BCD Travel has launched a new corporate travel and expense platform designed to create what the travel management giant described as a "frictionless digital payment experience from trip booking and payment through reconciliation."
Available now to clients as an add-on subscription, BCD Pay is a suite of solutions that offer functionalities around travel payment, reconciliation and invoice management—all of which are among the biggest priorities for corporate travel and spending managers as travel resumes post-Covid, BCD said, citing internal client research.
On the payments side, BCD Pay can integrate any form of payment a corporate client chooses, including physical and virtual cards, into a client's preferred online booking tool. Once loaded, the appropriate form of payment automatically is applied to each booking according to a policy rules engine that also enables managers to set spending limits and other controls. BCD Pay in the near future also will offer the ability to integrate cards into mobile wallets for in-trip expenses, BCD said.
Post-payment, the platform's spending management features include an invoice management and automated reconciliation tracker, as well as a data dashboard to track costs and glean insights from travel spending behaviour. An API-based integration capability enables spending data to flow into expense management, enterprise resource planning and other third-party systems.
BCD Pay's functionalities were designed to address key pain points for its corporate travel clients, the TMC said. A recent BCD survey found that more than half of clients struggled with missing invoices and receipts, credit card reconciliation and the quality of expense and spend data. Meanwhile, more than 25 per cent of clients cited challenges in managing payments for meetings, events and non-employee travel, especially with the post-Covid rise of hybrid work.
From the traveller's perspective, seamless payment and expense reporting processes obviating paper receipts and manual reporting are highly desired, BCD research showed.
During pilot testing, BCD Pay resulted in 75 per cent faster cycle times of end-to-end data ingestion, reconciliation, reporting and data integration, the company said.