< PrevNext > 2018 Business Travel Buyer's Handbook Selecting a Corporate Payment System Share Download ChapterThe payment industry has simplified purchases for travelers with mobile wallets, virtual products and biometrics, among other innovations. Meanwhile, data breaches have prompted heightened security protocols. Cardholders also have become more conscious of privacy issues, and legislation is altering how suppliers collect and store data. Traditional payment providers now have to compete with startups that provide user-friendly tools that integrate booking, payment and expense management. Still, managers must ensure visibility into spend, negotiate deals and monitor compliance. The following will help travel buyers assess payment providers' offerings. I. Set Objectives Understand the objectives of senior executives—particularly in HR, finance and accounting—but ensure you're engaged. Some attainable goals: Improve financial and administrative processes and maximize travel cost savings through data integration and negotiations. Secure rebates on spending volumes and control/reduce bad debt by cardholders.Leverage consolidated card spend for air, lodging, ground transportation and meetings.Reengineer travel expense reimbursement procedures and efficiencies.Improve cash management, reduce or eliminate cash advances, maximize rebate potential and extend float, which is the grace period the card issuing bank allows between when the purchase posts and when the cardholder or cardholder's company pays it back.Bring uniformity and speed to payment and accounting for travel, fleet and goods/services.Streamline accounting and reconciliation processes.Evaluate and facilitate value-added and goods-and-services tax refund filings.Improve policy compliance and noncompliance monitoring.Reduce expense report fraud.Track preferred supplier usage and identify program leakage.Implement/improve data reporting tools.Control spend by placing blocks on nonbusiness merchant category codes.Increase traveler productivity and support.Automate card data feeds into expense reports to reduce time required for completing reports while reducing manual errors and employee fraud.Reduce travelers' out-of-pocket expenses by providing easy, safe and widely accepted forms of payment and allowing cash withdraws on corporate cards.Allow travelers to separate business expenses from personal expenses, which will free personal lines of credit and improve data quality.Establish standardized business controls.Provide data and enable digital receipt capture via mobile devices.Reduce currency exchange hassles.Enhance management data and controls, and comply with global tax and Sarbanes-Oxley regulations. Commercial card programs provide actual expense data for compliance monitoring, supplier management, budget review and tax reporting. Electronic data transfer eliminates duplicate entry, provides greater fraud and risk management controls and facilitates use of automated audit tools.Run reports by merchant category code to identify travelers' use of preferred and nonpreferred suppliers.Use reports to increase expense management efficiency and identify new negotiation opportunities.Import commercial card data into electronic contract management tools that monitor use of negotiated rates and volume discounts.Combine commercial card with booked data from travel management companies, suppliers and other sources to identify leakage. Data can be used to optimize travel polices and streamline reconciliation.