12 Things We’re Thankful for This Thanksgiving
Without your loyalty and your support, we wouldn’t be where we are today. The TravelBank team wishes you all the best, and a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Table of Contents
1. Our Incredible Community of Customers
We want to extend a huge thank you to our incredible community of customers. Without you, it wouldn’t be possible for us to do what we do.
This year we continued to serve our customers across multiple verticals such as manufacturing, healthcare, education, technology and beyond. We were also delighted to welcome new customers including Calm, Sendoso, Eastern Airlines, National Center for Learning Disabilities, Passport Health, Concordia University of Nebraska, Nova Medical Centers, Elliott Aviation, and Allen Distribution.
We also want to thank our customer advisors who spent time with us this year. Your feedback has been invaluable and we appreciate your participation so much.
2. Seeing Our Customer Highlighted in this Wall Street Journal Interview
“Traditionally, its employees have had to research and arrange their own travel plans, filing detailed expense reports and logging receipts after each trip. The company used spreadsheets to track expenses. GardaWorld Security Services, US needed a solution capable of streamlining travel management from booking through reconciliation and reimbursement, while maintaining control over policies, budgets and costs. TravelBank’s robust range of features—designed to reduce the time and administration involved with travel, paired with tools for customization and visibility—were a strong fit.
‘Employees no longer have to worry about going to all these different websites to try to figure out their travel—it’s now on one easy platform,’ Crosswhite says. ‘We can get better rates and have better tracking and controls. It’s an all-around improvement to make our employee experience better.’”
3. Hosting our Customer Advisory Board
This October we felt incredibly grateful to gather with our Customer Advisory Board in Sausalito for three days of discussion, networking, and of course, some enjoyment. This inaugural event not only allowed us to connect with some of our customer advisors, but also marked our first customer event since the pandemic. And boy did we miss gathering together in person!
We got to hear first hand feedback from customers like Duncan Aviation, Christian Brothers University, and OSF Healthcare and enjoy thought leadership from special guests Jeff Jones, President of Corporate Payments and Treasury Solutions at U.S. Bank, and Charmaine Baclig, Sales Manager for Multi-Channel Agencies at United Airlines. Our leadership team, including our CEO, Duke Chung, alongside our head of partnerships, head of customer success, and director of marketing enjoyed getting to know our customers better, gathering invaluable feedback about our product, and gaining insight into their processes and pain points.
4. Launching Our New Group Travel Offering
Earlier this year we were excited to introduce our newest product and service, Group Travel. With TravelBank’s group travel offering, our customers can tap into our corporate travel experts and proprietary trip budget algorithm to plan and manage your next corporate group travel event. Whether they need help planning a company wide offsite, annual conference, team meeting, or any other group event big or small, we will support their team’s offsite planning team to ensure a memorable, seamless travel experience. Now all their team has to do is focus on crafting a productive and engaging team building experience.
5. Launching the U.S. Bank Commercial Rewards Card, Powered by TravelBank
Many businesses still need a simple, end-to-end payment solution that will scale with their team. That’s why we were so excited to power the U.S. Bank Commercial Rewards Card–a card that meets the unique needs of emerging middle market companies, minimizing time and expense, while maximizing control and efficiency.
Built on the TravelBank platform, the Commercial Rewards Card is the first of its kind, helping companies track, measure and monitor their travel spend and expenses, in real-time, in a way that is completely integrated with existing payment and HR systems and processes. Controls and workflows simplify the expense management process and make it more rewarding.
6. Industry Partnerships
This has been a major year for our industry partnerships, and we are thankful for each of these partners who have helped us foster community within the travel and fintech communities, as well as share our ideas and vision alongside other industry experts. In January, our CEO, Duke Chung, kicked things off at Skift Megatrends, a great opportunity to look ahead at the trends projected for the travel industry each year. Then in February, Duke was interviewed for a Q&A for the Skift website. In April we contributed an article to the Chief Executive Group’s special report on finance automation. Our head of product, Kalyan Vissa, discussed expense data with CFO Dive, and Duke was interviewed by BTN alongside other industry leaders innovating in the expense management space. We also had a great time hosting a breakout session at Skift Global Forum this September.
7. Tech Partnerships
This year we’ve had a number of tech partnerships that we are thankful for and proud of. We integrated with Nitra and Rippling to power gift card redemptions for their respective rewards platforms. With these integrations, their card holders now have the option to redeem their points for gift cards from vendors – including Uber, DoorDash, Amazon.com, Airbnb, Target, Starbucks, and more.
We’ve also been able to announce multiple NDC integrations with various airline partners including American, United, and Lufthansa. These integrations provide our travel customers with more variety for fare types and rates via a direct connection. Travelers are able to select all seat options, including paid seats, directly within the TravelBank app for United, American Airlines, and Lufthansa Group, eliminating the extra step required to contact an agent. And travelers save time with the ability to modify United, American Airlines, and Lufthansa Group flight reservations without agent assistance.
