by Michael J. Shapiro | August 14, 2013
Technology advances announced by American Express Global Business Travel during last week's Global Business Travel Association Convention focus on the next generation of business travelers and mobile convenience. First, Amex is integrating data with Sabre's TripCase mobile platform, so that itinerary information from Amex clients can be fed directly into each traveler's TripCase account. Itinerary changes then will be updated almost immediately. The TripCase app, which is compatible with Apple iOS and Android devices, can push flight updates, maps and directions, and allow the traveler to share critical itinerary information with others via the app. American Express Corporate cardholders also can link their cards to the TripCase app, and will receive reminders about card-related benefits such as airport lounge access and inflight Wi-Fi, when available. The integration is now live.

American Express also will be pushing corporate-card purchase alerts in near-real time to expense management mobile applications. Concur will be the first to integrate the new functionality, which means Amex corporate cardholders who use Concur Expense and the new ExpenseIt receipt-capture application will receive immediate notifications when purchases are made, with a request for photos when the receipt in question is still in the traveler's hand. That functionality should debut in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of this year.

By the end of this month, Amex will roll out enhancements to AX Connect, the company's duty-of-care platform. Currently, travel managers can use the platform to pinpoint travelers in times of crisis and communicate with them via SMS texting. The new functionality will entail mobile apps, through which travel managers and stranded travelers will be able to communicate directly. Among the apps' features will be two-way messaging, automatic alerts based on country-specific risks, GPS location services and a click-to-call emergency button. 

Lastly, Amex is piloting an engagement and gamification platform with Citrix, to encourage traveler adherence to company policy. American Express partnered with "The Behavior Platform" by Badgeville to develop the travel-management version, customizable according to each company's corporate culture and travel policy. The platform awards travelers who adhere to policy, and a company leaderboard encourages competition. American Express will develop a timeline for the platform's rollout based on the current pilot.