Partnerships / Acquisitions

Chrome River And Smoother Sailing For Travel Expenses

Travel expense management is increasingly relying on integration of technology across disparate departments within a firm. The flow of data — should it work seamlessly through the continuum between request and reconciliation — should ultimately lead to quick reimbursement, as well as expense control and better corporate margins.

To that end, Sabre and Chrome River have deepened their relationship, where the latter will integrate its expense reporting technology into the former’s travel technology platform, with a preferred provider designation. That announcement follows closely on the heels of an earlier pact wherein Sabre took on Chrome River’s expense management for its own employee base.

In a recent interview with PYMNTS, Ted Stavropoulos, channel manager and business development executive with Chrome River, noted that the firm’s expense management solution is also being integrated into Sabre’s mobile offerings, which spans across devices from “laptops to tablets … which work with a system that helps travelers make decisions, from the field and in real time.” The dual nature of the relationship allows for expenses made through Sabre to automatically be routed into Chrome River’s EXPENSE offering, with reconciliation at the back end occurring automatically.

In addition to virtual payments, the system can also track payments made through traditional cards. But noting the flexibility of the virtual methods of payment, Stavropoulos said that, as viewed on the expense side, there is the “opportunity for organized help with virtual cards and with multiple transactions on that card.” Corporate travelers can book hotels, and the virtual cards do not have attendant account numbers used (and, of course, the expenses as booked flow through the system). Integration across booking and expense management, said the executive, means that the vendor experience is freed up, in that the corporate travelers are not lassoed into just a few vendors due to the simple desire to keep the booking and payments process relatively straightforward.

Longer-term roadmaps will see Chrome River and Sabre collaborating even more closely on product roadmaps tied to expense management and, not surprisingly, travel.

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