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In this webinar, TravelBank's product experts provide a full look back at all of our 2023 Q3 product updates which rolled out across our ecosystem of Travel, Expense, and Card Management solutions.

Webinar Transcript:

Thank you so much everyone for joining us today. It’s always super exciting for us to see our customers wanting to learn more about our product. And I know we do send product release notes every month when we do release new features, but sometimes in busy schedules it might get missed out or you might not be able to remember or retain whatever you read. As we wrap Q3, we wanted to take this opportunity to recap and dive into our product releases for the last three months. We also wanted to provide you an opportunity to ask us any questions you might have over the releases as we move into the content.

As far as today’s agenda is concerned, we are going to go over product updates in different product verticals starting with platform. So, when I say platform, platform updates are basically the product updates that covers the onboarding part, setting up of policies, anything that has to do with setting up integrations and basically covering from an admin and a company settings perspective. And that will be for both travel and expense as well. And then we will also go over individual product updates on the travel product and our expense product followed by a few live demos, and then finally the Q&A section of the webinar.

Webinar Transcript:

Thank you so much everyone for joining us today. It’s always super exciting for us to see our customers wanting to learn more about our product. And I know we do send product release notes every month when we do release new features, but sometimes in busy schedules it might get missed out or you might not be able to remember or retain whatever you read. So as we wrap Q3, we wanted to take this opportunity to recap and dive into our product releases for the last three months. We also wanted to provide you an opportunity to ask us any questions you might have over the releases as we move into the content.

So as far as today’s agenda is concerned, we are going to go over product updates in different product verticals starting with platform. So when I say platform, platform updates are basically the product updates that covers the onboarding part, setting up of policies, anything that has to do with setting up integration and basically covering from an admin perspective, a company settings perspective. And that will be for both travel and expense as well. And then we will also go over individual product updates on the travel product and our expense product followed by a few live demos, and then finally the Q&A section of the webinar.

For today, we have three speakers. First, let me introduce you to Shaun, who’s our senior product manager for platform. And myself, Keerthi, I am your host and also the product manager for travel. And then we have Brenna, who’s our product manager for expense and cards. I will pass it on to Shaun for platform updates.


Thank you, Keerthi. I am Shaun Mataire. I am a product manager on the platform team. And as Keerthi mentioned, we’re the foundational team that enables you to get started and manage your account. We have two exciting updates to share today. Keerthi, if you could go to the next slide.

The first update is accessibility and inclusion. As we continue to focus on accessibility and inclusion for all of our customers, you may see slight changes in color contrast and enhanced accessibility functions such as responsiveness to screen readers, improved focus, mouse free navigation and more. You’ll start to see these updates throughout the product.

And next to our second update. Our second update is on plans and pricing. Information about our plans and pricing have been added to the app. Now as customers you can easily see the plans you’re on, compare plans and request upgrades from within the app by navigating to company settings.

Additionally, as you navigate the app, there will now be more visibility into which features require an upgrade to your plan. In these instances, you’ll be presented with an upgrade to unlock button to initiate your request and connect with our team and learn more. In 2024, upgrades will be self served as an option throughout the app and subscriptions will be manageable from the app itself. Those are the two quick updates that we have on the platform team. I’ll pass it back to Keerthi.

Thank you so much Shaun. Moving on to our next updates, that will be on the travel product. So the first update is basically more Lufthansa group fares available.

So as you guys might have heard about the new distribution capability, or NDC in short, where American Airlines set a deadline in April that if travel management companies don’t move into the new distribution capability, they’re going to cut 40% of their fares through traditional distribution systems where we get our inventory sourced from. So we are now NDC enabled. And we have enabled it for United and American Airlines in Q2 itself. Now we are extending that capability to Lufthansa group. So when we say Lufthansa group, it’s not just Lufthansa Airlines, but also they have their joint venture partnerships with Swiss Airlines, Euro Wings, Brussels, Austrian and Air Dolomiti. So one of the advantages for the end users here is that they’ll be able to see more fair points than earlier and also price parity for most of the fares. And also there are some cheaper fares that are available than what was available earlier.

In this way, airlines want to basically talk to the customers directly in a more customized form rather than talking through a third party where they are basically having a surcharge for the end users. So those things are eliminated. And from a user experience perspective, you’ll still see the same, how you see the content as of today. And this is available for web, Android and iOS platforms as well.

Moving into the next update, Modify Flight Bookings for Select Airlines. So when I say select airlines, this is also an NDC airline capability. So this is currently available for United, American and Lufthansa Group. And this is on web and Android right now.

So what will happen is that travelers earlier had to reach out to an agent to basically modify their flights on these airlines. Now with this feature they will be able to save most of their time in not chatting manually, and they can do it self-serve within the app itself. And iOS is an upcoming item which you’ll be seeing pretty soon. We are gearing up for the release next week for the same feature.

