Mobile payments starting to gain acceptance in business travel

Mobile payment technology is “slowly but steadily” becoming part of managed business travel programmes, according to a new study.

It is now being used by 12% of companies against 3% in 2011, the latest AirPlus international travel management survey shows.

An additional 5% of companies say they plan to introduce mobile payment solutions into their corporate travel programmes within the next year.

Although 62% of travel managers globally see no advantage in the use of mobile payment technology, the one in three that do cite the simplification of travel expense accounting, more details on travel expense reports, better policy compliance monitoring and easier card management for the travel manager.

The differences in usage are marked geographically with 29% of Indian travel managers and 25% of Australian travel managers saying their travellers use the technology.

In contrast only 14% of US and just 9% of UK companies are using mobile payment technology for corporate purposes.

A total of 44% of Australian travel managers said that usage simplified travel expense accounting in comparison to 19% globally, and 41% said such a solution gave them more detail on travel expense reports compared with 13% globally.

AirPus UK managing director Yael Klein, Managing Director of AirPlus UK, said: “While the common consensus among both experts and users is that mobile payment technology is here to stay, how soon it will be implemented depends on two competing elements.

“On the one hand, adoption depends on both the travel manager and traveller’s knowledge and acceptance of mobile payment technology while on the other side there are wholly exogenous factors such as which mobile payment systems will become the most widely used in the business travel market.”

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