U.S. Bank and corporate travel and expense management solution provider Chrome River announced a collaboration Thursday (May 9) that addresses the friction in reporting travel expenses for infrequent business travelers.
The companies revealed their U.S. Bank Expense Wizard, a mobile app that integrates virtual payment capabilities with expense reporting and an artificial intelligence-powered chat bot. As a virtual assistant, Expense Wizard allows employees to book compliance travel plans, pay for those plans with a virtual card stored in their mobile wallet and capture and file expense data in real-time as they move through their business trip.
U.S. Bank and Chrome River said the solution is the first to integrate virtual card functionality for an infrequent traveler's mobile wallet.
These infrequent travelers include job candidates and contractors, whom the companies noted are often forced to file forms and wait to be reimbursed for that travel spend. The mobile app, which is integrated into Chrome River's expense reporting solution, addresses that friction for this segment of business traveler.
“While talking with customers, we found consistent frustration around managing expenses for both non-employees and employees who travel without a corporate card,” said U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems Senior Vice President Bradley Matthews in a statement. “They needed to eliminate manual processes, make payments easy and control expenses.”
The mobile app “brings mobile wallet technology” and artificial intelligence (AI) to the expense management process, he continued, “creating efficiency in a system that has been largely unchanged for years."
In another statement, Chrome River Co-Founder and CEO Alan Rich said the company continues to focus on its zero-touch expense report initiative, “which combines innovation and advanced image processing, AI and bot technology to automate the expense submission process.”
In addition to propelling that focus on zero-touch functionality, he said, working with U.S. bank “also helps a category that has traditionally been underserved — infrequent travelers — and provides them with a secure and easy-to-manage solution for the entire process.”