Research commissioned by global travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has shown that four in ten business travellers surveyed admit to using corporate cards for personal purchases.
It seems that nearly half of American and European travellers (46%) are doing so, while the figure is a more modest 38% of business travellers in Asia Pacific.
“Travel managers need to address the misuse of company cards – and also work out why travellers don’t follow the rules,” says Christophe Renard, Vice-President of CWT Solutions Group, the consultancy arm of CWT.
The practice would appear to be rife, even though 63% of Americans, and 58% of Europeans, say their company has a policy against using corporate credit cards for personal purchases, with an enforcement ratio of 85% in both regions.
Among Asia Pacific travellers, 69% said their company has such a policy, with an enforcement ratio of 87%.
Overall, six in ten global business travellers said their employer provides them with a corporate credit card. Those in Asia Pacific were likeliest to have one (67%), followed by those in the Americas (61%) and those in Europe (56%).
The findings show that personal cards are also often used for business travel expenses with 49% of global business travellers always using their personal credit card when travelling for business.
Travellers from Asia Pacific were significantly more inclined to do so (55%) than those in the Americas (48%) or Europe (44%).
“The use of personal credit cards for business expenses means companies find it difficult to track spend – and that makes it a lot harder to enforce policies,” says Renard. “If companies don’t want to issue credit cards to all employees – which is understandable – virtual credit cards are a useful compromise. Travellers don’t have to use their personal cards for business expenses, and companies know exactly how their money is being spent.”