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Airbnb, American Express team up to appeal to business travelers

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July 13, 2016

Airbnb's recent Guidebooks feature

Airbnb’s recent Guidebooks feature

Airbnb is targeting business travelers through a partnership with American Express that integrates the mobile booking service into the financial institution’s suite of products under its corporate travel management service.

Members of American Express Global Business Travel will be able to book places to stay with Airbnb Business, without having to go to another mobile platform or application. The partnership will allow businesses to include Airbnb stays within its expense tracking system, making it easier to allow more companies to book travel on the platform.

“Efficiency, transparency, accountability and catering to the needs of the individual business traveller, there are just a few of the benefits the Airbnb and American Express Global Business Travel are providing to people that use their respective services,” said Michael Becker, managing partner at MCordis. “The relationship is removing friction for for the business traveling, which may lead to costs saving, not to mention happier and more productive traveller which invariably should have a positive impact on business results.

“As these results are quantified and reporting they will most certainly have a positive on Airbnb’s revenue potential,” he said.

Amex and Airbnb
In the past, Global Business Travel members were unable to book stays through Airbnb directly on its platform, meaning the costs were not logged for businesses to keep track of employees’ expenses. The lack of integration meant that many members were not booking stays with Airbnb.

Airbnb is looking to build its presence with business travelers and its partnership with American Express will allow members of Global Business Travel to book Airbnb stays without having to go to its separate app. However, the partnership will have a small rollout.

For instance, at first users will still need to go to Airbnb to book their travel but can use a corporate email address that will track the spend. The employee books the place they will be renting out for their stay with the email address and American Express Global Business Travel will automatically save the costs spent in the app to that business’s account.

Business travelers will be able to track all this information on the program’s mobile platform and also incorporate it into itineraries, which are also accessible by mobile.

Airbnb mobile pushes
Airbnb wanted to become a comprehensive travel content destination when it added city guidebooks to the app while also unveiling a new matching system and an international campaign as it looks to lengthen users’ time on the platform (see more).

The hospitality brand furthered personalizing the mobile and online experience for hosts via a slew of recent features, including competitive pricing and hosting toolkits (see more).

“The same efficiencies and benefits are true for Amex GBT; in addition, Amex GBT may find this to be a key feature for recruiting new and retaining existing members, both of which may lead to long term increases in revenue and profitability,” Mr. Becker said.

“The relationship is a perfect example of the the future of connected enterprise, where value can be generated from the integrating of existing systems and services, not just from the development of new innovation,” he said. “Business should think about the the Internet of Services (IoS) not just the Internet of Things.”

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

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