For many, the image of the jet-setting executive swiping their platinum card across the globe may seem stereotypical. But while credit and debit cards may have become the dominant player in everyday transactions, there’s a surprising trend. In the realm of international business travel, cash is back. And if you’ve ever been abroad without cash you’ll probably know why it matters.
International Business Travel on the Up
2024 looks like a lean year for US domestic air travel. In contrast, trends last year indicate continued growth in travel overseas. There, the leisure market is anticipating a shift towards longer vacations abroad. And with that shift comes a mixture of activity driven breaks, high quality leisure, and mindfulness retreats.
International business travel is bucking the trend too. A recent poll by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) paints a positive picture, with almost 80% of travel buyers reporting increases in both bookings and spending in 2023 compared to 2022. Further, 60% anticipate even more travel in the coming year, with two-thirds expecting increases in business travel spending.
In person meetings are worth it
This resurgence of international business travel can be attributed to a renewed appreciation for the power of in-person meetings. There’s a real recognition that face-to-face interactions foster better relationship building, facilitate complex discussions, and provide crucial non-verbal cues that virtual meetings often lack. For high-stakes international agreements, where success or failure hinge on nuanced communication, these benefits are invaluable.
But what does this mean for the modern business traveler? While plastic has its place, there’s a growing need for a reliable backup: cash. Unexpected situations, cultural nuances, and even limited card acceptance in certain regions can leave travelers stranded without a convenient payment option. Carrying a reasonable amount of foreign currency ensures peace of mind and avoids the stress of relying solely on cards.
Meeting the Needs of the Modern Business Traveler
So, how can banks and credit unions equip their customers embarking on international business trips? This is where services like Money 4 Travel, a trusted foreign exchange service, come in. Money 4 Travel is a unique white label service. Here are just three of its key benefits:
- Convenient Access: consumers (individuals or purchasing departments of larger businesses) can order currency securely online via a smartphone or pc, for collection at their chosen branch.
- Automation via increased digitization: the frictionless service enhances the customer experience and the point of sale process – branch staff have more time to interact and cross sell other relevant offerings.
- Easy adoption: incorporating Money 4 Travel into existing systems is simple. It requires no infrastructure upheaval and Money 4 Travel syncs seamlessly with your existing currency provider, accommodates up to 90 currencies by default.
Ever Been Stuck Without Cash?
If you’ve ever been at a foreign airport with no local currency for a cab or tip, you’ll know the value of cash when you need it. By partnering with Money 4 Travel, banks and credit unions can offer their business customers a comprehensive solution for their international travel needs. It’s about simplification. It’s about empowering them to focus on securing deals and building partnerships, not worrying how they pay when a card isn’t practicable.
Travel is about more than plastic. A strategic combination of cashless convenience and the security of physical currency is key to a successful trip.
For reference GBTA: Survey Sentiment ‘Bodes Well’ for 2024 Business Travel, Business Travel News, January 31, 2024; Business Travel Poll Indicates More Spending Amid Challenges for 2024, auto Rental News, January 31, 2024