New research from Barclaycard reveals that the use of mobile wallets and invisible payments for business travel is expected to grow over the next five years as companies cater to traveller demand for ‘bleisure’ travel and technologies that are used by leisure groups.
According to the survey of 250 travel buyers, a third who allow bleisure days say traveller demand for blending business with leisure has increase over last year. More than 94 per cent of those polled say their company allows travellers to extend their trip with leisure days, averaging about four additional days. 65 per cent say they do this to ensure their employees feel valued.
Furthermore, 29 per cent of travel managers say requests to pay via mobile wallets have increased over the last year, while a quarter have noted a rise in the number of travellers who want to book their trips on a supplier mobile app.
Perhaps as a result, 37 per cent of buyers have noted an increase in the use of virtual cards over the past five years, while 49 per cent have seen physical card use increase. Two-thirds anticipate their use will increase, while 58 per cent believe invisible payments – entering car details into an app once for repeat purchasing – will also go up.
The research also highlighted pain points when it comes to payment, with a third of travellers using their personal cards for business travel, making it harder to track their spend in policy.
Maria Parpou, director of Barclaycard Commercial Payments, said: “Today’s business travellers are blurring the lines between their personal and professional lives – not only by adding holiday days to business travel, but also in their expectations for the entire trip experience. As consumers become accustomed to different ways to purchase their leisure trips, including mobile and invisible payments, they expect their business travel bookings to be just as easy.
“As this trend evolves, corporations and suppliers alike need to look at how they make and take payments. The good news is that there are already solutions available that will help businesses meet their changing needs. By taking advantage of digital payment methods such as mobile wallets and virtual cards which are rich with data, payments can become the thread that ties each booking – no matter where or how it was made – into a complete trip. This means companies can respond to traveller demands while balancing their need for compliance and control.”