Posted on 22/07/2015 by Mike Eltham
Virtual cards are becoming a standard form of payment within the travel industry, and according to the numbers—it’s happening faster than you may think.
A virtual card helps solve many pain points that travel managers face. In a recent GBTA report on buyer and supplier outlook on virtual cards, findings revealed that, “travel buyers’ use of virtual cards rose 7 percentage points year over year to 20 percent”. This transformation in the way business travel is being managed is good news to the travel manager looking to get more done in less time.
Virtual cards function in the same manner as traditional credit cards but with additional benefits that improve the business travel manager experience. Each transaction is assigned a unique number, allowing for specific controls to be put in place depending on the type of transaction. Through Sabre Virtual Payments a virtual card can be deployed with restrictions preventing it from being used more than once, set with credit limits, only valid within a certain date range, or restricted to use within a specific merchant category. These customizable controls improve security and prevent traveler misuse by ensuring travel policy compliance.
Sabre Virtual Payments also provide an automated reconciliation process and can integrate directly into back office systems to match transaction data such as invoice numbers and payment reference numbers to booking data. This in turn allows for greater visibility and less reliance on supplier provided information.
Sabre recently presented a GBTA webinar titled, “From Plastic to Virtually Painless”, where attendees discussed the changing payment landscape that involves virtual payments. During this webinar, 37% of viewers responded that the biggest payment challenge faced today is managing travelers without a credit card. Traditional centrally billed payment solutions used today leave travel managers with low visibility and traveler information, making their jobs more difficult than they have to be.
Sabre Virtual Payments provides access to innovative payment technology that removes these challenges by reducing the cost associated with reconciling travel and payment data, increases security and overall peace of mind.