Corporate hospitality platform HRS has launched a partnership with Citi that will integrate the bank’s virtual payment product into HRS’s reservation process, Business Travel News reported on Tuesday (November 16th).
The deal will see HRS integrate Citi’s virtual card account into its booking process in 46 markets, including China, India, Russia and Brazil, helping customers automate their travel payments.
From there, HRS can collect and audit hotel bills for corporate clients with detailed data, with Citi’s billing and data capabilities facilitating integration with accounting.
Joint customers of the two companies can get detailed statistics on their trips, keeping an eye on things like the cost of parking, meals and living expenses.
“At the end of the day, from a technological standpoint being the catalyst here, it’s about making sure there are a minimum of points of contact, resulting in fewer problems and less chance of error and less pushback for users with the system, ”said Kurt Knackstedt, Head of Payment Solutions Growth at HRS. “Our goal is to make the elements of the [payment] as minimally invasive as possible for the traveler.
“But also from the point of view of the finance department, we want to reduce the work for them and the quality of the information submitted through the travel process increases and it is done with less effort.”
The companies say the partnership strengthens their existing collaboration with mutual customers around the world.
“Payments efficiency enables a simpler and more transparent experience for everyday business travelers while advancing accommodation program priorities that are vital to the C suite,” said HRS CEO Tobias Ragge , in a press release.
According to HRS, virtual payments have gained a new priority for the hospitality industry since the COVID-19 pandemic, as hotels have tried to limit interactions with guests.
With the lifting of the travel ban to the United States, it remains to be seen whether this priority will remain in place. As PYMNTS reported last week, Airbnb saw a 44% increase in bookings after the ban was lifted. Other national hotel chains say they have seen bookings increase by 50%.
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