8. Getting Recognized for Best Remote Companies to Work For
The shift to a distributed workforce certainly came with its growing pains as we adjusted to working from home during a global pandemic. While we missed the banter, collaboration, and perks that came with sharing an office space in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood, our team proactively focused on ways to improve the remote work experience for our team, and others, over the past three and a half years. We’re proud to help define what a positive work from home experience can look like.
9. Growing Our Team
This year we were thrilled to welcome nearly 40 new team members, with more than half of them joining in full time capacity. It’s been very exciting to experience the growth that we’ve had at TravelBank, especially given how tough things got for the travel industry in years prior.
“We’ve had great support from U.S. Bank and we’re able to grow at a pace where we can still maintain our culture. I’m so grateful for this still smaller, but very mighty team we have that has accomplished so much in such a short amount of time!” says Jessica Tropper, Director of People Ops at TravelBank.
10. Delighting Our Customers with Efficiency Features
This year we talked a lot about automating manual tasks, discussed innovation in fintech, and asked CFOs and other business leaders what matters most to them. We consistently heard teams are looking for more efficiency. For that reason we are grateful for the opportunity to delight our customers with efficiency and time-saving features in the TravelBank app, including:
- Drag & Drop Receipts: Simply select your receipt image, drag it into the receipt area for your expense, and it automatically gets added—making the entire process faster and more efficient.
- Attach Multiple Receipts to One Expense: Manage receipts more efficiently with the ability to upload up to 10 receipts at a time to a single expense, including PDF files which contain multiple images. Once uploaded they will be able to easily click through each receipt to view details or delete as needed.
- Track & Reconcile Transactions More Efficiently: The new Transactions page organizes corporate card transactions on an easy-to-read table for more efficient tracking, auditing, and reconciling. Find the data you’re looking for with quick and comprehensive filters. Export data with a few clicks for further analysis.
- Core Insights Redesign: We enhanced our Analytics package, now called Core Insights, to provide admin users easy access to the most popular and commonly used reports, in addition to our analytics dashboards.
- Bookings Calendar Integration: Add upcoming trips to your Outlook calendar by downloading the .ics file from their travel confirmation emails.
- Assign Expenses to a Report in Bulk: Add multiple expenses to a report with the click of a button. Select multiple expenses, click the Assign button, and select one of your active expense reports from the dropdown on our web app.
- Enhancements to Expense Allocation (Splits) on Web:
- Splits must be unique
- All split fields are visible by default
- Split amount automatically updated to balance the total dollar amount or percentage
- Expense scrolling on page
11. Saving Our Customers Money
Behind efficiency, saving money is another big motivator for our customers. We are thankful to help customers save an average of 25% on their travel and expense program thanks to features like:
- Increased Discounts for Hotels: Get an additional 3-5% discount on select hotels when booking on mobile, and enjoy access to additional exclusive rates on select hotel chains, which add a 12-15% discount when booking on mobile or desktop.
- Better Fares for Our Customers with NDC: By connecting directly to our partner databases (American, Lufthansa, United), we can offer more diversity of fare types.
- Unused Ticket Management: Travelers can apply their unused flight credits when booking travel in the app.
12. Product Redesigns
We are always looking to improve our user experience. From redesigning workflows to updating our designs to improve accessibility, we strive to innovate and deliver an intuitive experience that our customers love.
- Ongoing accessibility audit and updates: We conducted an accessibility audit and started rolling out updates throughout the product to ensure that TravelBank can be enjoyed by everyone. First off, you may have noticed our signature blue shade shifting to be a brighter, higher contrast blue. As we continue to roll out these changes, our users will see an improved experience with our web application.
- In March we unveiled a new look for expenses & transactions:
- The new table view displays more expenses and transactions at once, making it easier to scan through the data
- Expenses and transactions are grouped by date
- More filter options are available
- Quick edits, like adding a receipt or category, are possible without leaving the page
- Red icons call out missing information
- On web, checkboxes add functionality to merge, assign to report, or submit expenses in bulk
- My cards & card details are redesigned on Android: The My Cards page in our Android mobile app was redesigned to be more user-friendly. Employees can visually distinguish between corporate and personal cards and gain easy access to their corporate card details. With a simple tap of each card displayed, employees can view and filter their transaction history. Everyday actions can be performed which include merging expenses, assigning transactions to an existing report, creating a new report, and restoring deleted transactions can be performed from the new card details page. (iOS will be released early next year.)
- A refreshing look for managing cards: To make it easier for admin to manage their card program, the card management page was refreshed. With the new design, admin users can sort each column and easily filter based on cardholder, expense assignee, bank, or limit. Card details display key information about the cardholder, like expense assignee, employee ID, phone number, and email.
- Flight amenities get a redesign: The flights booking page on the TravelBank web app was updated to display more amenities and ticketing attributes so that users could make informed decisions while booking a flight.