TravelBank is an app that helps companies manage their expenses, predicting how much business trips will cost and paying staff who come in under budget.
USD 1.2 trillion is spent on business travel and entertainment globally every year. As the second-biggest controllable spending item for companies, second only to payroll, it’s an area that has received relatively little innovation. We’ve already written about a US innovation that uses AI to manage every aspect of corporate travel — from booking flights to managing expenses — and now TravelBank’s new app is paying employees for being frugal.
The smart technology predicts what employees should be spending on trips based on real-time price analysis, helps them file their expenses and gives out cash rewards if they come in under budget. Employees simply take photos of receipts and upload them to the platform. The app integrates with popular business software such as QuickBooks and exports expenses as PDFs. Users can sign up individually, or, if they manage to convince their employers to start using the software, they are then able to activate the rewards feature. As Co-founder Duke Chung explains, “When we knew all the employees and they knew us, they were more frugal, with the startup mentality. But as a company grows and you don’t get to know all the employees as well, you see some breakage and it gets worse over time.” The app is currently free, with plans to monetise in the future.
TravelBank claims to incentivise employees to become more thrifty team members. How else can businesses foster this collective responsibility?