AirPlus International by late 2014 will offer its central bill solution on the MasterCard network.
It is "designed
for large, U.S.-based multinational enterprises" that are clients of
JPMorgan Chase Bank, according to AirPlus. First launched in March 2012
on the UATP network as part of a partnership with JPMorgan, the AirPlus Company
Account option will continue to be offered to UATP customers. The new offering
will have the same functionality as the UATP product, but "brings it to a
more widely accepted platform" which can accommodate payments to those
"low-cost carriers" that do not accept UATP, according to an AirPlus
Visa plans to integrate with SAP Financial Services Network,
enabling corporate clients to electronically automate invoice payments through SAP, the card network announced. The integration, taking effect this summer, will allow corporate clients of participating Visa commercial issuers to route payment instructions to Visa via the SAP network, according to Visa.
WSCA-NASPO and U.S. Bank extended their existing purchasing agreement for up to seven years,
the bank announced. The contract with the Western States Contracting Alliance-National Association of State Procurement Officials Cooperative Purchasing Organization was also expanded to include fleet cards, in addition to the purchasing, travel and one card products already available. The contract allows states, cities and public educational entities to issue one payment per month to cover all purchases on each card type. Travel and procurement managers also can monitor transactions online "almost immediately," while suppliers receive "immediate payment," according to U.S. Bank. WSCA-NASPO holds the first-ever negotiated multistate airfare program
, developed in 2013 with Southwest Airlines.
HRG's wholly owned Spendvision expense management unit announced its "first total travel and expense management product."
The integrated system provides booking capabilities for air, hotel, car rental and ground transportation reservations "without ever having to leave the Spendvision platform," according to the company. The system can be deployed as a standalone solution or "alongside existing internal systems," and can integrate "with any travel management company," which enables client users to deploy it "without having to change existing travel processes." HRG in March 2012 acquired
the shares of Spendvision it did not already own and two months later laid out plans
for merging expense management technology with its core travel booking system.
Expense and invoice management firm Chrome River raised an additional $17 million in financing.
Bain Capital Ventures
lead the Series C funding round, along with existing investors Argentum and First
Analysis. According to a prepared statement from Chrome River CEO and
co-founder Alan Rich, the new round of venture capital funding will be used to
expand in domestic and international markets and add product features,
including "new mobile functionality." The funds also will allow Chrome
River to invest in "significant modules and services" to complement its
accounts payable solutions. Argentum and First Analysis previously invested $3
million in the company. Chrome River in 2013 ranked 81st
on Deloitte's annual
Technology Fast 500 list after posting four-year revenue growth to 2012 of
Amex selected company veteran Bill Glenn to serve as president and CEO of American Express Global Business Travel,
effective immediately. Glenn since 2011 had been president of American Express Global Commercial Services, which encompasses commercial cards and business travel. It is unclear how Amex would structure the GCS unit should a new American Express Global Business Travel company emerge as planned from a joint venture agreement
in the works with private investment firm Certares. An Amex spokesperson said that Glenn will be "continuing in this role upon closing of the joint venture transaction, which is expected to be in the second quarter of this year." Glenn replaces Kim Goodman, who last month stepped down
as president of the Amex business travel operation. The spokesperson also noted that Susan Sobbott will lead Amex's Global Corporate Payments unit. Sobbott has been president of the company's Open small business program.
New Zealand-based corporate travel tech provider Serko acquired Australian expense management firm Incharge,
Serko announced Wednesday. Financial terms were undisclosed. The move allows the company "to round out its SaaS-based travel booking solution," according to Serko. While Serko already integrates with several expense management tools, including SAP, the company in a statement said "tight integration" with Incharge could save travelers "significant amounts of time and provide finance teams with near-real-time visibility of spending." Serko also announced plans to launch this year several mobile products using "patented technology" to help corporations manage expenses. Serko in 2012 launched a global online booking alliance
with NuTravel and KDS.
Sabre and Conferma will expand their joint Travel Settlement Services automated payment product for hotel billing to Latin America,
the companies announced. Brazil in the first quarter of 2014 will be the first country in the region to have the capability, Conferma co-founder and CEO Simon Barker told BTN
. A Sabre spokesperson said other "key countries" of focus include Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. "Big U.S. companies find it difficult to manage payments down there," Barker said. With the solution, travel management companies can generate virtual cards for hotel billing, invoicing and reconciliation. Sabre plans to extend that capability to "all travel sectors including air, car and rail." The companies previously launched the solution in the United Kingdom and the United States and through partnerships with seven international banks. Barker also said Conferma is looking to expand the partnership model with Amadeus in Europe and Abacus in Asia.