American Express’ corporate travel unit, Global Business Travel (GBT), is integrating Lyft as the latest ride-sharing service supported by the business travel booking and expense management solution.
Reports in Travel Agent Central on Friday (April 20) said Amex GBT reached an agreement with Lyft to integrate the ability for business travelers to book ground transportation using Lyft on the GBT platform. Users can also take advantage of integrated data from Lyft trips and payments for reporting, compliance, analysis and duty of care.
Corporate clients can sign up for Lyft Business, though later this year Amex GBT will integrate Lyft services into its Amex GBT Mobile app, according to reports. The partnership will also link business travelers to incentives and rewards from Lyft. Later this year, the companies also said they plan to integrate Lyft into GBT’s risk management and travel disruption tool Expert Care.
In its announcement, GBT pointed to Certify data from Q4 2017, which found that ride sharing is increasingly more important to business travelers, accounting for more than 70 percent of ground transportation receipts integrated into the Certify platform.
In 2016, Amex GBT became the first corporate travel management company to partner with Airbnb, another major step into the sharing economy for the business travel industry. Like Lyft’s B2B solution Lyft Business, Airbnb launched a business travel platform in 2015, while Uber has also introduced corporate services for easier use of commercial card and business payments, expense management and tracking, compliance and more.
At the time, Rob Greyber, president of Egencia, a corporate travel company, told reporters at Skift that while the sharing economy is certainly gaining traction in business travel, its future remains unclear.
“People are going to look at the sharing economy not as the sharing economy, but look at it in its component pieces and how that works for you as a business traveler,” he told the publication. “Some people are going to lean into it a lot. Other people are going to lean into a different piece of it. We’re looking at that on a pretty feature-by-feature, function-by-function kind of way.”