AmEx, Microsoft partner for expense reporting in business travel

Friday 10 February 2023 10:13 CET | News

Card issuer and payments processor American Express has partnered with Microsoft to simplify expense reporting in business travel via AI and machine learning (ML) technologies.


The companies are to develop a suite of solutions built on Microsoft Cloud and AI that help reduce business travel friction for employees and businesses alike, with the first solution set to improve the expense management process by addressing the pain points faced by business travellers and expense processors.

Details on the AmEx, Microsoft solution

Leveraging AI and ML capabilities, the solution aims to strengthen clients’ processes and tools by having manual expense reporting and approvals simplified and automated, audit efficacy enhanced, and reconciliation and reimbursements for accounting teams modernised. Microsoft will start piloting the solution with its employees by having it integrated into its internal expense system later in 2023, and it will be made available to other AmEx Corporate clients in due time, with the ability to have it integrated into other expense management tools.

When a business traveller swipes their AmEx Corporate Card, they will receive a prompt for the upload of a receipt picture, with an AI-powered decision engine then categorising the transaction and assigning a risk score based on transaction details, the company’s travel and expense (T&E) policy, and the traveller’s purchase and payment history on the card.

The risk score is colour coded, depending on factors such as company expense policy, consistency with expense patterns, fraud indicators, and more, with the colours being green (recommended for auto-approval), yellow (needs an additional check), and red (not recommended for approval). The information is passed to an expense management system together with receipt details to auto-generate reports and help the decision-making of managers and auditors.

Card issuer and payments processor American Express partnered with Microsoft to simplify expense reporting in business travel via AI and machine learning technologies.

As it leverages ML, the solution is set to get smarter over time and have its algorithms adapted based on patterns and its ability to increase expense auto-approval with decreased error rates and escalations gradually improved.

Context of the expense management solution

As per press release information, AmEx conducted a survey amongst business travellers and travel expense processors which revealed that the expense management process marks a major pain point that needs an update. The key findings of the survey are:
  • 73% of business travellers are in agreement that business travel would be less stressful if expense management was simplified;

  • Over 52% of business travellers and over 35% of travel expense processors have a negative reaction towards their employer’s current expense management process;

  • For business travellers the most common pain point (54%) related to expense reports is gathering  and tracking receipts, whereas for travel expense processors the paint points are employees missing submission deadlines (50%) and ensuring expenses are compliant with company travel policy (49%);

  • 76% of business travellers spend a minimum of 30 minutes on their monthly travel expense reports, whereas 65% of travel expense processes report a minimum of one hour to review one report, which indicates the need for efficient solutions;

  • Additionally, 95% of travel expense processors wish they had completely automated expense report management systems.

With this knowledge as its basis, the newly announced solution is part of AmEx’s work in redefining the end-to-end payments experience globally, for travellers and companies alike.

For more information about American Express, please check out their detailed profile in our dedicated, industry-specific Company Database.

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Keywords: partnership, payments , travel payments, spend management, B2B payments, merchants, report, artificial intelligence, machine learning, corporate card, American Express, risk management
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: American Express, Microsoft
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce

American Express



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