TripActions is getting deeper into payments. With the launch of TripActions Liquid, the corporate travel management platform is introducing a payment solution that frees up employees from having to personally pay for corporate travel expenses.
The new product: TripActions Liquid essentially issues physical Visa cards and virtual trip-enabled cards which embed spending policy into the card.
- Travel spend gets decided at a corporate level and pushed down to employee cards which light up when they travel.
- Employees get real time notifications of out-of-policy spend and finance gets a better view into travel spend.
- TripActions also offers a 1.5 percent rebate on all spend through TripActions Liquid.
- A team of about 20 engineers developed the TripActions Liquid product, which has been used in beta by several TripActions clients over the last few months, including Lyft, Toast, and Zoom.
- TripActions Liquid corporate cards are currently only available to US-headquartered companies.
Slow adoption of virtual cards: Virtual cards aren't new to corporate travel and they've had moderate take-up.
- A virtual credit card is a unique 16-digit computer generated number used for a single transaction.
- On a given trip, that number will change numerous times ahead of the next transaction.
- A company's finance department can set a maximum charge amount for the virtual number and the date on which it expires.
- For vendors, the virtual card looks the same as any other credit card.
- TripActions Liquid gets turned on and off based on an employee's travel schedule.
- Integrating payments with software that manages travel spending and reconciliation could speed up adoption.
“Implementing TripActions Liquid took minutes and we’ve seen immediate improvements to our travel payments process,” said David Wieseneck, vp of finance at letgo. “With TripActions Liquid, we’re getting top reviews from travelers who appreciate the experience, as well as our finance team who love that reconciliation of travel payments now takes less than ten minutes.”
TripActions’ first product, the corporate travel management platform, has driven 5X year over year growth at the startup.
- To date, TripActions has raised more than $480 million at a $4 billion valuation.
- To support TripActions Liquid, TripActions has raised a debt facility of up to $500 million from Silicon Valley Bank, Goldman Sachs and Comerica Bank.
Context: With embedded finance, various industries and companies are embracing banking and payment tools. The travel industry, like retail and transportation, is building more fintech solutions to better serve its ecosystems.
- In travel, we've seen firms like Uplift provide installment loans to Lufthansa, United, and Carnival travel customers.
- More effort and interest is being applied to making cross-border and cross-currency travel and hospitality transactions more personalized.
- Banking as a service firms bring tools and technologies for companies in all industries to offer payments and banking products.