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On Jan. 1, American Express will become Hilton’s exclusive issuer
for Hilton Honors co-branded credit cards in the U.S. Hilton has offered
co-branded Amex cards since 1995 and co-branded Citi cards since 2000.
The deal is for a multi-year partnership, and a Hilton spokesperson said Hilton
Honors members number 63 million. Amex’s loss of the Costco co-brand portfolio in June 2016 to Citi has continued to affect the card network. Net income
for Global Commercial Services, the division that houses corporate cards,
decreased 14 percent in the first quarter, which Amex attributed to the loss of
Costco. The card network also blamed the Costco loss for a drop in its average
discount rate of 1 percentage point. Following Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Amex is awaiting Marriott’s decision on
whether to renew Starwood’s co-branded Amex card program, which expires in
2020. Marriott’s Visa co-branded card program with JPMorgan Chase expires
in 2018. If Marriott terminates Starwood’s relationship with Amex, the card network will lose its second largest co-branded partnership after Delta, worth
2 percent of Amex’s 2015 billed business and 4 percent of 2015 loans.
Private equity firm K1 Investment Management has acquired
a majority stake in expense management firm Certify for $125
million and will merge it with its three other spend management
firms: Expense Watch, Nexonia and Tallie. Certify claims that the
new, privately held entity forms the largest expense management competitor to Concur, which is owned by the publicly held SAP. That claim
is based on the four brands’ more than 7,500 corporate clients. While
Certify founder and CEO Bob Neveu will serve as CEO of the group and
maintained that the brands would remain separate, he said Certify technologies could cross over to the other brands to benefit their customers.
Certify, meanwhile, will use the infusion of capital for product develop-
ment, geographical expansion and hiring. Certify also intends to make
acquisitions of its own.
Concur will offer its travel, expense and invoice solutions to companies operating in South Korea. Concur’s South Korea operations
will be based in the Seoul office of parent company SAP. Concur also
has promoted Barry Long VP of global sales for Asia/Pacific and named
Jaesung Kim as head of sales for Concur Korea.
Expense management provider Abacus now can ingest
basic spend data from Capital
One corporate cards for small
business clients. The application
programming interface integration
replaces Abacus’ use of a third-party data aggregator to collect the
Capital One card information. The
card data automatically populates
the employee’s expenses in Abacus.
Basic data includes details like date,
vendor and amount, according to
an Abacus spokesperson. Last year,
Abacus launched a similar API for
American Express corporate cards.
Expense management provider Expensify filed a lawsuit
against rival Abacus for patent
infringement of its SmartScan
technology, founder and CEO
David Barrett wrote on Expensify’s
blog. The two patents in question
address technologies that scan receipts and automatically pair them
with credit card feeds, according to
documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of New York. “Abacus entered the
expense report automation market
late, forcing it to copy Expensify’s
SmartScan technology in an effort
to gain lost time,” the filing states.
Ben Allen has joined iJet International as CEO. Bruce McIndoe will hand over that title
but retain his role as president. Previously, Allen was president of Marsh & McLennan
Agency, a risk consulting firm for midmarket companies. He was president and CEO of
risk consulting firm Kroll from 2008 to 2010, when March & McLennan Cos. sold it.
He also has been CEO of Ontrack Data International, which Kroll acquired in 2002.
On Call International has appointed Tom Davidson president, follow-
ing the retirement of founder and CEO Mike Kelly. Davidson has been VP of
sales and marketing for the company for five years. Previously, he worked
for International SOS.