US Bancorp to buy TravelBank, the travel platform backed by Will Smith for $ 200 million

Skift take

Banks see integrating travel and spending products as an effective way to improve their own credit card offering to customers, businesses and others. Expect more deals before the end of the year.

Matthew Parsons

Banks are rushing to take over travel and spending platforms, as the rate of payments digitization accelerates.

Now Travel bank, a business travel agency backed by actor Will Smith, was acquired by US Bancorp, parent company of US Bank.

US Bank said the acquisition allows it to accelerate the integration of digital payments into the commercial segment. The deal was signed on November 14, 2021 and the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but Skift understands the deal was worth around $ 200 million.

CEO Duke Chung to switch to banking and TravelBank will continue to serve existing customers including other banks. For example, it already plugs into American Express corporate cards to provide reconciliation and better visibility into spending.

The U.S. bank’s purchase comes months after credit card company Capital One led a $ 170 million fundraiser for online travel agency Hopper. Hopper’s “fintech” ores now represent the majority of its sales.

“Many companies have paper-based employee travel and expense reporting systems that are not compatible with mobile devices and require significant manual labor,” US Bank said in a press release. “The all-in-one TravelBank platform, which easily syncs with common accounting systems, automates this work and can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each organization. “

Meanwhile, the share price of software company Expensify remains strong after its IPO last week.

TravelBank and US Bank had been working together since September last year, as part of a partnership that integrated the travel agency into the US Bank Instant Card, to create an all-in-one solution for managing cash. business expenses.

US Bank has also partnered with Chrome River in 2019 to launch an expense tool called Expense Wizard, which combines virtual payments and expense reports with a chatbot. “You don’t have to remember all of these details or dig into your calendar to get the details because you have already captured them at the time of purchase,” said Bradley Matthews, senior vice president of systems at business payment, at the time.

The pandemic has been relatively mild for TravelBank, with its list of home delivery customers. It counts DoorDash, Caviar and Grubhub as customers, which have grown as millions of people have switched to takeout from local restaurants during closures – employers often taking note.

Its new owner is now well placed to capitalize on the resumption of business travel in the coming years. “We strive to give businesses more confidence, control and convenience in managing payments and expenses. TravelBank will help us accelerate these efforts, ”said Shailesh Kotwal, vice president of payment services at US Bank.

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