Travel managers will increasingly look to get “secondary spending” under control in the next few years, according to Mastercard’s Richard Crum.
While buyers have traditionally focused mainly on the “big ticket” items such as flights and hotels, Crum said that more potential savings could be found on items such as car hire, dining and wifi charges.
“Air and hotel are the big pieces that account for 60-70 per cent of spending, which is where buyers have focused on negotiating with suppliers,” said Crum, who is Mastercard’s group head of travel and entertainment.
“But some 60-70 per cent of transactions involve secondary spending such as fuel, restaurants and paying for wifi. This area has not had as much focus in the travel management profession in the past.”
Crum said that card providers were well placed to help buyers manage and control this secondary spending through the data they collected from employees’ corporate cards.
“We are able to help companies who have very sophisticated travel management programmes through providing card data on secondary spending,” he added.
“We have many major clients who recognise this opportunity because it is an area where they have not invested as much time as on other aspects of managing travel programmes.”
Crum said that the key for successfully tracking this kind of business travel spending was to have cards that were accepted by a wide range of outlets.
“Mastercard has 35.9 million merchant locations which is very powerful for managing secondary spend,” he said.
“It can also make it much easier for business travellers to complete their expenses by pre-populating expense forms with the data from the card. This will save time, minimise the audit cost and rationalise the receipt process.”