American Express (Amex) announced it is expanding its expense management services for corporate customers in India, aimed at addressing maverick spend and increasing expense transparency, according to Business Standard on Wednesday (July 11).
"With no fully automated processes to catch non-compliance in policies related to expenses, there is ample room for ushering in efficiencies, especially in travel and entertainment spends, which is seen as among the top-three controllable expenditures besides salaries and benefits for corporates," Amex said in its announcement, noting it is also providing companies its Amex Business Travel Account to consolidate business travel spend into a single platform.
The company is launching its Corporate Purchasing Solution, a web-based corporate account tool for managers to streamline and gain visibility into spend. The firm noted it is currently offering firms its Buyer Initiated Payments solution, launched in India last year to accelerate supplier payments while still allowing companies to have extended payment times. The offerings integrate billing and spend analysis capabilities as well.
In 2016, the firm collaborated with Uber for Business to streamline corporate travel spend in India when users pay for Uber with their American Express cards.
A survey published earlier this year from Amex found corporate spend on travel and entertainment is expected to increase significantly across the Asia-Pacific region, with 30 percent of executives across the world expecting to increase T&E budgets. The Asia-Pacific market is more likely to see higher spend values compared to other markets, Amex found.
American Express's expansion of expense management services in India comes when companies in the country struggle to manage spend in the wake of demonetization.
In a recent interview with PYMNTS, T&E firm Fyle said that expense management processes in India have been "manual for a really, really long time," according to the company's CEO Yashwanth Madhusudan.
He added, "The employee now expects her organization to provide a system that makes expense tracking as easy as using Uber or paying with a click."