And regarding other airlines, that is something that we are working on as well. So you can expect it as part of Q4 release. And one other thing to note about NDC or new distribution capability is that it’s not available for all airlines around 22 to 23 airlines or the ones that have their content through NDC. So bigger airlines like Delta, they are not part of NDC. So that is one good example to differentiate why we might be getting those contents differently from different sources.

Moving into the next update on the travel side, earlier our customers had to reach basically our agents to book any paid seats. They could book free seats using the app but not paid seats or premium seats as we would like to call it. So with the new feature, travelers will be able to do all this within the app, eliminating the need to contact an agent. And currently this is available only on web and iOS and Android will be coming up soon as well for this feature. And one limitation or one thing that we don’t have right now for the premium or preferred seats is that it’s not possible to go through an approval flow for preferred seats or paid seats. So that is something that will be coming up beyond our MVP release, which we don’t have a timeline yet. But that is something that we are working on from our end. Now with this being said on the travel product, now I will be passing it to Brenna for expense updates.

Thank you so much Keerthi. I’m just going to share my screen. Great. Well, my name is Brenna. I am the product manager responsible for the expense management product vertical here at TravelBank. I’m excited to be here today to share with you some of our expense enhancements that we’ve made this past quarter. So kicking it off into our first enhancement, we have managed expense categories. So for those customers who are on the call today that are on the free plan, previously our free customers were not able to change expense categories. However, with this update, our free customers can create and edit expense categories, giving admins greater customization and control of your company’s expense settings.

Next, we have a smaller update, but a great delighter for our admin users. When exporting transactions or expense report CSV files, your customizations for the export configuration is now saved, making this a more personalized experience to each individual admin user. For our newer customers on the call, you can access the transaction CSV from manage section and then transaction, and transaction export. And for the expense export, this is located under company settings, expense policy and then expense export.

Moving on to drag and drop receipts, this is a way to make your expense filing that much faster. Simply select an image or file and drag it into the expense row as you see in this photo here and it will automatically get added to that expense so you no longer have to go through multiple clicks to add your receipt.

Next we have delegate approval tracking. So as we move towards having better transparency and reporting in app, admins and employees can now see the name of the delegate that approved or returned the expense report on behalf of another manager, admin or finance person. Here’s a snapshot of what it looks like on the expense report. It’s located under activities on the right-hand side of the report. This is really the first step to give finance teams and employees greater visibility into who’s approving expense reports on behalf of someone else. And we’re working on adding more delicate controls and tracking in 2024.

So going on to NetSuite update, this next enhancement is really for admins and finance teams on the call today who have a NetSuite integration set up with us. Once a report is approved and closed, you can see reports that are pending to be synced over to NetSuite. And you can simply click the sync to GL button at the bottom left-hand side and we will sync those reports to NetSuite immediately.

So now I’m just going to take a quick pause and we can do a poll. So you’ll see a popup up here. If you could just take a moment to answer, I’m really interested to learn who on the call today is using splits. So I’ll just give everyone a moment.

Great. Thank you so much for taking our poll. I’m going to just quickly walk through what splits is. For those of you who maybe are not sure or have not heard of splits before, this is just a quick brief info on what it is. So splits is really useful for companies who want their employees to split their expenses by departments, categories, and or custom fields like project codes or customer names. And in addition to this, for more granular reporting, admins can actually require certain categories to be split as well.

So here I’ll go to the next slide and you can watch a quick demo video on what the employee experience looks like when splitting an expense. So here you can see the categories, the departments, and you can do multiple splits. So for those of you who are interested in learning more about splits, we will be sharing more resources in the coming weeks.

So moving on to reassigned card transactions, this new feature is for those who are on the call that are admin roles in their company. So previously admins were only able to reassign cards leaving the transactions with the previous employee. Now admins have greater flexibility and can choose if you would like to reassign those card transactions to the new card assignee as well. And this feature is available under manage and corporate card transactions.

The last update we have on the expense side before we move to the demos is for customers who do have splits enabled and have employees who have to split just so they can add a department. Well, with this update, you no longer have to do that. We have now added the department field as you can see on the left-hand side for a single expense. This saves the employee time by being able to quickly select a department for those expenses that do not require splitting.

So now I’m going to get to the exciting part and we’ll talk about the demos. So I’m first going to be reviewing real-time alerts. So just to highlight, this feature is not yet released but will be available in the coming weeks. It is real-time authorizations or RTA for short. Real-time authorizations allow admins, finance, and employees who have a U.S. Bank card to instantly see pending and declined transactions in app, giving those of you who are admins or finance greater visibility into real time spend and control across your card program.

