American Express and Concur today announced an expansion of their relationship to include American Express Business Travel, combining payment, expense reporting and travel management services into a single package.
American Express in 2008 invested a 13 percent stake in Concur along with an exclusive marketing agreement between Concur and American Express' corporate card products (BTNonline, July 29, 2008)
. The new agreement brings American Express' agency services into that fold, integrating agency capabilities for corporate clients who use the other two tools, said Lisa Durocher, American Express Business Travel senior vice president of global marketing.
"This in a lot of ways completes the travel management construct by bringing in Business Travel," Durocher said. "Pulling travel and expense and offering it through the platform that Concur has is a pretty compelling offer."
As part of the agreement, Concur and American Express are creating a joint product council to brainstorm new services and functions for clients of the combined platforms. In particular, they plan to focus on differentiating booking engine functionality, Durocher said.
American Express vice chairman Ed Gilligan, who earned a spot on Concur's board following the 2008 agreement, said in a recent interview with BTN
that cross-selling between the two companies already has resulted in American Express corporate clients migrating to Concur and vice versa. He also said American Express is helping to expand Concur's global reach.
"We are working on some joint product development to make it even more integrated for our joint customers," Gilligan said. "We're going to work with them to accelerate their progress in Europe and Asia in particular, because we have a very good footprint around the world and they are in the early stages of building that."