Business Travel + Payments News for the Week: December 14
Travel and expense management changed forever in 2020. The problems in antiquated tech and disparate solutions proved untenable in the face of crisis and enterprises around the world realized the need to adopt more advanced, integrated platforms. Finance leaders saw the need for an expense management solution that accounts for real-time purchases with policy limits built into the transaction. Travel managers understood the urgency of real-time tracking of employees and visibility into travel spend. And throughout the tumult, the good news is that the problems of the past year led to rapid innovation and adoption and enterprises are better prepared for the future than ever before.
As you chart a path to return to business travel, keep the free-to-the-public TripActions Business Travel Recovery™ Tool and the COVID-19 Reports in mind as powerful, free tools for rebuilding your T&E program. These tools will help you assess the safety of travel, understand any associated government regulations, and use other pertinent real-time data to guide policy decisions. You can also explore the most pressing industry topics on the TripActions Community, which offers valuable insights from travel managers, finance leaders, HR professionals, and others.
Now, let’s dive into what’s happening across the industry today. You can check out past weekly news roundups here.
American Airlines is expanding its preflight COVID-19 testing program to cover all domestic flights to destinations with travel restrictions related to the virus. The move gives passengers on those routes access to at-home testing via American's partner beginning December 9.
Businesses across the globe are making radical changes to adapt to the digital-first environment emerging in the wake of the pandemic. Digital B2B payments innovations as diverse as machine learning (ML) automation, cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and virtual cards are gaining unprecedented traction as businesses move to build sustainable B2B payments operations outside of the office.
Tim Clark, president of Emirates, sees reason to be optimistic. He thinks business travel could bounce back in 2022 and that the sector will grow from pre-pandemic levels. Clark recently spoke with CNN's John Defterios about the recovery of business travel and Emirates' imminent role as a distribution center for future COVID-19 vaccines.
A coming together of two software titans will not only impact the way most companies do business in the future, it could redefine how they manage and book their travel.
Amidst encouraging news on the COVID-19 vaccine front, United CEO Scott Kirby said he expects a significant recovery for corporate travel "towards the end of next year"during an interview Thursday at The Beat Live virtual conference.
For more news and actionable insights from the business travel community, subscribe to Open for Business: A Corporate T&E Podcast Powered by TripActions on your favorite podcast platform and join the TripActions Community.