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January 11, 2021

Business Travel + Payments News for the Week: January 11

Samantha Shankman
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News
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While 2021 is already full of new and unexpected news, the travel industry remains steadfast in its efforts to get travelers where they need to go as safely as possible. In the fintech space, it’s never been clearer that organizations of all sizes are looking for innovative ways to manage and streamline outdated processes.

In response to both of these trends, TripActions announced last week that TripActions LiquidTM now integrates with leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The goal: To help finance teams experience a new level of visibility over financial data,including business travel. This news is just the first signal from TripActions in 2021 that its commitment to driving in-person connections is as strong as ever. And it got the attention of important outlets like PYMNTS.com, Protocol, and BTN.

As you chart a path to return to business travel, keep in mind our free-to-the-public TripActions Business Travel Recovery™ Tool and the COVID-19 Reports; they’re powerful tools for rebuilding your T&E program. They’ll 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, here’s what’s happening across the industry today. You can check out past weekly news roundups here.

What to Expect From Travel in 2021 [Wall Street Journal]

The Journal’s Middle Seat columnist Scott McCartney highlights his top predictions for travel in 2021. Each publication is creating their own take on “what’s to come,” but the goal remains the same: Getting travelers safely through the skies and to their destinations in the next year.

Hilton Moves Ahead with Plan for Hybrid Meetings to Revive Event Business [Skift]

Hybrid meetings may not bring the revenue of a fully in-person event, but Hilton’s hybrid event strategy at least lays the groundwork for a much-needed recovery in the hotel industry’s collapsed group business sector.

Delta’s CEO Believes Vaccines are the Key to Restoring Travel [Simple Flying]

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian doesn’t think his airline or the airline industry will begin to turn around until a COVID-19 vaccine is widely distributed. Bastian believes the airline industry will continue to see low occupancy until most travelers are vaccinated and confident to fly again.

Banks Still Have Cards to Play in Payments Race [Wall Street Journal]

JPMorgan Chase recently acquired the global loyalty division of cxLoyalty Group Holdings—a move that suggests JPMorgan Chase sees travel and cards continuing a long-running association. The deal is also notable for coming together during a time when many technology players in payments and rewards are emerging.

England and Scotland to Require Travellers to Show Negative COVID Tests [Reuters]

People entering England and Scotland will have to show a negative COVID-19 test result starting this week. Passengers arriving by boat, plane, or train will have to take a test a maximum of 72 hours before departure, mirroring measures taken last year by other countries.

How SMBs Prepare for a New Era of Employee Expenses [PYMNTS.com]

Just because business trips are paused doesn't mean employees don't have expenses. As businesses gradually resume booking travel for their employees—which is expected to accelerate with the widespread rollout of vaccines—they’ll be looking closely at solutions that can multitask. Not only must firms retain visibility and control of employee spend, but they must also prioritize the safety of their professionals while on business trips.

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.

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