Virtual payment is a safer option for today’s Travelers because it limits the spread of COVID-19, but the use of non-existent credit cards was growing in popularity even before the pandemic.
What are virtual payments for business travel? They are payments made using virtual credit cards (VCCs), which are cards that don’t actually exist. VCCs allow companies to make payments for hotels, rental cars and other travel-related expenses from a central location (like the office). More important, virtual payment is a safer option for your Travelers during the pandemic.
We previously wrote about virtual payments and why they are on the rise across the business travel industry. If your company hasn’t explored virtual payments yet, now is an ideal time to switch. Here’s a look at what makes virtual payment a safer option for your company and its traveling team members during the coronavirus outbreak.
Touchless for Travelers
During the pandemic, businesses of all kinds — including hotels, restaurants and rental car companies — have tried to reduce how many times they have to handle a customer’s credit card. But, inevitably, there comes a time when a customer service worker at a front desk or a waiter/waitress must take a card and swipe or insert it.
Virtual payment is a safer option because there’s no credit card to exchange. The payment (incidentals and all at a hotel) is made via the VCC provided ahead of time. There’s less chance of germs spreading during the exchange of credit cards, which means Travelers remain safer during work trips.
Controlled Spending for Managers
The obvious benefit of virtual payments during the pandemic is their touchless nature. But virtual payments offer a range of benefits that will last long after COVID-19 is gone. First and foremost, virtual payment allows Travel Managers to better control overall spend.
When Travelers use their own credit cards, they are more likely to book outside of a company’s travel program and policy. Requiring the use of virtual payment for certain types of travel expenses ensures that employees book in policy. As an added benefit, a Travel Manager enjoys greater transparency into his or her company’s overall travel spend.
Credit cards are rife with fraud. In fact, credit card fraud totals more than $6 billion worldwide each year. Virtual payments help reduce the chance of fraud.
VCCs can also be setup for specific limits and for use during a specific period of time. For example, if an employee is traveling for a week to visit a client, a VCC can be configured that aligns to the trip’s spending budget — and to expire at the end of the trip. This ensures that the chance of fraud is minimized, and it also reduces the opportunity for misuse of credit cards by traveling team members.
You May Also Be Interested In: Sabre Virtual Payments TechTalk Live Learning On-Demand Video
Travel programs and policies improve when there’s rich, reliable data to review and analyze. The use of virtual payments ensures that companies have better data to work with when planning updates and changes to travel budgets and/or policies. In short, the use of virtual payments gives Travel Managers the best chance to optimize their travel programs for reduced spend and greater return on investment.
The traditional method of filing expenses, whether for company cards or personal credit cards, has always been a challenge for employees. Filing expenses is time-consuming and complicated — especially for team members who are traveling a lot.
Virtual payments help streamline travel-related processes. Payments are controlled centrally, so there’s less for employees to do before, during and after their trips. Over time, the use of virtual payments should make everyone’s work lives a little bit easier.
Enjoy Virtual Pay With JTB Business Travel
At JTB Business Travel, we offer products and services that help companies reduce spend while facilitating more comfortable, more productive trips for team members. Those services include virtual payments powered by Sabre. If you are interested in exploring the benefits of virtual payments and how they can improve your company’s travel program, contact us today.