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May 10, 2021

TripActions Exchange: T&E Reimbursement and International Payments

Thomas Long

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Welcome to the fifth edition of Exchange! In addition to the major B2B fintech news from the past two weeks and some recommended reading, we’ll cover the costs of T&E reimbursement for CFOs.

Weekly Stat

Cross-border volumes (excluding transactions within Europe) are now at 75% of 2018 levels — a three-point increase over the previous quarter. Additionally, Visa Direct, which facilitates fast debit card payments (domestic or international) on the Visa network, grew transactions 60% in Q1.

Source: FXC Intelligence

B2B Fintech News

  • Nubank, the Brazilian neobank, is in talks to go public in the US. The IPO will likely value it at over $25B.
  • FIS, the financial technology behemoth, launched a SaaS platform called RealNet that will enable account-to-account direct payments for businesses.
  • Accounting platform acquired Divvy, a corporate card for SMBs, in a $2.5B deal.
  • Pacific Western Bank is working with Extend to launch a virtual Mastercard commercial card product that allows business clients to generate virtual cards for employees, suppliers and vendors.
  • Razorpay, an Indian payments platform that accepts, processes, and disburses money for businesses, raised a $160 million Series E at a $3 billion valuation.
  • Tribal Credit, a corporate card for startups in emerging markets, raised $34 million in a combined Series A and debt round. The raise follows “10x” year-over-year growth.

Insightful Reads

Fintech In-Depth: Core Banking Systems Primer Metric of the Month: Total Cost to Process T&E Reimbursements Lending Tree: The Cost of Accepting Credit Card Payments: NA vs EU Deep Dive: How Automation, Virtual Cards Can Help Firms Meet Their Next-Gen B2B Payment Needs Deriving Value From Procure-To-Pay Beyond Early Payment Discounts

Office of the CFO

The Cost of T&E Reimbursements recently examined what the total cost to process T&E reimbursements looks like and the findings were eye-opening.

Business travel is coming back quickly — TripActions’ data shows almost 50% of 2019 booking volume levels and growing fast. As vaccines roll out and business travel returns to the levels CFOs are used to seeing, it’s critical to have an efficient T&E process.

That said, the typical model of reimbursement for T&E is a costly one., through responses to APQC’s Accounts Payable and Expense Reimbursement Performance Assessment, found that a typical company spends $7.80 per T&E disbursement to process expense reimbursements. These costs usually come from approving and processing reimbursements, fixing human error in reports and reconciliation, the need to communicate policies, and more. shares three important practices to help companies lower this cost and avoid pitfalls around expense reimbursement: digitize and automate the process, develop and communicate clear policies, and monitor process performance.

As a company that automates expense management, TripActions is very close to this area, so let's focus on the practice of “digitizing and automating” the T&E process.

T&E reimbursement as a concept is in the process of becoming obsolete. Financial technology has progressed to the point where CFOs can give cards — physical or virtual — to every employee due to the built-in policy controls. This means companies no longer need employees to front the money, completely removing the need for reimbursements. By automating policy enforcement and expense reports, while eliminating the need to process reimbursements, the cost of managing T&E falls dramatically.

For more, check out this TripActions guide on the hidden costs of expense reports.

For rich commentary on the trending stories and research in B2B fintech, sign up for Exchange: A B2B Fintech Newsletter Powered by TripActions.

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