Hoping to capitalize on a rebound in business travel, Wells Fargo & Co. has developed features designed to improve expense reporting using mobile phones.
A key enhancement to the CEO Mobile service, available with WellsOne commercial cards that employees typically use for T&E and supply purchases, includes the integration of Wells' commercial card expense-reporting platform with smartphones.
The feature makes it easier for cardholders to keep track of tips, cab fares and other miscellaneous purchases by immediately entering them into the expense management application on their smartphones, said Mary Mazzochi, Wells Fargo's senior vice president and manager for commercial cards.
"Business travelers often struggle to keep track of all the little expenses paid when passing through airports and hotels, but with the expense management system linked to a purchasing card right on their phone, it's much easier to stay on top of these things," Mazzochi said.
Cardholders enter the expense and note whether it was paid with cash or a personal card in the app on their mobile phone, where it automatically is sorted for future approval and reimbursement.
Wells Fargo also integrated the CEO Mobile service with its treasury and cash management operations so cardholders can track and manage expense reimbursements through the automated clearing house network, Mazzochi said.
Commercial card administrators also have the ability to use smartphones to view and edit cardholders' credit limits and review declined transactions for more effective program management, she said.
Cardholders may access the CEO Mobile service from any Internet-enabled smartphone.
Wells Fargo developed the new features because improving the accuracy of on-the-go expense tracking and allowing commercial card administrators to track employees' card use from an office computer, a laptop or a mobile device is "critical" for customers who travel or who are frequently away from their desks, Mazzochi said.
The San Francisco banking company began testing its commercial card integration with its treasury portal last year before rolling the service out nationally this year. Demand for mobile commercial card services is "very strong" as business travel continues to increase after a lull in 2009, Mazzochi said.
Other commercial card issuers offer mobile apps, but few allow program administrators to adjust cardholder controls from a mobile device.
American Express Co., for example, offers mobile account management for individual corporate cardholders in various markets globally. In the U.S. it offers the services through apps developed for iPhone and Android smartphone users.
But Amex commercial card managers have not demanded mobile access to control employees' card use, an Amex spokeswoman said.
"Program administrators are typically in the office; they are not frequent travelers," the spokeswoman said.