Let's talk about technology that drives Business Travel forward. Travel is always evolving and in the push to make the travel industry more digitally driven and less reliant on outdated tools, virtual payment is among the most important. It's still relatively new and so if you're either not aware of it or you just don't know how it really works, it's really quite simple and the benefits are huge.
If you're a travel manager and are looking to better control your company's travel expenses, then maybe it is time to look at utilizing a virtual payment program.
In order to understand exactly how a virtual payment program can help you better control your business travel expense, we have to first talk about how it all works.
Take into account everything that goes into a single trip; The plane ticket, hotels, cars, etc. Traditionally, much of this has been done using a physical company card, or even checks. In fact, according to Mastercard, checks are still widely being used and the United States is a "heavy user".
With a virtual payment program, a virtual card number (VCN) is digitally generated at the point of sale. To put it simply, a virtual card number is essentially a digital credit card in that it doesn't physically exist. But there is one key difference and that is where a travel manager can begin to exert a little bit more control. Managers can determine exactly what that specific VCN can be used for, and how much may be spent. So with each new purchase, whether it is hotel booking, car rental or plane tickets, a new VCN is generated.
It goes without saying that trying to ensure that travelers adhere to the company's travel policy is one of the more frustrating problems a travel manager can face. One of the most effective ways of increasing your savings is by ensuring that your employees adhere to your company's travel policy. A virtual payment program can do just that.
Security and safety
If nothing else, security and safety will always be consistently on a travel managers mind. By virtue of design, virtual card numbers can help increase security in multiple ways. The most obvious one would be decreasing theft of a physical credit card. But what about data theft? Because each VCN is single-use, the number expires after it is used for it's designated purchase.
With the spread of COVID-19, the safety benefits of using a VCN are more prevalent now than ever. With heightened concerns over hygiene, cleanliness and limiting contact with others, a VCN is good for all parties involved.
better expense management
With several different payment methods, expense management becomes increasingly difficult. When a travel manager has to look at multiple bill payments and different billing processes, this can be a huge drain on time and effort.
Chris Singh, Manager of Global Travel at The Walt Disney Company, has been with the company thirty-six years. And for 15 years, he has focused on travel technology. One of his strategies included implementing an automated virtual payment technology for third-level data matching for card reconciliation. And GraspPAY has been one of the key components of Disney's virtual payment program.
The Walt Disney Company’s hotel billing reconciliation tool is built in such a way that automation helps make safe and secure payments on time. Historically speaking, the reconciliation process has been one plagued with pain points. The whole process can take way too long to gain any accurate readout of costs and expenses. Sometimes it’s a lack of consistency and standardization of invoices or even disjointed technology.
The Walt Disney Company’s virtual card program solves most hotel billing reconciliation problems. This has led to a 90% reduction in reconciliation errors. It is a big step towards greater automation and increased efficiency.
Benefits and key features
GraspPAY improves operational efficiency by generating virtual cards automatically within current workflows. With an entirely touchless process, GraspPAY uploads VCNs and integrates seamlessly with a travel agent or travel manager’s existing booking tools. Better yet, there are no transaction fees for the client.
- Touchless - This solution requires no intervention on the part of a travel manager or travel agent. The entire process is automated into existing tools.
- Integrated - GraspPAY works alongside current booking workflows. No additional, cumbersome platforms necessary
- Convenient - Because GraspPAY works in the background as an add-on to current systems, there is no change to the booking process for the traveler. Therefore, there is no need to train travelers a new way of booking flights or hotel rooms.
- Uses Proven Technologies - Grasp Technologies has designed this solution to ingeniously use existing syncs and open APIs. Therefore, there is no custom coding or programming necessary to use the service.