The pros and cons of the most popular business travel payment solutions

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Payment solutions for corporate business travel have undergone significant evolution in recent times, with newer options such as corporate cards, lodge cards and virtual cards all gaining in prominence and popularity.

Indeed, a recent report from Business Travel iQ and Barclaycard has revealed that these three solutions are now among the most frequently-used solutions by Travel Management Companies (TMCs) - and that each of them has its own associated pros and cons that should be considered before deciding which is the right option.

For example, corporate cards - which are provided by a company to selected employees, with specific controls placed on how and where they can be used - remain a widely-used option, with 69 per cent of the 120 European travel buyers interviewed for the report saying that control and policy compliance was the main reason for choosing this type of solution.

A further 67 per cent cited convenience and ease of use, although it was also noted that concerns about policy compliance and fraud were the main reason to avoid using corporate cards, suggesting the flexibility of this option can be a double-edged sword.

Meanwhile, lodge cards - also known as centrally-billed accounts - are also a popular choice due to their ability to consolidate all charges to a single account. The three most common reasons for using lodge accounts or cards were reconciliation benefits (76 per cent), convenience and ease of use (67 per cent) and control and policy compliance (64 per cent).

The most common reason for not using this option was a simple lack of awareness, with 40 per cent not having heard of lodge cards - indicating that more companies could benefit from them.

Additionally, the report highlighted a number of potential reasons why virtual cards - single-use 16-digit numbers that are worth a certain value and tied to a single booking - are gaining popularity, with 69 per cent finding them convenient to use, 50 per cent seeing control and policy compliance benefits, and 39 per cent saying they aid reconciliation.

However, 36 per cent said they were not aware of the product, suggesting that - as with lodge cards - there may be a need for TMCs to learn more about this option to see what benefits it may bring.

For information on how your TMC can automate its mid and back-office systems with ProTAS, contact ProCon Solution now.

ProCon Solution A/S
Herstedøstervej 27-29
DK-2620 Albertslund
Phone: +45 4363 2266