Business travelers are more open to offerings from Apple or Google // Corporate credit cards are still the most popular means of payment
Travel managers the world over are skeptical of new payment products from providers such as Apple or Google. Even if their hesitation has lessened slightly in comparison to last year, still only 19 percent of the travel managers use such offerings. That was the finding of the second part of the International Travel Management Study 2017 (ITMS), which AirPlus International, a leading provider of solutions for the day-to-day management of business travel, published today.
For the study, AirPlus surveyed some 2,300 business travelers and close to 1,000 travel managers from 24 countries about their methods of payment during business trips. A great deal has happened in this area over the past year: Corporate or private credit cards are increasingly superseding cash payments and invoicing. At the same time, mobile payments or virtual credit cards are gaining in relevance. These are being brought to market by the new, big players such as Apple, Google, PayPal or the Chinese WeChat and Alipay.
“Consumerization” of business travelers
One thing worth noticing is that among the travel managers questioned who were open to the new providers, their companies had a higher travel budget. “It is mainly the big companies who are able to invest in consumerization because of their high budgets,” explained Michael Fürer, Country Head Germany at AirPlus. In the survey, business travelers were somewhat more enthusiastic about the new possibilities: 44 percent are willing to use the payment offerings of Apple and Co. Likewise 44 percent have already made payments using their smartphone – even if it were more frequently for personal purposes rather than in the line of work. “The travelers are familiar with the technology from their private sphere,” Fürer added. “They appreciate the comfort and simplicity of these payment offerings and do not want to do without them on their business trips either.”
The most popular means of payment on business trips remains – and here both parties agree – the corporate credit card. The virtual credit card is gaining ground: Whereas it was used by less than one percent of travel managers in the past year, in 2017 eleven percent of those surveyed said that they used this form of payment. “Payment preferences, however, vary in part a lot from country to country,” said Fürer. “That is why it is often not realistic to expect to be able to use one method for all markets.”
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