How important is acceptance for a corporate card solution?
According to Richard Crum, global travel and entertainment product group head for MasterCard, it means everything.
PYMNTS.com spoke with Crum about MasterCard’s travel and entertainment (T&E) program, its worldwide acceptance and what businesses of all sizes demand from their corporate cards.
MasterCard’s acceptance statistics, according to Crum, are huge. MasterCard is accepted at 36 million merchant locations in 210 countries around the world: more than twice as many locations as competitor American Express, which Crum says is more commonly associated with corporate cards.
“Card acceptance is probably one of the most critical aspects of whether a corporate card program, a travel card program, is successful or not. Because if the card’s not accepted, then all of the other value that we create, and that we provide to corporations using commercial cards to manage business travel go away,” Crum explained. “The acceptance of the card is the beginning of a value chain that drives everything else that commercial cards offer to large market corporations that are using them.”
And it’s not just the card issuers who feel this way. Crum cites a survey in which 94 percent of businesses cited acceptance as either very important or important when it comes to corporate cards, with 53 percent indicating they could relay a story about when such a card had not been accepted.
Crum says that acceptance of this type of important to businesses of all sizes, although subtle differences in corporate card preferences do exist.
“So in one sense, it doesn’t matter the size of the business, right? What I’ve talked about already, the need for that card to be used everywhere, is the same,” Crum pointed out. “I think where it starts to become more of a set of different needs based on the size of the corporation is in the data, and the information that comes from it.
A larger corporation with a more sophisticated travel program — with lots of different suppliers that they’re using and travelers all around the world — it grows from the importance of just having a card that’s accepted to having one that’s accepted and can provide the level of detailed information necessary to actually manage an enterprise-wide travel program.”
To hear more Crum on MasterCard’s T&E business, its Acceptance Matters calculator and more, listen to the full podcast below.
*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.
Group Head, Global Commercial Products ”¨T&E Products and Solutions
Richard Crum is group head, Global Commercial Products. In this role, he is responsible for the global development and management of the corporate travel payment products and solutions offered by MasterCard and our issuers. He also leads a team of product managers to develop the global strategy and align product development priorities to meet regional needs.
Prior to joining MasterCard, Mr. Crum held senior leadership positions with AirPlus International and UATP. During his career at AirPlus, Mr. Crum was responsible for establishing and growing their commercial card issuing business in North America. He held multiple positions with UATP, including serving as the president for the global airline payment network for four years.
Mr. Crum also served as the president for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and as a member of the ACTE Board of Directors. He was twice recognized as one of the 25 Most Influential Executives in the industry by Business Travel News and named by Travel Agent Magazine as one of the industries Rising Stars.
Mr. Crum has a degree in Economics from George Mason University.