Egencia API: The Game Changer In Travel & Expense Integration

4 min read
May 10, 2021

Today, we are taking a look with our partner Egencia at how travel and expense management continues to evolve as the world is pulling itself out of a multi-year pandemic.

State of the industry & trends

Digitalisation of work

The COVID pandemic forced companies to rethink the way they work. Research shows that almost 60% of companies worldwide do not use web-based corporate travel expense software. However, the digitalisation of T&E has accelerated and become mandatory for companies to experience growth.

Digital security

With remote or hybrid work becoming the norm over the past few years, companies are focusing more on security. Many are looking for tools to help speed up their digital transformation while ensuring their and their employees' digital safety.

Digital tools must be certified and GDPR compliant to be viable.

Process automation

Looking at expense data submitted by our users, we see important changes in the typical volumes and categories. Travel decreased sharply in 2020 and 2021, but mileage claims rose by 24% from 2019 to 2020. Today, all forms of travel have risen again and are closing in on 2019 levels.

In this time of uncertainty and growth, companies are rethinking their cost control measures. In parallel, they also want to offer travellers an excellent experience. This mix of cost control and improved user experience is made possible entirely by automation.

Travel specialisation & superior experience

We are seeing the need for new technologies to manage risk and create integrations aimed at improving the user experience. People enjoy global experiences, and this has changed the demand from customers.

With younger generations entering the workforce, the experience of working or booking travel needs to be the same on a mobile as on a laptop. This means doing it at night, from the couch. And corporate travellers are asking for that same experience.

Focus on data

In a landscape with heightened risk, data has become crucial. Companies must be able to predict and control where people are traveling. They need to be aware of the risks, to make informed decisions. The quality of employees' travel experience is also becoming more important.

Travel managers are being asked to create a process by which companies can reduce risk while also defining and controlling business travel. And they are being tasked with delivering information and services to enhance the travellers' wellbeing as well as optimising program execution to align with the company’s business goals.

Combining these trends and due to the complexity of travel and expense, what used to be T&E is becoming T+E. Travel and expense experts are specialising in their own domains, then combining that knowledge in a best-of-breed approach that users benefit from.

Mobilexpense and Egencia built a unique expense integration API to do just that: let companies combine Mobilexpense's knowledge of expense and Egencia’s travel expertise into their own best suited solution.

API basics & advantages

What is an API?

An Application Programming Interface, or API, is a set of programming code, “intermediary software” or interface that enables data transmission between one digital product and another. APIs are well known in the industry and service providers use them to provide a better experience to end users and companies around the world.

APIs usually include the technical specifications of the data exchange, meaning they specify the protocol and type of data that the digital products will exchange.

The most common API categories are:

  • Private APIs - used internally by companies to scale up business and build apps to streamline operations.
  • Partner APIs - used for example by Mobilexpense and Egencia to power better integrations and provide an enhanced user experience to partners and customers.
  • Public APIs - open source, anyone can develop a new use case and drive innovation using these APIs.
  • 3rd Party APIs - used by developers to scale up infrastructure and provide better operational support to drive innovation.

Business advantages of APIs

  • Accelerate digital transformation by delivering new business value while providing connected user experiences.
  • Provide a competitive advantage to a company's business strategy with a high impact on productivity, innovation, and revenue by minimising operational costs and creating new business opportunities.
  • Enable opportunities for new application use cases which drive customer and employee engagement by streamlining operations and better serving stakeholders.

Mobilexpense-Egencia integration

A Service Provider Interface (SPI) is an API intended to be implemented or extended by a third party. With Egencia’s SPIs, users benefit from:

  • An integrated end to end travel & expense management process and experience.
  • Reduced costs and maximized financial resources via automated reconciliation. Thanks to real-time data sharing, companies and users reduce their costs.
  • Better user experience booking travel and managing expenses. The user starts their journey in Egencia and seamlessly jumps to Mobilexpense to continue with the expense management process.
  • Improved visibility with a near real-time transfer of booking and cancellation data. We connect all end points and bring visibility into the financial cost of the travel process.

3 Integration points:

  • Single sign-on (SSO): Utilising the customer’s SSO and identity provider (IdP) for a seamless experience.
  • Booking data exchange: Facilitates the transfer of booking data from Egencia to Mobilexpense. Automatically populates Mobilexpense's travel request form with the itinerary from Egencia and triggers the creation of an expense report.
  • External trip approval: Supported in case the travel request is initiated in Mobilexpense via Egencia’s Validation SPI. Egencia confirms the travel request ID on the checkout page to reinforce approval controls and allow the user to complete the booking.

Ultimately, this integration we have built in partnership with Egencia provides users with a better experience when booking and expensing travel. It also improves organisations' visibility into costs and their ability to manage and reduce spend.