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CORPORATE CARDS

out with

THE OLD OLD Digital, mobile and virtual are the corporate card industry's three big goals, writes Catherine Chetwynd

T

he banking sector is not particularly renowned for innovation, with many leading organisations using platforms that are nearly 20 years old. In the travel and hospitality industry, however, dedicated players such as AirPlus and Diners Club International have an advantage because they have developed platforms from the beginning. “We have been able to innovate efficiently for nearly the last three decades,” says Head of Commercial and Partnerships at AirPlus, Jay Patel. “But we do understand that our customers are looking for more and we are now undertaking the biggest transformation in our organisational history, including modernised IT to lay the foundation for seamless end-to-end processes, data quality and customer proximity, and the introduction of a European Corporate Card,” he says. The latter removes the need for a relationship with a bank to issue corporate cards in a European country where a company is opening an office – it will need 32

an agreement only with AirPlus. It is being rolled out in France from September and is expected to be available in 18 other European countries by the end of 2019. Nonetheless, digital, mobile and virtual are the corporate card industry’s three big goals. The amount of data the cards collect is oceanic – broad and deep – and card companies are beginning to transform the data into valuable management information (MI), giving corporate clients improved reconciliation, more powerful vendor negotiation and deeper insight into employees' policy compliance. Pre-paid cards may soon be overtaken by their virtual incarnation but they are still useful for temporary or intermittent travellers who need access to cash or to pay for services as they consume them – Citi no longer provides pre-paid cards.

Virtual on the move

Meanwhile, virtual cards are fast becoming mainstream and when combined with mobile, will give companies a convenient payment

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7/30/18 01:59 PM

Profile for BMI Publishing Ltd

The Business Travel Magazine August/September 2018  

The multi-award-winning publication written and produced for bookers, buyers, arrangers and managers of business travel and meetings. This i...

The Business Travel Magazine August/September 2018  

The multi-award-winning publication written and produced for bookers, buyers, arrangers and managers of business travel and meetings. This i...