American Express Global Business Travel has struck a deal with revenue management firm SunTec, paving the way to update its billing system to be capable of processing payments on modern travel apps such as Airbnb.
The credit card company’s business travel arm wants to straddle the increase in use of Airbnb among business travellers.
In its press release, it notes that “corporate travel is a multi-billion dollar industry, with more than 500 million trips being made in the United States alone this year”.
It goes on to say that corporate travellers’ experience of service levels is enhanced by their use of mobile travel and payment apps outside of work, and thus they expect corporate services to be real-time and contextually relevant.
SunTec says its Xelerate platform “is flexible enough to onboard new geographic regions and weaves data locked in various legacy and modern billing systems to create relevant offers for American Express GBT’s corporate clients”.
Michael Konstas, vice president of billing strategy at American Express GBT said: “We chose SunTec’s technology to support our global billing needs. SunTec’s technology, Xelerate, has the ability to bring together all types of data from systems of engagement and record. Global standardisation of our capabilities is a key GBT objective that helps us provide a seamless experience to our clients’ travel managers.”
SunTec CEO Nanda Kumar added: “As employees are getting more accustomed to using new transport and hospitality services such as Airbnb and Uber in their personal lives, business travel should move quickly to adapt to customer habits and offer new programs to reflect the modern way of working. Our services will assist American Express GBT to be able to predict what their customers want, when exactly they want it and how much it will cost.”