Fintech’s role in the future of business travel

The business travel industry finally seems to recognise the advantages of adopting financial technologies (fintech). The rewards of embracing fintech for travel as a whole is enormous: One estimate proposes that the adoption of fintech by all channels could grow total consumer spending on travel by nearly $80 billion annually. It resonates most with business travel because of its prospect to save time and money.

Our study among travel managers disclosed payment and expense as some of the most significant pain points when managing the end-to-end business travel process. More than half revealed that they fumble with missing invoices or invoice errors, receipts, credit card reconciliations and managing the quality of expense and spend data. More than a quarter of companies encounter challenges organising their payments for meetings, events and non-employee travel. Shifts to the workplace originating from the pandemic, such as the fast expansion of hybrid working, have raised the intricacy surrounding payment and expense management, particularly for infrequent travellers.

Transforming travel and expense management

In supplying a solution to these payment and expense matters, simplicity will be the key requirement for most travellers. They’re looking for a seamless process that saves time, eradicates the need for paper receipts, and streamlines approval. This straightforward process starts with digital payment.

“Adopting fintech-based solutions can help remove the friction and pain points experienced by travellers, travel managers and finance teams related to travel and expense payment, invoices, reimbursement and reconciliation.” ~ AJAY SINGH, Vice President, Digital Payment and Expense Products, BCD Travel.

Companies affected by corporate travel, including travel management companies and specialist fintech businesses, are now using fintech to provide solutions that simplify, digitise and automate corporate travel payment, reconciliation and invoice management. Travellers and travel managers can mutually relish the effectiveness of a frictionless, digital payment experience that starts with trip booking and payment and ends with reconciliation.

Huge potential value

These new solutions can seamlessly manage payment, invoices and receipts during a trip and then automate review, reconciliation, and audit. Travellers may no longer need to make payments or complete expense claims during or after a business trip. In addition, travel managers will have more control over payment for corporate travel, meetings and events. The capacity to introduce rules engines will make applying payment policy and spending limits across diverse traveller segments easier: a traveller-centric process to payment and expense, so everyone wins.

Fintech solutions will also provide travel managers with access to the high-quality, real-time data they need to power more effective decisions. Companies that once used a manual process can now convert to an automated fintech-based solution. In a pilot of its BCD Pay solution, BCD Travel noted a 75% gain in the time needed to input data, reconcile, report and integrate the data across a fragmented system of back-office functions, ERP systems and credit card systems.

For more information about our latest innovation, contact your nearest Rennies branch.