AirPlus To Launch AIDA Mobile Wallet - Business Travel News

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AirPlus To Launch AIDA Mobile Wallet

April 22, 2013 - 11:20 AM ET

By JoAnn DeLuna

AirPlus plans to release a mobile wallet solution allowing companies to issue one-time use virtual card numbers, confirmed U.K. managing director Yael Klein. The virtual solution builds on the 8-year-old AirPlus AIDA software product, a 16-digit MasterCard number that enables registered AirPlus users to pay for T&E transactions.

"It's exactly what we do [through AIDA], except now we'll do it on a mobile phone," Klein said. The product began piloting this month in the United Kingdom and Germany and is expected to roll out to clients sometime this summer. Mobile AIDA currently only is available as a prototype iOS app, but AirPlus may look to other systems like Android if the project is successful. 

Once available, companies will be able to issue single-use accounts directly onto an employee's iPhone. Employees in turn can use near-field communication to pay for expenses. Travel managers can designate transaction amount limits, specify merchants and allow up to three uses for the virtual number. For example, the number can be issued for $500 and be designated for use only at the Hilton Hotel in Singapore.

Klein said the solution is ideal for employees who do not travel as often, making it unnecessary to issue a corporate credit card, or for travelers who lose their corporate card while traveling.

"It opens huge possibilities for corporations for one-off travelers, but even more importantly, it's for the person stuck in Singapore who lost his wallet. Instead of sending an emergency card, which can take up to 24 hours, you just send them a single-use account to their mobile phone," Klein said. "They'll be able to check out of the hotel so they're no longer stranded."

AirPlus last year began working on the mobile product.

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