For those of you on the call who are employees, what this means is that you can instantly get a notification of those pending transactions and you can immediately begin completing and filing your expense from that pending transaction. So employees no longer need to start a manual expense and then have to wait the two to five days to see the transaction appear in TravelBank for them to merge together, so it eliminates that step altogether. If you want to learn more about real-time authorizations, please contact your customer support manager. Like I mentioned earlier in the call, this is not available yet, but will be available in the coming weeks. So with that, I am going to walk through a quick demo.

Just one second. Great. Okay. So here is if I was an admin or finance person using TravelBank, I would be able to see through this view under manage and transactions, I can see all pending transactions as well as declined, which I’ll show you shortly, in this transaction table view. So I can see here that I have 10 pending transactions. I will be able to see the initial information of the transaction, so the card holder, the amount, the merchant. And if Christian added any expense details to this pending transaction, I can simply click and see the information that Christian has added to this transaction here. So the category, I have also the MCC and description as well as the image of the receipt that he added.

So also I would like to take a quick moment to highlight we’ve added additional quick filters here. So if you would like to just quickly see pending on its own, you can do so here. And for declined, so declined you can quickly access through the quick filter by simply clicking declined here. And this will show all of the declined transactions that have happened. You’ll see the cardholder details, the amount. And then what’s important here is the decline reason. There’s more decline reasons than just insufficient credit. For example, you can have any MCC or merchant blocking on the card. So if they tried to make a purchase somewhere where they’re not allowed to purchase, you would see that decline reason here as well. This just gives admins and finance greater control because they can see this in real time. And if they do need to make a change to the card, if Christian for example is at a merchant and needs to make a purchase, you can more easily see this insight and the reason and then make the adjustments necessary on the card program.

So with that I am going to now head over to the employee side. So this is something very exciting on the employee. With RTA, it does make the expense journey that much quicker. So here what we’ll show you is that Christian just made a transaction at UPS–he had to ship something. So he got an instant notification from TravelBank saying, “Hey, on this card ending in 1234, you made a $10 transaction with UPS. So click here to add the receipt.” So Christian can simply click this notification and it takes him directly to the camera view where he can snap that photo of a UPS receipt.

And then now you can see that he no longer needed to create a manual expense. He simply clicked that transaction. We have UPS already filled out. He just added his receipt image here. We already have the total and the date and he can simply add the category and he’s done. So it does save quite a lot of time. And when he’s done adding that receipt image, he’s taken back here to the list where he can see his pending transactions in this view. And as soon as that pending transaction gets posted, you can now submit that transaction.

With that, that concludes the demo. I will now pass it off to Keerthi to walk you through some travel demo. Thank you.


Thanks, Brenna. Let me quickly share my screen. So in terms of travel demo, I’m going to share how the modified flight bookings looks in our iOS app, which is due for release in the upcoming week. And the experience is going to remain the same on Android and also on web it’s going to be a similar experience as well. So as you can see here, we are having a one way flight that was already booked. And as you can see, we do have APNR for this particular flight. And as a user, I’m trying to modify this flight. So once I click modify, I’ll be having change flight, chat with an agent, or cancel options. So once I click on change flight, the users will be able to modify the entire trip or they can even try to modify individual segments as well.

So for this particular flight, it’s a one-way flight and there was a layover. So basically that means there are two different segments for this particular flight. So here I can either choose to select my entire trip and modify them or just choose one of the segments and modify that as well. So in this case I’m just modifying one segment. So that will be automatically filled from a destination and source perspective. We basically auto-fill that and the travel dates remain the same unless and until you want to extend your stay at your layover place and then you want to change the location. Then you can change your dates and update your fare class as well. So once you change and update that, we will do a research of all the flights that are available for the particular route that you chose to modify. And once that is available, you can again choose a direct flight from that location. You can choose a one stop, two stop or multi-stop locations as well.

Once that is complete, you’ll be able to actually modify the flight. So here I can see I have a nonstop flight that is my existing booking, and I want to change it to a one-stop flight. Or there is a possibility that with the new change or new modification, that is the one only flight that is available with one-stop. There are no nonstop flights. So I choose a one-stop flight. Once I do that, I can actually check what the details are for that itinerary and then select that flight. So as I choose that, I can also see the new booking tab and that is outside my policy. Unfortunately, the one thing that we have limitations over is that when the users try to modify flight, that will not go through an approval flow. But we do mention to the users that this is outside their company policy and they have to reach out to an admin.

And once they do that, they can also check their existing bookings if they don’t want to update their new flight and they can select any custom fields the admins have set up for the end user and then update the flight booking. So once the flight booking is updated, the reason why it takes a little bit of extra time for updating your flight booking is because on the backend what happens is that your existing flight booking is being exchanged with the new flight. So basically you are forfeiting your old booking and that flight credit is being applied to your new booking. That is why experience seems a little slow, but we are working on improving our latency on the flight modifications.

