A round-up of cards, payments and expense news stories from BTN Europe online in recent months

TripActions launches ‘rapid’ payment of traveller expenses

TripActions is enhancing its management platform to allow “rapid reimbursements” of expenses for travellers. The travel management company is offering expense reimbursements in “as little as 24 hours” across nearly 30 local currencies in more than 45 countries through the TripActions Liquid spend management portal.

European cities to see hotel prices increase in 2023

Hotel prices are set to rise “across the board” in 2023 with European cities likely to see some of the steepest increases, according to a new report from American Express Global Business Travel. The TMC’s Hotel 2023 Prices report said that hotel companies face an “array of challenges” that will push up prices, including staff shortages, dealing with pent-up demand and soaring inflation.

German business travellers taking longer trips and buying more business class tickets

German business travellers are taking longer trips and buying more business class tickets than they did before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to research from corporate payment specialist AirPlus International. AirPlus’s figures for airline ticket transactions showed a strong increase in demand from German travellers during the first half of 2022, with invoicing volume in June only 10 per cent lower than in June 2019.

Expect travel costs to keep rising in 2023, says CWT

Corporates can expect travel prices to continue rising for the rest of 2022 and throughout 2023, according to the annual price forecast from travel management company CWT and the Global Business Travel Association. Rising fuel prices, staff shortages and inflation are likely to be the “primary drivers” for higher prices over the next 18 months, says the 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast.

Sabre acquires Conferma Pay

Sabre has acquired payments company Conferma Pay, BTN Europe has learned. The acquisition took place on 3 August, Sabre later confirmed. In a letter from Conferma Pay interim CEO and former Sabre EMEA senior vice president Martin Cowley seen by BTN Europe, he says that payments in the industry are “in the midst of a revolution”.

SME travel spending tops 2019 levels for American Express

Spending on travel and entertainment (T&E) by SMEs using American Express corporate cards exceeded pre-Covid figures during the second quarter. In a further sign that SMEs have been leading the recovery in corporate travel, their overall spending reached 108 per cent of the figure recorded in the second quarter of 2019.

AirPlus introduces Apple Pay for UK clients

Corporate payment specialist AirPlus International is introducing the ability to use Apple Pay for its UK customers. Employees can now use their iPhone or Apple Watch near a payment terminal to make a contactless payment. Apple Pay is widely accepted by hotels, taxis, restaurants and coffee shops.

Conferma Pay launches emissions reporting tool

Conferma Pay has launched a new carbon reporting system that measures the environmental impact of business trips based on payment data from virtual cards. The system, Conferma Carbon Reporting, is available to both users of the Conferma Pay app and companies using Visa Commercial Pay and initially is focusing on emissions from flights and hotel stays via integration with Thrust Carbon, according to Conferma.

Traveldoo put up for sale by Expedia Group

Travel and expense management specialist Traveldoo has been put up for sale by current owner Expedia Group. Online travel giant Expedia has also admitted that it has started a consultation with Traveldoo workers over a possible closure of the business if a buyer cannot be found.



Strong Customer Authentication: all your questions answered

Paying for travel in Europe has become more complicated following the introduction of mandatory cardholder verification known as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). Use of a plastic card is now likely to require an additional procedure such as keying in a one-time passcode sent to the cardholder’s mobile phone.



Payback on the cards? How class action lawsuit against Visa and Mastercard commercial card fees could affect travel buyers

Businesses regularly buy corporate travel through commercial cards, such as plastic corporate cards they give to their travellers or centralised payment tools like lodge and virtual cards. Law firm Harcus Parker is bringing a class action lawsuit against Mastercard and Visa in the UK. It alleges that the multilateral interchange fees imposed on airlines, hotels, travel management companies and other merchants which accept Visa and Mastercard commercial card payments are too high and are set anti-competitively.