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American Express Launches New Mobile Tool

May 19, 2010 By: George Dooley

American Express Business Travel (AEBT) has unveiled mobileXtend, a mobile travel tool that provides travelers support while on trips. Relevant information based on a traveler’s destination— including maps, currency conversions, tips on preferred ground transportation and negotiated hotel amenities and other useful information— can be pushed directly to the traveler’s mobile device. Travelers also have access to their itinerary and can stay connected with their personal and professional network through social networking capabilities. The global solution is compatible with leading devices such as BlackBerry, smartphones and iPhones and can work with any mobile phone that is SMS text message enabled.

“Both business travelers and the companies that keep them on the road recognize the importance of mobile capabilities and mobile’s potential to provide better communication, control and service,” said Lisa Durocher, senior vice president, American Express Business Travel. “Travelers expect to have access to their travel details while on-trip. At the same time, corporations are looking for a comprehensive solution.”

AEBT says it has developed proprietary Digital Traveler Record (DTR) technology allowing for the instant exchange of travel information, whether booked online or offline, to the mobile device. Real-time changes to travel arrangements are also automatically updated. Also enabling broad-scale, global deployment of mobileXtend, DTR operates agnostic to global distribution systems and booking tools allowing for direct data exchange which can eliminate the challenges of complex integrations across inconsistent infrastructure.

American Express Business Travel collaborated with leading mobile technology companies to deliver mobileXtend, which is now widely available in markets around the world. MobileXtend can improve the experience for travelers and allow travel managers to more effectively manage and support their travelers while also meeting business objectives. Following are key mobileXtend features and functionality:

*    Itinerary management, including on-time alert service delivering each component of the itinerary (air, car, hotel, rail), suggested flight alternatives when necessary.
*    Destination service delivers relevant messages upon departure and arrival.
*    Traveler enabled to request keyword-based travel info (i.e., text "taxi" and receive response listing preferred vendors with corresponding telephone numbers).
*    Dining search and reservation capabilities.
*    Flight schedule search.
*    Map integrations.
*    World clocks.
*    Social media integration.
*    Currency converter & exchange rates.
*    Click-to-call a travel agent

Additional compliance features and functionality available through SMS text messaging include:

*    Policy Manager - Delivers messages to promote and enforce compliant behavior during travel.
*    Communication Manager - Target messages to employees based on past, present or future travel.
*    Broadcast - Issues a general message to a specified group of employees or travelers without any response tracking; can be sent immediately or with a specified delivery time.
*    Survey - Sends a survey question to a select group of mobile numbers. Response is captured and stored and the final results are provided.



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