Once your new flight is modified, you’ll get a confirmation. And because on the backend how it works is depending on an exchange between the flights, your PNR won’t be changed. It’ll still remain the same. And you can click manage reservation to go and check under your trips the new trip has been applied and it’s been reflected on the trip section. So as you can see here, this is the one flight that we changed, and it’s still one way. And once you click that, you’ll be able to see the updated version of what the new trip looks like.
In terms of demo, that’s all we had for today. And now we will go into the Q&A question section and answer some of the questions that we have received.


Great. Thank you so much, Keerthi. I’ll just kick it off here on the expense. I see there’s a few expense questions. So first one from Jerry, “How do splits work when you export it out via CSV? Does the splits show up in the CSV output?” Yes, it does. Splits will show on both the expense export currently and we are working on adding the splits details on the transaction export, and that will be out in the next week or two.

Going onto the next expense question, I see from Jenny, “Does declined show only for U.S. Bank cards or all other card programs like Wells Fargo and JP Morgan?” Currently, real-time authorizations, so pending transactions and decline transactions will only be available for U.S. Bank corporate cards. We are working on adding this to other card programs as well, such as Wells Fargo and JP Morgan in the future. And then I think that pretty much wraps up from the expense side. I will hand it off, Keerthi, if you want to talk about or answer any travel questions.


Sure. Thank you so much, Brenna. And I do see it’s an anonymous attendee so I’m not sure who asked this question. So basically, “How long does it take for the booked itineraries to show up in the travel transaction reports?” So for this, it’s kind of hard to judge because the reason is once your card gets charged, it depends on when the bank senses or when the bank posts the transaction. Once the bank posts the transaction, bank of your choice, whichever card that you use to book your itinerary. Once that is posted, then that should be reflected on the travel transaction report.

But if you’re talking about your booking being reflected in the travel transaction report, that is quite immediate, you’ll be able to see your booking immediately when you book through our app. If it is done through an agent for unknown reasons because of an error or something of that sort, then that might take a little bit of extra time. The reason is the agents have to manually update all these reports. When I say extra time, it’ll be within a day or two, not more than that. I do see one question from Scherryl. “So if a flight is canceled, how is the credit handled?” So you have the option to actually apply the credit within the app. So once you apply the credit within the app, that will be applied by an agent manually. But from a user perspective, it’ll look like it’s being automated. And once the agent applies the flight credit, they’ll be sending a confirmation to the end traveler once that is complete. And this will be done within 24 hours once that is done.


Sorry. Just to jump in here, I see one more question from Jenny. The question is, “If an expense is submitted for approval, can a delegate begin receiving notification if a report was returned?” So it’s not available at this time, but we are looking at adding that feature in the future.


For the flight, again a questions from Scherryl, “Can the credit be used on any booking?” That depends on airline’s discretion because we don’t control if the credit can be used on any booking. But one thing I can say for sure is if United Airlines provides you a credit, you can use it only on United Airlines. You can’t change or switch between airlines.


I see there’s another question, one last one in the chat. “For department selection, does it currently read as allocation?” The department selection will read as one split, so essentially an allocation. But this feature for department on the single expense is only available if your org has splits enabled. So if you have splits enabled, you will see the department selection on the single expense. And yes, it would read as a split. That was a great question. Thank you.


Perfect. I don’t see any other questions. Okay, I just received one. Brenna, I think it’s on the expense side. “Does the split allow for different department managers to approve the expense that will hit their department?”


That’s a great question, Angela. At this moment, it does not. It’s the department that was selected on the report when submitting the report. However, we are looking at enhancing our approval flows in the near future. So this is something we would be looking at.


I do see another question. Is there a monthly statement sent out on all transactions for that month? I’m assuming this is for the travel transactions. So basically the travel transaction report has a filter where you could filter your monthly transactions, your weekly, or any particular dates that you want to filter. So that is something that you could do on your own. Perfect. If there are no questions, I would like to wrap the session so that everyone can have their time back. And also just reinstating what I mentioned earlier, we have recorded the session and we will be sharing the recording pretty much in the upcoming days, within probably this week or most probably early next week. And if at all you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact any one of the CSMs or the product support team so that we could answer and we could help answer your questions.

And if at all you want to learn more about what’s new, what’s upcoming in our product, there is always our TravelBank website under the What’s New section where you’ll be able to see all the new product updates that were released in the past few months. And thank you so much everyone once again for taking your time to join us. And those questions were brilliant. And thank you so much, I’m pretty sure that that is super useful for other people on the call as well. So once again, thank you so much. Have a great rest of your week.


Thank you.

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