Travel payment is going virtual, ride-sharing is overwhelmingly allowed in business travel and gamification is not catching on, according to new research released today by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in partnership with AirPlus International.
The study, Five Business Travel Payment Trends, found that 56 percent of U.S. travel buyers report their travel programs use central travel accounts (CTAs). A CTA is also known as a ghost account or a lodge card, can be used by multiple employees and are most commonly used for air transactions. Additionally, 11 percent of programs use single-use virtual cards, although concerns about administration, supplier acceptance and visibility/control are keeping this number from growing faster.
Still, nearly a quarter of non-users say they are likely to adopt virtual cards in the future. When it comes to mobile wallets, 22 percent of companies’ primary corporate cards are compatible with them, while only 45 percent are not and another 33 percent of travel managers are unsure on compatibility. Additionally, 61 percent of non-users are interested in offering mobile wallets.
Ride-Sharing Gains Overwhelming Acceptance
Travel policies now overwhelmingly allow ride-sharing with 89 percent of travel programs allowing it, 10 percent without any ride-sharing policy and only 1 percent prohibiting it. Conversely, only 26 percent of travel programs allow home-sharing and 56 percent prohibit it.
The study explores what widespread acceptance means for payment looking at how many travel programs have formal relationships with ride-sharing vendors and how many travelers commonly use corporate cards for ride-share payments.
Gamification Struggles to Gain Traction
New technologies give companies the ability to reward business travelers for cost-effective behavior. However, these are not widespread or widely used. Only 6 percent of companies have the ability to reward travelers for saving costs on business trips. One-quarter (25 percent) would consider rewarding travelers if there was minimal or no administration involved, but 42 percent would not even consider it.