BBT Forum

Buyers gathered at London’s One Whitehall Place to hear about the latest trends in payment technology, tips on influencing traveller behaviour, plus GPDR advice. By Molly Dyson

challenges and future opportunities. The event at One Whitehall Place,


London, began with a keynote session delivered by the procurement team from Accenture. They spoke about how emerging technologies, such as blockchain, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence, will affect the role of buyer. The team put forward the idea of “procurement masters”, which they defined as the top 10 per cent of procurement organisations in terms of performance. These masters, they argued, embrace advancements in technology to transform into an intelligent enterprise. They leverage tools to master their data and improve processes, and require the skills of other departments – data scientists, IT professionals, business experts and designers – to adapt to changes in the buyer’s role.

VIRTUAL FUTURE BBT editor Matthew Parsons then took the floor to lead a panel discussion on corporate payments and control, which focused on the growing popularity of virtual cards. Amadeus’s payments expert Davide Antonioli said studies showed virtual cards will overtake physical payments within the next five to eight years, which was evidenced by the fact that a large number of attendees agreed they currently use some form of virtual payments in their programme. Parsons asked about the emergence of invisible payments, used by companies such as Uber, with the panel agreeing the technology will likely spread to other areas of the travel industry, such as restaurants. Speaking of the future, Roberto Da Re,

founder of blockchain start-up Travel Ledger, explained how cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, worked in a similar way to virtual payments. He noted that the opportunity presented by open banking will drive change, while blockchain will address the data challenges of the technology.

Supported by:

BUYINGBUSINESSTRAVEL.COM Joint sponsors: BBT July/August 2018 21

HE THEME “COMPLETE THE CURRENT, EMBRACE THE FUTURE” occupied the latest BBT Forum as delegates gathered to discuss current

ADDRESSING A DEADLINE Taking place just days before the start of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the BBT Forum took the opportunity to provide advice from experts on meeting the requirements of GDPR. The panel discussion was moderated by Oliver Moore, head of travel agency at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The main piece of advice for travel buyers

was to audit their TMCs and suppliers to ensure they had plans in place to be GDPR compliant. One buyer in the audience said their organisation had conducted third-party reviews and would require all potential suppliers to go through the process in the future. It was pointed out that both TMCs and

their clients needed to be honest in the event of a data breach, as businesses will only have 72 hours to inform the Information Commissioner’s Office if their data is compromised. Any organisation found to be non-compliant with the regulation could face fines of 4 per cent of its annual global turnover or Ð20 million (£17.6 million). Lastly, attendees were encouraged to document every step their business has taken to prepare for GDPR and ensure all employees are aware of their data policy.

THE POWER OF INFLUENCE The penultimate session, moderated by Douglas Green, HRS UK & Ireland managing director, covered the much talked-about topic of influencing traveller behaviour. One buyer said the challenge that travel

managers faced was getting travellers to book smarter to drive down costs. This can be difficult when dealing with a range of personality types and company cultures. A representative from a travel and expense specialist commented that it was important to choose tools that balance policy management with an interface that replicates a leisure booking experience. Panellist Tony McGetrick of BCD Travel

said policy adoption will only happen over time, using the analogy of going to the gym: “When you first start working out, you won’t see results straight away. It’s only if you keep going that you’ll start to see improvements.”

One Whitehall Place, London

Reading and Writing Room, One Whitehall Place

QUESTION TIME The day ended with an open discussion, during which one buyer asked participants where they saw NDC and GDSs going in the next five years. A supplier commented that NDC was

simply another communication tool in the airlines’ arsenal and that the GDSs would continue to play a pivotal role. Another buyer disagreed, saying that because the GDSs had not moved on much since their invention 50 or 60 years ago, they could face the challenge of having to change or miss out on potential business – a “Kodak moment”. The audience turned to the topic of the

RFP process, with buyers saying they wanted TMCs to focus on their own strengths rather than pointing out the weaknesses of their competitors. The TMCs volleyed back that they wanted buyers to understand how much time went into responding to RFPs; they often faced tight deadlines that made it hard to provide the information required.

n The next BBT Forum will take place on 8 November. For details, email Emma Gordon at

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104