TripActions is a corporate travel management and booking tool that travelers seem to like a lot more than suffering through Concur. They’ve just announced their second product, which is a company credit card aimed at business travel and called Liquid. Companies using it in beta include Zoom, Lyft and letgo.
This isn’t a co-brand credit card, they’ve actually raised a $500 million debt facility to finance payments for the TripActions Liquid Visa themselves. This way they’re able to offer seamless integration between payments and travel without a bank getting in between booking, payments, reporting, and control.
Payments can be made for travel (air, prepaid hotel) through TripActions itself. Customers also get a physical card and a mobile payments app to cover in person hotel and all other trip-related expenses during their business travel.
- Since TripActions knows an employee’s travel details already, it’s able to automatically tie card spending to trips making employee reporting easier and employer access to data faster. The reconciliation is automated.
- They are also able to offer a robust set of pretty granular spending policies, like allowing an employee to use their card only when they’re on a known trip (and turning the card off at other times so that employees don’t use it accidentally for personal expenses, or to give themselves payroll advances). An employer can also block specific merchant categories (e.g. no spending at a liquor store – buzzkill).
With all of a trip’s data, and calendar integration, they can even populate who is at a business meal.
TripActions says it’s better for the traveler (not using their own card, but businesses certainly have business cards today) and reducing transaction costs of reporting expenses (which does seem marginally better than the current best solutions). But clearly the appeal is to businesses on the reporting and control side.
On the rewards side they don’t sound as lucrative as another new player in the space, Brex, though they suggest they’ll get better here. They’re rebating 1.5% on all spend through the platform, and they tell me they’ll introduce “other modes of rebates and category spend.” That’s better than what most corporate cards are earning, but not top of market yet.
TripActions is booking $2.5 billion in travel spend after 3.5 years, with they say 5 times year-over-year growth. They expect Liquid will be as big as their core business, just by focusing on payments for business travel, and they say they don’t plan to expand to business payments more generally.