TravelBank, which aims to corral travel spend among small
businesses in order to gain supplier discounts, has launched a
commission-sharing program. The company started as a free expense management
system for small businesses and segued into travel booking in May.
The company's model is to pool small companies' booking
volume and leverage the total to negotiate with suppliers for discounted rates. In addition, the commission-sharing program will return as much as 1 percent of
an enrolled company's gross travel spend. CEO Duke Chung said TravelBank can
negotiate deep-enough discounts with suppliers to share with corporate clients
because TravelBank has its own ARC ID and International Air Transport
Association license. "We are basically an OTA," he said.
The company does have a relationship with a large travel
agency to provide 24/7 support for bookings, however.
Like TripActions and Rocketrip, TravelBank also incorporates
a behavioral incentive function based on a trip cost estimate that it
calculates from air, hotel and car rental costs collected via an application
programming interface with Sabre. When a traveler beats TravelBank’s trip
estimate, the traveler pockets half the savings. The traveler's payout comes in
the form of reward points
to be used with vendors like Cots Group, Lyft, Uber and RedAwning.
To motivate travelers further, TravelBank has just started
displaying the points travelers can earn on each booking. Additionally, bookers
no longer also need to use TravelBank's expense system in order to earn