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Streamlining Cross-Border Travel: The Crucial Role of Efficient Travel Authorization in Banking

Tuesday, 09 July 2024

by Valentina Dominguez, Business Analyst at Indigita SA


Travel authorization is a crucial first step of travel management in the context of cross-border banking. It involves obtaining permission from the appropriate authority, such as the bank’s Compliance department, and ensure that Relationship Managers comply with organizational policies and legal requirements before embarking on a business trip. Yet, the conventional means of handling travel authorization tend to be laborious, error-prone, and inefficient, often resulting in planning delays and potential financial risks.



The Travel Authorization Process


Travel authorization is a formal procedure where individuals seek approval from their organization or relevant authorities before embarking on a business trip. This process ensures travel plans adhere to the company policies, budget limits, and regulatory standards.

It allows organizations to oversee and control employee travel, manage expenses, and mitigate travel-related risks.

In private banks, a typical use case begins when a Relationship Manager (RM) submits a travel request detailing the trip's purpose, destination, dates, estimated expenses, and any other relevant information. The approver evaluates the request based on predefined criteria, including budget considerations, business necessity, and compliance with regulatory requirements like country-specific cross-border certifications. Prior to traveling, RMs must master the rules applicable in the destination country, hence complete the required cross-border country specific training and pass an exam. Once all the above-mentioned conditions are met, the approver authorizes the trip, enabling the RM to book flights, accommodations, and any other necessary arrangement.


Challenges Faced


Despite its importance, traditional travel authorization processes are often plagued by inefficiencies. In most cases, the Compliance department must manually track country-specific cross-border certifications for each RM and verify them whenever a business trip is planned. This manual verification process is not only time-consuming and prone to delays, but also extremely vulnerable to human error which can result in significant financial and legal implications. Failing to pass the corresponding e-learning courses and obtain certifications prior to a business trip can result in auditors filling a finding under the FINMA circular 2023/1 on operational risks.


Introducing the Solution: Indigita Travel API


In order to address these challenges and streamline the travel authorization process, Indigita presents its Travel API, a solution that:

  • Automates cross-border certification checks;

  • Removes the manual controls tracking of e-learning courses and certifications verifications;

  • Seamlessly integrates into any system as a standard API.


Once integrated into a travel authorization application, the Travel API operates as follows:

When a RM creates a business trip and inputs the countries to be visited, the application system sends the RM's identifier to the Indigita Travel API. Using this data, the API queries Indigita’s LMS system to retrieve all country-specific courses completed by the RM, along with their completion dates. The application system then displays this information to the RM, showing both completed courses and those still needed for the trip. Subsequently, the RM is automatically redirected to Indigita’s platform to complete the courses and obtain the necessary certifications. This automated process ensures that the RM can only submit a business trip request after meeting all certification requirements, thus eliminating the need for manual verification by the Compliance department.

 

In conclusion, the integration of Indigita's Travel API into the application offers a transformative solution for financial institutions seeking to streamline and optimize the travel authorization process.

By automating workflows, organizations can achieve greater efficiency, compliance, and cost-effectiveness in managing employee travel, ultimately enabling them to focus on their core business objectives.

Recently, SpeciTec has integrated the Indigita Travel API into its SpeciVIM CRM, enhancing bank travel authorization by ensuring Relationship Managers are up-to-date with cross-border training before business trips.


Eager to know more? Contact us at info@indigita.ch.



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