Opportunity for Corporate India to realise significant cost savings from corporate cards and better T&E expense management


Less than one in five Indian businesses (18%) are using corporate cards to manage travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses and only 13 percent have a fully automated reporting process to monitor spending, according to a new T&E Benchmarking Report.

The report, conducted by Deloitte Consulting on behalf of global payments technology company, Visa, reveals that Indian corporations could save up to 11.6% in T&E expenditure by doing away with less efficient and more expensive forms of payment such as cash and electronic funds transfer, and from better automation of T&E processes. Nearly 25% of corporations cited policy framework for controlled card usage and 20% attributed the limited usage of corporate cards, to global policies.

According to the report, the majority of organisations, i.e. over 94% have put in place detailed T&E policies and have invested in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems (83%) to automate back office functions, but less than a third (32%) of those corporations are using ERP systems for T&E processes. While policies for corporate card usage exist for nearly 61% respondents; only 16% of respondents indicated the existence of a comprehensive policy framework for usage of corporate and prepaid cards.

“A great opportunity exists for Indian businesses that have already done the hard work setting up policies and investing in ERP systems to leverage them for T&E purposes,” says Mr. Uttam Nayak, Group Country Manager, India and South Asia.

“While local companies are beginning to understand the benefits of easy-to-implement systems, MNCs based in India are the ones paving the way forward by adopting and implementing T&E expense management solutions.

“Payment technology provided by Visa and our bank partners can streamline the expense management process and help corporates by blocking select merchant categories, preventing out-of-bound purchases and informing corporations of any attempt to circumvent these limits. These controls cannot be exercised in the absence of an integrated system to analyse and seek necessary insights.”

Aside from the efficiencies corporate cards provide and added convenience of managing T&E expenditure, they also provide greater transparency to ensure compliance, enabling real time audits to identify potential out-of-policy spends.

“Businesses maintaining multiple payment methods and low levels of automation in the claims and approval processes have a great opportunity to streamline their T&E expense management and create efficiencies in the process that will result in significant time and cost savings,” added Mr. Nayak.


Additional report findings include:


Airfares and accommodation accounts for 82% of all T&E expenditure


Travelling employees take 21 local trips and 5 international trips annually


Companies from MFG sector tend to spend INR 7,29,500 per travelling employee


Firms with corporate cards process nearly 53% of all reports automatically, while nearly 47% of reports still go through manual process of submission, review and approval


44% of companies have a manual reporting system and 43% have upgraded to partially automated T&E reporting


Employees typically request 5 cash advances per international business tour and 14 per domestic business tour


The average cash advance issued is INR 8,450 per trip


About the Report

The benchmarking study of T&E spend in India was conducted by Deloitte Consulting. A total of 77 corporates participated in the online survey, which was conducted in the first quarter of 2013.

About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks- VisaNet- that is capable of handling more than 56,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information visit www.visa.co.in