Amex OPEN to launch online travel booking platform.


Friday, 2nd September 2011
Source : American Express
 

New first-of-its-kind platform levels the playing field for entrepreneurs by offering lower rates on airline, car rental and hotel.

4Hoteliers Image LibraryAmerican Express announced the impending launch of a new online travel solution designed for small businesses. The portal is designed for American Express OPEN, the leading payment card issuer for small businesses, and will be exclusively powered by Rearden Commerce, the next generation eCommerce platform company and an established partner of American Express.

The soon-to-be-launched platform will help small firms benefit from best in class corporate negotiated rates for airfare, hotel and car rental provided by American Express Global Business Travel. Business owners will also have access to other features such as reporting capabilities, in-destination services, and the ability to set policy controls for employee business travel spending to control costs. And for the first time, small businesses will be afforded a holistic view of travel spend across their entire organization for company-wide travel expense visibility.

For time- and fund-strapped entrepreneurs, business travel is a conundrum. While it can be expensive – from both real and opportunity cost perspectives – it also ties directly to increased sales: according to an Oxford Economics, USA study, every dollar spent on business travel in the U.S. results in incremental revenue of $12.50 on average.

“Entrepreneurs are relationship experts who depend on travel to meet new clients and deliver customer service to existing customers,” says Jay H. Lee, Vice President of Business Apps, American Express OPEN. “Together with Rearden Commerce, our new solution will allow businesses to reduce travel costs while offering them trusted end-to-end service that we are recognized for in the travel industry.”

“We are proud to expand our partnership with American Express to provide the millions of small businesses with an intuitive, enterprise-class business travel management experience,” said Paul Todd, Chief Product Officer, Rearden Commerce. “The easy-to-use, integrated travel application will serve as a key differentiator for entrepreneurs focused on business growth and efficiency.”

American Express OPEN Cardmembers will be able to use Membership Rewards currency when booking through the new portal, while also earning extra rewards points when they choose to purchase using their American Express card. American Express’ industry-leading Membership Rewards are a featured benefit used by millions of Cardmembers. The platform will be made available to all small business owners and is not limited to American Express Cards so that business owners can manage employee expenses in the manner appropriate for their business.

Best in Breed Technology for Small Business
The business travel portal will join American Express OPEN’s growing list of Business Apps, a suite of software products that help small businesses market their products and services, increase margins and improve cash flow.

The Business Apps portfolio currently includes:

  • YourBuzz– a free application designed to help small business owners create, establish and manage their online reputation and brand on listings sites like CitySearch and Yelp in addition to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook;
  • SearchManager– An online solution that allows business owners to easily manage paid search and social campaigns across all major search ad networks, including Google Adwords, Microsoft AdCenter (including Yahoo Search Marketing), and even Facebook Ads – via a centralized dashboard;
  • AdManager– a start-to-finish, easy-to-use online tool designed to help small businesses create, optimize and target online display advertising campaigns on top ad networks, exchanges and branded publishers, such as DoubleClick Exchange, RightMedia, and AppNexus;
  • AcceptPay– A web-based tool that allows small business owners to accept online payments and electronically invoice customers – all in one place;
  • FX International Payments– A service that allows businesses to make international wire transfers;
  • InsuranceEdge– An online portal that offers small business owners real-time, competitive quotes from some of the nation’s leading insurance carriers;
  • Ariba Discovery – Ariba Discovery is a next-generation online business matching service that helps buyers and sellers connect quickly and efficiently for new business opportunities
 
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