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American Express elevates business travel with TripCase, AX Connect apps

American Express Global Business travelers will now be able to mobilize their travels with the mobile applications TripCase and AX Connect.

TripCase, a mobile travel app by global travel technology company Sabre, will be integrating American Express corporate benefits and flight information. This move is a part of American Express’s larger mobile strategy for business travelers, which also includes a new AX Connect app that helps travelers communicate with travel managers.

“We see mobile as something really critical, the expectations and the behaviors of business travelers that are on the go is mobile,” said Nicolas Buc, vice president of new product development at American Express, New York.

“We want to make sure we have a good way of reaching them and establishing a dialogue with travelers on the go,” he said. “We’ve been very happy to announce this collaboration with TripCase because through this collaboration we can improve the traveler experience and provide contextually-relevant information during the trip.”

“TripCase is known to users, and it’s important for us to reach out to users where they are and providing them and enriching their experience with the tools that they are using.”

Real-time flight updates
Now that American Express has integrated with TripCase, clients can sync their travel itineraries with the app and receive real-time flight updates throughout their travels.

American Express Corporate Cardmembers will also receive relevant in-app messages about benefits and deals that their card status offers. Since TripCase can determine where a traveler is, it can alert consumers to relevant offers, such as in-flight Wi-Fi, based on location.

For example, if a platinum cardholder lands in the Chicago airport, the TripCase app will notify him or her of the nearest airport lounge that is accessible with a platinum card.

Additionally, if there are any last-minute changes during travel, such as gate changes, delays and cancellations, TripCase will alert users and offer the option of calling an American Express Business Travel expert with one click.

According to an Ipsos survey, 70 percent of travelers said that mobile alerts were a “must have,” and 73 percent said that they would use travel notifications with click-to-call functionality.

With this information in hand, American Express realized that integrating with TripCase was a necessary move.

Will Pinnell, director of mobile strategy for Sabre, Southlake, Texas, believes that the partnership is a significant benefit for travelers.

“It’s all about delivering relevant messages at the right point in a traveler’s trip,” Mr. Pinnell said. “You want to know about an offer at the time that you can use it.”

Mobile travels
As a part of American Express’s mobile initiatives, the company is also updating its duty of care solution AX Connect. The product already offered SMS notifications, but it will now be offered as an app.

By creating an app for AX Connect, American Express is strengthening the ability for travelers to communicate with travel managers in a time of need.

Travel managers will be able to send employees messages within the app as well as provide response options, such as choices for itinerary changes, for travelers.

The app will also send automatic alerts before and during a trip to provide information such as safety tips and potential travel disruptions.

Travelers have the option of sharing their GPS-based location to enhance a travel manager’s ability to provide more assistance.

Additionally, the app has an emergency click-to-call functionality that lets travelers reach a member of American Express’s security team with one click.

“We see mobile as absolutely critical for American Express business travelers and card holders,” American Express’ AMr. Buc said. “Fundamentally, when we are servicing our customers they are on the road, they are travelling and mobile is the best way to reach them.

“In general, all business travelers are using smartphones, which gives us a unique opportunity to better service them,” he said. “We see that we can take this dialogue with the customer beyond providing information but providing new types of services.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York