BMO integrates corporate card data with IBM platform
BMO Bank of Montreal has partnered with IBM to enable T&E (travel and entertainment) expense data from BMO and Diners Club corporate cards to feed automatically into IBM’s Global Expense Reporting Solution (IBM GERS).
“BMO has a very large number of corporate cardholders,” says Terry Wellesley, Executive Managing Director & Group Head of BMO Spend and Payment Solutions. “We offer both corporate MasterCards as well as Diners Club corporate cards.”
Kevin Tait, Senior Manager Business Development at BMO, says that it is important for the bank to be able to feed its customers’ corporate card data into any expense management or ERP (enterprise resource planning system) that they operate. “We did the deal with IBM, as it is a major player in the expense reporting systems market,” Tait says. “IBM GERS is deployed in 86 countries around the world, and it is used by four out of 10 major multinationals.”
BMO and Diners Club corporate cardholders are offered preferential rates on IBM GERS, as a result of the deal between the bank and IBM.
Data from corporate card accounts is fed in a standardized format into the web-based IBM reporting system, according to Wellesley. He says that both individual corporate cardholders and their employers benefit from the deal between IBM and BMO. “The BMO corporate card platform feeds rich data files about a transaction such as a hotel stay, including meals, phone calls and internet access, into IBM GERS,” he says. “This simplifies expense reporting for the employee, and also the firm’s accounting department has visibility of all the breakdown of discrete expenditure items on an employee account. Another benefit is that the firm can get an overall view of spending categories for all its cardholders. This means that the employer can negotiate better deals for its cardholders at specific hotel chains or airlines which are frequently used by them.”
BMO acquired the Diners Club North America franchise in December 2009 from Citigroup, in a move that doubled the Canadian bank’s corporate card business. “We process Diners Club card transactions over the MasterCard platform,” Wellesley says. “This means that even if a merchant does not actually accept Diners, provided that they accept MasterCard, a BMO Diners cardholder can use their card at that merchant.