BCD Travel has released its latest “Inform” paper on emerging technology, which explores how new innovations will change payment and expense.

“Payment and Expense, Emerging Technology and Travel Management” provides insight into how technology such as machine learning, blockchain, chatbots, virtual and augmented reality and the Internet of Things can be used today and in the future to improve the traveller experience and provide advantages to managers and accounting departments.

Additionally, travel managers can use the report to learn more about emerging technologies and best practices for incorporating them into their programme.

According to BCD Travel, machine learning can provide an analysis of invoices and automatically feed information into the correct fields of an expense claim. In addition, blockchain will allow suppliers to issue fully itemised transaction records directly into the client’s accounting system.

The TMC also says the booking experience can be changed through the use of augmented and virtual reality, such as by having travellers book flights by selecting an aircraft flying across a virtual map, while the Internet of Things can automate the hotel experience by sending a receipt directly to the traveller’s expensing system.

The report also includes a timeline for when travel managers can expect to begin using these technologies and addresses the potential challenges associated with their implementation.

Mike Eggleton, senior manager of analytics and research at BCD Travel, commented: “Anyone who has travelled for business has experienced the inconvenience of filing an expense report. In the near future, technologies using machine learning will dramatically simplify expense reports – and reduce the dread we have for them today.”

The paper is the latest in a series of reports written by BCD Travel, with past papers covering the impact of emerging technology on sourcing, policy, communications and duty of care. The final report will explore how technology will improve the performance of business travel programmes.


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