is a crucial but often overlooked part of your expense management process. Your payment is both a source and a pipeline for data that when integrated with your travel booking, agency, finance, and most importantly expense management systems enables transparency of your transactions, visibility of your spend, and cost reduction through automation of accounts payable and finance processes.”

“When payment is in the form of credit these benefits can be compounded through cashflow management and optimising billing and payment terms to match your fiscal and operational requirements.”

David went on to discuss how technology has improved expense management, and also leads to a host of other benefits within the travel management process.

“Digital payment methods take advantage of new technology including sophisticated expense management services. New technology provides advanced controls identifying and limiting unauthorised use, misuse, fraud and theft.”

“The old, “analogue” if you like, method of paying your supplier’s invoice does not provide any of these benefits and will not support your company’s growth into the future.”

“Best practice travel expense management coordinates the use of all digital forms of payment to ensure your payments are safe in the protection of your personal detail and finances, smart in the collection of the information you need to manage your travel program and reconcile your expenses, and most importantly, simple for your organisation and individual traveler to make whenever, wherever and with whom-ever they are travelling.”

David suggested that future travel payment methods will add a further dimension to safe, smart and simple travel payments.

“The future of travel payments will involve the growing use of digital wallets allowing multiple forms of payment in a single interface and mobile phone and wearables payments which will ultimately replace physical cards. It will be fascinating to see the impact this will have on the travel payments process.”

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