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Travel Management

 May 15, 2012
U.S. Bank and Conferma Announce Global Partnership

 Conferma, the expert in travel and expense (T&E) settlement and reconciliation technology, and U.S. Bank, one of the largest corporate bankcard issuers in North America, have announced a global partnership agreement. The agreement will enable U.S. Bank to offer its corporate customers an alternative to manual billing and reconciliation of certain travel expenses, extending the benefits of electronic payment to situations where placing transactions on individual travel cards may not be desired.

"There are times when using a physical plastic card may not be practical, such as with infrequent travelers or job applicants, or when purchasing items for unaffiliated entities," said Ralph Bernstein, emerging strategies and innovation officer for U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems. "Yet card networks provide secure and timely authorization, settlement and transaction data. We wanted an electronic solution that retains control, visibility and efficiency even when travel cards are not used. We are pleased to offer this to corporate customers through Conferma's world-class settlement and reconciliation solution."

Using Conferma's reconciliation solution, U.S. Bank can now create a virtual account number to track an individual travel booking. When the travel supplier charges the virtual account, it triggers an automated payment and reconciliation process that accurately matches traveller and transaction activity to produce a complete view of travel spend data.

Through these single-use accounts, U.S. Bank customers can identify and track a booking from reservation through final settlement and audit. Customers benefit from an enhanced automated booking, settlement and reconciliation process that dramatically reduces paperwork, potential errors and the cost of labor, while seamlessly integrating into back office systems.

This partnership marks the first time Conferma's capability will be offered to corporate customers in the United States. It follows similar agreements between Conferma and selected commercial payment providers in Europe.

The Conferma solution is available to U.S. Bank customers effective immediately. Travel agencies and travel management companies who make travel bookings through global travel technology company Sabre, also benefit, as Sabre's Travel Settlement Services offering, which is also powered by Conferma, is a fully-automated process integrated into the Sabre Red Workspace, making reconciliation and settlement easier and faster for agencies to process.

Conferma Chief Executive Simon Barker commented: "We are delighted to sign this global agreement and welcome U.S. Bank to our network of payment providers, which enables US-based corporations to benefit from Conferma's settlement and reconciliation solution."