Thank You for Spending Another Great Year with Us
As the year draws to a close, we’d like to take a step back and reflect on all that we’ve accomplished with our team, customers, and partners this year. Innovation was a huge focus for us, so we were especially proud to be recognized as the Best Expense Management Software by U.S. News & World Report. We’re dedicated to providing the best all-in-one travel and expense management platform to our customers through innovation, a user-friendly experience, and exceptional service, and this award is a testament to that.
Here’s a high level look at all the hard work that went into achieving this incredible customer experience:
A Recap of Innovation in 2023
Innovation with NDC was a big investment for us and a win for customers
Our commitment to innovation led us to explore new frontiers in travel and expense management. Starting in April, we integrated our platform with NDCs (New Distribution Capabilities) from major airlines like United, American Airlines, and Lufthansa Group. This integration gave our customers access to more flights from the most comprehensive real-time fare options available, along with the ability to book premium seats. As a result, customers saved an average of 11% on their flight bookings with NDC.
Travel Weekly even interviewed our Head of Partnerships, Dena Fradette on the topic. “NDC provides access to rich content and personalization (we can build more customized fares based on customer preferences), bundled pricing, real-time inventory, and a wider variety of price points, helping us to build a seamless, delightful shopping experience for customers,” Fradette says.
The U.S. Bank Commercial Rewards Card Powered by TravelBank
We also were excited to be a part of a new card launch this year. Built on the TravelBank platform, the U.S. Bank Commercial Rewards Card is the first of its kind, helping emerging middle market 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.
70+ new features developed for our platform
We also released over 70 new features on the TravelBank platform, designed to give our customers the most delightful all-in-one T&E experience. Features highlights across a variety of users include:
Improving Visibility for Travel Managers
TravelBank’s new Group Travel service was designed to take the headache out of negotiating hotel blocks, managing the rooming list, utilizing unused ticket funds, and unlocking the best group rates. With visibility into trip data, duty of care tracking, and logistical support, our experts help ensure travel for team events is executed with maximum efficiency and minimal stress.
We also relaunched our Core Insights module featuring a new Travel dashboard, giving admins instant, at-glance insight into spend across gross bookings, policy adherence, along with top spenders and merchants.
Custom Travel Fields gave admins the power to gather more granular details to optimize reporting, such as creating tags for cost centers or an out of policy reason code.
Putting Travelers in the Driver’s Seat
We ended 2023 with a bang, giving our travelers the ability to self-modify their flight reservations across all airlines, saving them precious time as their travel plans change. Earlier in the year, we added features that allowed travelers to cancel bookings, view flight credits on mobile, and apply unused flight credits to new bookings. The flights booking page on the TravelBank web app was also updated to display more amenities and ticketing attributes so that travelers could make informed decisions while booking a flight.
On the hotel-side, search optimization was a priority. The hotel viewing experience was enhanced to provide more versatility with the ability to select a list view or a combined view with maps. New features gave travelers the ability to apply filters for hotel chain, brand level and individual hotels, and amenities, making it easier for them to isolate their ideal preferences. Quickly after that, we also enhanced filtering at the room level, allowing travelers to further refine their hotel search results using filters based on loyalty status, rewards program, cancellation policy, and rate types.
Travelers can select a list or combined map view as they search for accommodations.
The ability to book specialty rates—such as AAA, AARP, Senior, and Government—is now possible providing travelers more options to take advantage of additional cost savings.Travelers booking on mobile saw an additional 3-5% discount on select hotels. Additionally, users gained access to additional exclusive rates on select hotel chains, which add a 12-15% discount when booking on mobile or desktop.
Optimizing Data Accuracy and Visibility for Expense & Finance Admins
This year we enhanced our Analytics package, now called Core Insights, introducing new features designed to provide admin users easy access to the most popular and commonly used reports, in addition to our analytics dashboards, and improve visibility into expenses. A new activity log section in the Expense Report PDF, provides instant visibility into related actions on the report, in addition to the name of the approver or delegate approver.
Several new features designed to reduce errors were deployed. For one, corporate card users are now required to merge a corporate card transaction to the expense, preventing duplicates of non-reimbursable expenses. Additionally, Delta flights booked on TravelBank automatically generate an expense, complete with receipt details, for error-free submissions. And U.S. Bank Instant Card admins can now view transaction data and reconcile within the TravelBank app.
Splits gave us better visibility into expenses and data quality. Organizations with Splits enabled, gained a more streamlined reconciliation experience with the ability to view split-related data on the transaction report. While the ability to require splits based on expense category, ensured the more granular tracking of submissions. On the approver-side, employees and users gained an improved view of each expense split without the extra clicks in our web app—split summary details immediately viewable include Amount, Category, Department, and two Custom Fields. Now, when a user splits their expenses, split data must be unique for department, category, and custom field(s). If they are not, an error message will direct users to make the necessary corrections.
The ability to split expenses provides a more streamlined reconciliation experience and the ability to track data more granularly.
Delivering a User-Friendly Experience to Expense Users
Delivering a user-friendly experience for tracking expenses in turn helps maximize efficiency and save time. This year, 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, view and filter their transaction history, and perform everyday actions, such as merging expenses, assigning transactions to an existing report, creating a new report, and restoring deleted transactions.
We further streamlined the process of assembling expense reports with the ability to drag and drop receipts, attach multiple receipts to one expense, assign expenses in bulk, and provided an improved all around search and edit experience for custom fields.
My Cards was redesigned on Android, offering travelers a modern, user-friendly way to perform everyday actions and view card details.
We are proud of our accomplishments this year and remain committed to continually innovating and improving our platform to provide the best possible experience for our customers. We designed our platform to be user-friendly, powerful, and intuitive. Our vision has always been to make travel and expense management simple and effortless. We thank our customers and partners for their continued support, and we look forward to 2024 with excitement.
Happy holidays and happy travels from the team at TravelBank!