According to research by the Aberdeen Group, surveyed companies spent on average nearly three percent of their annual revenues, or $17.3 million, on meetings-related expenses during 2007, up from $15.8 million the previous year.(1) Aberdeen research also indicates that a meetings card ranks the highest among corporate expense managers as the most cost effective method for managing meetings and related expenses.(2) Current growth in spending in this category is driving demand for effective expense management tools to help businesses control costs and manage their meetings spending, which is expected to reach $86 billion annually in the U.S. alone in 2008 according to research by PhoCusWright Inc.(3)
The Visa Meetings card includes the features of the existing Visa Purchasing and Visa Corporate payment cards. This combination offers a flexible procure-to-pay solution to help companies simplify the process to purchase, pay, reconcile and report on meetings-related expenditures. The new card provides corporate expense managers the ability to tailor a card program to meet their specific company needs while helping them to reduce costs, streamline operational and payment processes and make more informed business decisions.
"Using payment cards for meetings expenses helps enable companies to improve the efficiency of their spend management processes, gain greater control and visibility over their spending and ultimately drive increased cost savings to their bottom line," said Darren Parslow, Global Head of Commercial Solutions, Visa Inc.
The Visa Meetings card builds upon a strategic alliance with Arcaneo(TM), a leading global meetings technology provider, to integrate Visa Meetings card transaction data into Arcaneo's Metron(TM) strategic meetings management system. This integration provides mid-size, large and multinational enterprises, along with meeting and travel management companies with the information they need to more efficiently manage meetings expenses.
"With an increasing focus among corporate CFOs on strategic meetings management, the Visa Meetings card in conjunction with Metron(TM) is intended to address a growing need among businesses for an end-to-end solution to more strategically manage their expenses" said Dale Beckles, President and CEO of Arcaneo.
The use of the Visa Meetings card with Arcaneo's Metron(TM) system helps companies more easily centralize internal processes for purchasing, data tracking, reporting on meetings expenses and managing logistical aspects of planning meetings. This integration enables businesses to increase visibility into spending for meetings, travel, procurement and other expenses to enable greater compliance with corporate and regulatory policies and preferred supplier usage.
Web-based data and reporting tools available through Visa Information Management, an integral component of the Visa Meetings card, further improves company visibility into meetings spending. These tools provide access to transaction details and e-folio data from hotels, airlines, car rental agencies and other suppliers through easy-to-read reports, expense reporting tools, cardholder statements and file extract capabilities. These tools also enable consolidation of spending data from Visa commercial card programs across all departments, divisions and subsidiaries within a company to provide management with an aggregate view of all business expenses for travel, procurement and meetings.
Notes to Editors:
About Visa Inc.: Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.
About Arcaneo: Founded in 2001, Arcaneo is a provider of best-of-breed technology to all stakeholders in the meetings value chain. Arcaneo's flagship product, Metron(TM), is a strategic meetings management solution that is designed for use by mid-size and Global 2000 enterprises to more effectively plan, execute and measure meetings. With Metron(TM), meeting planners can better manage all aspects of meetings, while enabling management to measure the impact of meetings across their enterprise www.arcaneo.com.
(1) Strategic Meetings Management: Of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) and Spend, Aberdeen Group, February 2008
(2) Strategic Meetings Management: Pick a Card, But Not Just Any Card, Aberdeen Group, February 2008
(3) Groups and Meetings: Market Opportunity Redefined, PhoCusWright Inc, January 2007. Estimate includes corporate and association meetings spend.
SOURCE: Visa Inc.
Sabine Middlemass, 650-432-8307
Kenny Thomas, 775-338-7051