A recent survey conducted by BCD Travel revealed that preparing travel expense reports is the most time-consuming and challenging aspect of business travel for 1,349 individuals surveyed globally. The Travel Payment and Settlement Survey aimed to identify payment methods commonly used by business travelers, potential issues associated with them, and tools that could simplify the process.
Regarding payment methods, 79% of business travelers use corporate credit cards. Other payment methods include personal cards (26%), personal cash (12%), and direct corporate payments to suppliers via wire transfer or lodge cards (16%). Only 1% of travelers use a virtual card, although 26% know this payment mode. The survey also found that one in six business travelers have been victims of credit card fraud during a business trip, despite taking precautions.
Companies looking to simplify payment methods for travelers should explore the benefits of automated payment processing through virtual credit cards. Virtual payment automation facilitates centralized payment for hotel or car rental bookings. It automatically generates a unique virtual card number for each transaction and assigns all charges to a specific booking. This simplifies the traveler's payment process and significantly reduces fraud risk.
According to a survey, the main challenge for business travelers is adhering to reimbursement policies, with 29% of respondents reporting it as a difficulty. This is followed by paying out of pocket (20%) and managing local currency (20%). The settlement process is also complicated, with 63% of respondents finding it time-consuming to prepare expense reports. Gathering paper receipts (54%) and dealing with multiple receipt formats (52%) are significant obstacles. Additionally, travelers need help storing receipts after their trip (51%) and tracking complex categories like separate payments for hotel accommodation, meals, and other expenses (50%).
Regarding expense reporting tools, business travelers value features that can automate processes. For instance, 76% of them find it helpful to have travel receipts automatically attached to their expense reports, while 72% appreciate credit card transactions being reconciled automatically to their travel expenses. Additionally, 67% find it helpful when their expense reports are pre-populated with travel data upon booking their trip.