In less than a decade, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce. The generation of the confident and self-expressive “youngsters” born between 1980 and the early 2000’s will be the largest group of travelers you serve in the corporate travel business. And while they may have different sets of expectations and tech skills, their needs of traveling from point A to point B remain the same.
Agencies and Corporations must prepare themselves because an increase in Millennials in the work force means an increase in the number of business travelers who don’t have a corporate card. This may be for a number of reasons:
Many Millennials cannot qualify for a corporate credit card
In fact, a survey conducted by Bankrate.com reveals that six in 10 people ages 18 to 29 don’t have a single credit card in their wallets. That same study tells us that 3% of Millennials admit to often missing payments completely, more than any other age group. So maybe it’s not so hard to see why corporations are hesitant to instantly approve them for a company-owned card.
Millennials don’t want credit cards
According to a recent PayPal study, 34 percent of Millennials see credit cards as “old school.” While it’s hard to expand on exactly what that means, it’s probably safe to say that this group doesn’t quite jump at the opportunity to own the widely accepted piece of plastic. Millennials associate credit cards more with other generations and also with the vulnerability to fraud. 71% go on to say that they do not believe their information is secure when using traditional credit cards.
Millennials embrace technology
From the PayPal survey we also learn that 67% of millennials are more likely to trust technology-based companies – more than any other generation. They are optimistic and familiar with technology. They love to offer feedback on technology, and consider work arrangements that offer more flexibility and new technology a reward. It’s no surprise that this group of travelers is not afraid to be without a physical card.
While our industry sometimes struggles to accommodate for the growing group of Millennial business travelers, it’s reassuring to know that there are solutions to address their needs and yours with virtual cards.
What’s a virtual card?
A virtual credit card is a unique card number issued electronically for a specific travel event. It functions in the same manner as a traditional, physical credit card but is issued at time of booking.
With a virtual card program, corporations don’t have to worry about issuing a physical card to be used freely at travelers’ discretion. Everyone can travel on a corporate travel card and corporations rest assured knowing that usage is controlled by their program’s travel policy. Charges are limited to that single travel event so risk of fraud is drastically reduced. Plus, we know that the generation in most need of this technology is ready to embrace it.
Interested in learning how you can implement a virtual payment program for your customers? Contact your Sabre representative and request a demo. Don’t forget to ask about how Sabre Virtual Payments provides the added benefit of time. Hint: During the reconciliation process all payments are automatically matched to the booking. It’s a must-see!