Millennial-Geared Platform Rewards Budget-Minded Business Travelers

Millennial-Geared Platform Rewards Budget-Minded Business Travelers
Hotels, Hospitality & Travel

TravelBank promises to give employees more travel choices while simultaneously helping businesses spend less money

Ido Lechner, Home Editor
  • 4 july 2017

Between managing your budgets, making sure you’re adhering to your company’s travel policies and filing expense reports, its often hard to find time to enjoy a business trip. Looking to transform this headache into an incentive—particularly for the growing millennial workforce—startup TravelBank promises to give employees more travel choices while simultaneously helping businesses spend less money.

The experience starts with a business inputting travel dates and destinations to get an estimate of the trip’s cost based on current listings, factoring in additional details such as travel policies, flight seating and hotel star quality. From there, the company can then issue an employee their budget. However, unlike the traditional budget breakdown of allotting a certain amount for flights, food and hotel respectively, TravelBank lets employees customize their budget to meet their needs. For instance, if you prefer a smoother flight over a five-star hotel, you may choose to upgrade your seat ticket and swap your accommodations.

The company further incentivizes employees of its client base to make more cost-effective decisions by splitting the savings in half and gifting that refund in the form of purchasing credit at partners such as Lyft and Airbnb. In this manner, savers are able to obtain rewards for spending less money without losing a chunk of that reward to taxes. Available flights are viewable and bookable within the app, at rates even cheaper than Expedia or Kayak as TravelBank negotiates rates directly with airlines. An additional ‘social seating’ feature allows you to see what flights and seats your coworkers have chosen for a trip to plan accordingly.

In its totality, TravelBank represents the travel industry’s embrace of an emerging audience—millennials. With their increase in spending power as the generation matures, businesses within the industry have had to rethink their strategies: younger business travelers seem to prefer Airbnb to the classic hotel experience for instance, and tend to forego cab rides altogether to have enough dough for a fancy, ‘Snapchattable’ meal.

“Once you lose a generation of customers, it’s really hard to rebrand for the next generation, so it’s sort of a race to get to the cooler, hipper business traveler—and then the airlines get the benefit of keeping them as a customer for many decades” says TravelBank’s CEO Duke Chung. “Our ability to reach that younger traveler at scale was actually what was most appealing about us to these airlines.”

The underlying irony behind the company is that when a business sees its employees are spending far less than their allotted budget, they’ll likely take measures to lower that budget as a result. Because the current policy still has companies paying for those credited rewards, the price may be too steep for some businesses to willingly join TravelBank’s platform. Still, Chung remains hopeful, seeing the business as a win-win for everyone, including TravelBank, its corporate clients and their respective employees. Having already signed on numerous tech startups, including Lean Data and WeddingWire, the founder has aspirations to bring on even larger companies in the near future.

TravelBank

Between managing your budgets, making sure you’re adhering to your company’s travel policies and filing expense reports, its often hard to find time to enjoy a business trip. Looking to transform this headache into an incentive—particularly for the growing millennial workforce—startup TravelBank promises to give employees more travel choices while simultaneously helping businesses spend less money.

+Budget
+business travel
+customization
+millennial
+retail
+travel

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