Advertorial: Diners Club – Making great strides

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It’s been a busy year for Diners Club, with the development of the Diners Club Virtual Card and the ClubMiles loyalty programme and a continued focus on delivering outstanding service to its customers.

The hard work has not been without rewards, with Diners receiving much recognition from customers and the industry alike in 2015. In September, Diners Club was recognised at the African Business Travel Awards, as offering the industry’s preferred travel credit card.

Virtual Card

In 2015, Diners started its Virtual Card journey to offer a complete travel supplier payment solution that will address the challenges of billbacks.

“Our virtual card meets all the needs of the industry. Security features include the fact that it is a single use, pre-determined value, limited time frame card. It improves working capital for TMCs as It does not require pre-funding, as it utilises the credit facility on the lodge card or corporate card. And it meets the needs of customers with varying degrees of sophistication by offering a fully integrated model, or a simple to use online portal for requesting cards and redeeming cards,” says Kevin Lomax, head: Corporate card, Diners Club and Standard Bank SA. The Diners Club Virtual Card’s additional transactional reference data enhances reporting and simplifies reconciliation, and greatly reduces the risk of fraud as it limits the need to store and manage card information to third parties/suppliers.

The card complies with company policy, even for those companies that traditionally require travellers to pay for hotels and car hire using their personal cards, and issue a refund after an expense management and reconciliation process. Travellers need no longer be out of pocket to fulfil their travel obligations.

But it’s not only the traveller who benefits. The corporate travel manager does too. “With the Diners Club Virtual Card, corporate travel managers are better able to ensure compliance with travel policy,” says Lomax. “They don’t have to reconcile billbacks, nor do they have to manage claims from corporate travellers.”

The travel manager is also better positioned to manage costs as they can ensure preferred suppliers accept the cards and don’t have to reconcile fees from multiple areas.

When asked about the benefits to suppliers, Lomax adds; “It is not uncommon for travellers to leave a hotel, without checking, out. When this happens, a lot of TMCs return invoices that are outside travel policy. If a traveller has incurred costs for incidentals such as beverage and meals or dry cleaning, the TMC is entitled to return the entire invoice if it is out-of-policy. The supplier then has to update the invoice with only the in-policy items and absorb the out of policy costs. This impacts their revenue, delays settlement and adds additional admin processes. With a virtual card, they are settled for in-policy spend immediately upon check out. They still need to manage the out-of-policy spend.”

The virtual card was officially launched at a glittering event held at the Southern Sun Hyde Park on 13 October. The event was attended by nearly 100 guests from the travel sector and corporate customer base.

Club Miles

Diners Club’s loyalty programme allows members to experience a level of freedom not offered by other rewards programmes. ClubMiles extends beyond flights and offers members the ability to use their Miles to also book accommodation, international ocean cruises as well as buy vouchers from a growing list of partners.

When booking your flights with ClubMiles you will discover that you have more options – you will not be limited to one airline. You can book your seats on any airline, to any destination, at any time, just as you would if you were paying with cash instead of Miles. Furthermore, you are able to use your Miles to pay for airport taxes.

The ClubMiles accommodation platform offers access to more than 50,000 quality establishments around the world – from 1-star to 5-star and everything in between.

Booking an international cruise on a selection of more than five cruise liners is also made easy. ClubMiles provides a diverse range of shopping vouchers that you can purchase using your Miles, including Woolworths, Shoprite/Checkers, Yuppiechef.com, Flowers.co.za, Healthspas.co.za, Uber, Apple iStore and Makro, allowing you the opportunity to spoil yourself or gift a loved one.

The Club Store will be launching in the near future – an exclusive online shopping portal that offers specially selected items for the discerning member. Browse, choose and pay using your ClubMiles and the goods will be delivered to your doorstep.

Spending your ClubMiles is just as easy as accumulating them. The list of partners is continually growing, giving you more and more opportunities to earn andburn Miles as they come online.

Looking Ahead

“We’ve made great strides this year, and we’re going to build on the strong foundations of 2015 with increasing clientcentricity, customer engagement and innovation,” says Lomax.

Although it was lauded this year, Diners has no intention of resting on its laurels in the coming year.

Travel management companies will receive intense focus in 2016. “There is so much that we can offer TMCs, and so much progress that we can make in this field,” says Lomax. “We want to build strong relationships with these companies, understand their needs and work with them to offer solutions to customers of all sizes.”

Diners received much positive recognition from its customers and the company wants to ensure that it continues to deliver products and services that please both individual and corporate clients.

“Expect more of what we’ve done in the past, with an increased focus on the customer,” says Lomax. “Our relationship model and card service will be amplified for great customer satisfaction.”

ClubMiles will also receive attention in 2016. “This is great product for corporates, and we want to make sure they are fully aware of the programme’s benefits,” says Lomax.

All facets of the business will be continually reviewed, with input from Diners’ customers as well as the industry stakeholders.

Contact

W: dinersclub.co.za