AirPlus International and Cornerstone Information Systems are working together on virtual card programs. According to an AirPlus official, the companies are piloting with select customers back-office integration through Cornerstone’s iQCX system.

The official said clients would not need a virtual payment intermediary like Conferma.

AirPlus first brought its virtual payment solution to the U.S. market in 2017. It connects with “more than 70 travel industry platforms (e.g., Conferma, Concur, HRS and all major global distribution systems),” according to AirPlus information. The company cited “flexible billing cycles, custom invoicing and a mobile app that allows for card generation.”

Fifteen percent of 72 travel managers surveyed this year by The Company Dime said their companies used virtual payment for travel. Another 40 percent were considering it.

Asked about the challenges, several identified issues with hotels. Those included the need for smoother processes and better training for staff. A few other respondents pointed to the need to educate travelers about the specifics.

A January/February AirPlus/Global Business Travel Association survey generated similar findings. Among 139 U.S.-based business travelers, 11 percent said their organizations used single-use virtual cards. The most-cited reasons for not using them were concerns about administration and supplier acceptance.

Among non-users, 23 percent indicated their organizations were “likely” to adopt them in the future. Thirty-two percent said it was “unlikely.”

AirPlus also recently partnered with startup Pana, which helps with non-employee business travel.

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