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Amex Integrates Virtual Cards With Business Travel Platform

business traveler

American Express has launched a small business-focused integration with American Express Global Business Travel

The collaboration, announced Monday (Mar. 4), lets businesses issue a virtual card for their employees via American Express Global Business Travel’s (Amex GBT) Neo1 spend management platform.

This integration, the company said in a news release provided to PYMNTS, supports automated expense management by melding the capabilities of an expense system, procurement platform, online business travel booking tool and virtual card issuance into one ecosystem. 

“Manual employee expense management processes cost businesses significant time and money and are prone to human error — issues that are only magnified for small and mid-sized businesses with more finite resources,” the release said.

Digital payment methods such as virtual cards can help alleviate these issues by automating expense management, including employee spend management, and give employers the option to set specific spending controls and permissions.

“We see businesses of all sizes facing increased complexity managing growth, spending and productivity,” said Fiona Hastings, vice president of Neo1, Amex GBT. “Growing businesses simply don’t have time for cumbersome expense reports, disjointed budgeting processes, and the hours it takes to rebook and support more frequently disrupted travelers.”

Research by PYMNTS Intelligence has found a strong correlation between companies and industries enjoying high operational efficiency and the use of virtual cards. 

“Virtual cards seem to increase the operational efficiency of Growth Corporates, as survey data shows a strong correlation between high operational efficiency for companies and industries that use this solution,” PYMNTS wrote last year. 

The research also found that nearly one in three of these North American middle-market firms plan to adopt virtual cards in the coming year, with about 5% of those companies aiming to use these cards as their primary working capital solution.

And additional research has shown that — as digital payments become more popular — employees increasingly expect business expense reimbursements to arrive sooner — without waiting to receive and deposit a paper check. This illustrates another benefit for virtual cards, offering an easy-to-deploy solution where no reimbursement is necessary.

“In today’s operating environment, being reactive leaves firms at a disadvantage. Fortunately, virtual cards are changing the game for businesses by letting them proactively — and easily — control their spend,” Dan Hanks, vice president of global product development at i2c, said in an interview with PYMNTS.