Company Dime: California’s Virtual Pay Program Supports Pandemic Response

“Having a virtual payment program enhanced our ability to respond to emergencies,” Amaral said during the LABTA’s Aug. 12 webinar. He said the 800,000 room nights the state had arranged for healthcare workers was double the initial expectation. It has put roughly $75 million on virtual payment. “We pay room and tax, and we have all the data on the back end to make sure Federal Emergency Management Agency reimburses us,” said Amaral

As the manager of California’s travel program, Bill Amaral’s oversight extends beyond typical business travelers to include all sorts of government workers. During the pandemic, that has meant helping to move around health professionals and other essential personnel.

An original impetus behind the state’s virtual payment program was avoiding concerns about travelers’ limited credit on personal credit cards. Now, credit on corporate cards also may be inadequate “as a result of Covid,” said Amaral. The flexibility for workers to get their lodging without worrying about payment has been “invaluable,” he said.

Amaral said the state sourced 2,000 hotels for healthcare workers. He expected virtual payment volume could surpass $200 million once the state sources more properties for additional purposes, including mass shelter for those displaced by wildfires and those involved in seasonal harvests.

Hotels must support California’s virtual payment process if they want a spot in the state’s lodging program. California’s virtual payment providers include Citi, Conferma, HRS and Mastercard. TravelStore is the designated travel management company.


About Conferma Pay

Conferma Pay is a global financial technology company. We design and integrate virtual payment systems that provides a more efficient, seamless and secure way to pay for for businesses.

Travel Meets Payment

Conferma Pay was born in Manchester in 2005. Since then we have connected over 700 TMCs, and directly integrate with all the major GDSs and OBTs. Our roots lie in corporate travel payment integration.

We enable our payment providers to flow virtual cards into the preferred purchasing process of any business travel buyer. Crucial to this is our network of banking partners, who have issued virtual cards in over 200 countries, in 40 currencies with over 45 commercial banking partners via all major card networks.

Our ecosystem continues to expand to meet the growing requirements of our global customer base.

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