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Ride-Hailing Accelerates, Taxi Hits the Skids in New Certify SpendSmart(TM) Report for Q2 2017

Lyft and Uber each gain 2% in second quarter expense spending, while traditional travel brands like Starbucks, Delta and Hampton Inn vie for the top spots in their respective categories

/EINPresswire.com/ -- PORTLAND, ME--(Marketwired - July 27, 2017) - Leading automated travel and entertainment expense management software provider, Certify, today announced the results of its Certify SpendSmart™Report and analysis of business travel spending for Q2 2017. After slowing to a near standstill in the first quarter, ride-hailing leader Uber picked up 2% to claim a commanding 55% of ground transportation overall in Q2. Lyft matched Uber's growth, adding 2% to end the quarter with 8% of category receipts and expenses. Ride-hailing's gains came largely at the expense of taxi, dropping to 8% of the category total. Notably, this is the first time SpendSmart data shows taxi at a single-digit share of rides. In addition, car rental experienced a two-point decline in business travel transactions, netting 29% of receipts and expenses in the second quarter.

The Certify SpendSmart™ report tracks business travel expense spending across major categories such as food, airlines, lodging and car rental. The report highlights top vendors and emerging trends by analyzing data from millions of expenses and receipts processed through the Certify system. Data is compiled each quarter and at the close of every year to help CFOs, controllers, accountants and business travelers make more informed expense management choices.

Looking across the spectrum of business travel services, Starbucks continues its reign as the most expensed restaurant, nearly four full percentage points ahead of McDonalds in second place. Delta remains the top seat in air travel, while Hampton Inn hangs on as the most expensed hotel brand. Transactions for alternative hotelier Airbnb grew 31% in the second quarter, although it remains a small share of the total lodging category with just .42% overall.

Turning back to ground transportation, taxi is the biggest loser in year-over-year trends, dropping six percentage points since the second quarter of 2016. Now in single-digit territory for the first time with just 8% of the category total, Certify projects taxi will fall under 1% of ground transportation expenses and receipts by Q1 2018. In analysis of major U.S. metros, taxi also lost ground in all but Miami and Atlanta, while Lyft picked up share everywhere but Miami where receipts and transactions were flat on the quarter. Conversely, Uber lost between 1-6% in every city but Chicago where the ride-hailing leader gained 1%. Despite this hit-or-miss performance, Uber remained the number-one most expensed brand processed by the Certify system for the second quarter in a row, increasing nearly two percentage points to 9% of all expenses and receipts. Uber also took top honors for user ratings in ground transportation, earning 4.46 stars to second-place finisher Lyft's 4.22 stars.

"The revolution in ground transportation we're seeing today led by Uber and Lyft has far reaching implications for the future of corporate travel," said Robert Neveu, CEO, Certify. "Business travelers' move toward greater personalization and convenience may have started with ride-hailing, but it's not likely to stop there. Mobile technology brought us into a new age, and the expectation and ability to cater to the preferences of the individual is driving a cultural shift that will continue to effect dynamic change throughout the industry."

"We're proud to see that people depend on Uber more than any other solution while traveling for work, but what's even more meaningful is that we're the highest rated when it comes to our rider's experience," said Michael Goodwin, Head of Business Development, Uber for Business. "Uber for Business is focused on delivering a platform that helps employees be productive and happy, while giving organizations the billing, reporting and control features that travel managers need to be successful."

Additional analysis of the more than 10 million receipts and expenses logged by Certify in the second quarter of 2017 includes the most expensed and highest rated brands for business travelers such as Starbucks, McDonald's, Subway, Delta, United, Marriott, Hampton Inn, National Car Rental and more. User ratings and average expense amounts are broken out by category below.

The Certify SpendSmart™ Report provides analysis of vendors, expense amounts and satisfaction rating data from corporate expense reports collected directly from its customer base. Certify SpendSmart™ reports on millions of receipts and expense transactions every quarter, delivering valuable insights to Certify clients and the business travel and expense industry at large. Certify is a premier provider of integrated travel booking, travel and expense management, and reimbursement in one automated, cloud-based system. Previous quarterly reports are available here.

Second Quarter 2017 Highlights:

Most-Expensed Restaurants:
Starbucks: 6.33% of expenses, averaging $14.04 per receipt
McDonald's: 2.76%, averaging $8.64
Panera Bread: 1.62%, averaging $42.82
Subway: 1.47%, averaging $18.90
Chick-Fil-A: 1.35%, averaging $26.29

Most Expensed Restaurants by Meal
Breakfast: Starbucks 16.87%
Lunch: McDonald's 3.45%
Dinner: McDonald's 1.72%

Top Rated Restaurants (On a scale from 1 to 5, as indicated by travelers)
Chick-Fil-A 4.5
Starbucks 4.4
Panera Bread 4.3
Texas Roadhouse 4.3
Jimmy John's 4.2

Most Expensed Airlines
Delta: 19.92%, averaging $424.33
American: 19.22%, averaging $336.27
United: 14.69%, averaging $379.32
Southwest: 11.40%, averaging $295.81
JetBlue: 1.63%, averaging $250.62

Top Rated Airlines
Southwest 4.5
Alaska Airlines 4.4
JetBlue 4.4
Delta 4.2
American 3.9

Most-Expensed Hotels
Hampton Inn: 9.09%, averaging $246.65
Marriott: 8.21%, averaging $265.03
Courtyard by Marriott: 7.39%, averaging $183.43
Hilton Garden Inn: 4.71%, averaging $217.54
Holiday Inn Express: 4.56%, averaging $235.88

Top Rated Hotels
Hyatt 4.4
Hilton 4.3
Homewood Suites 4.3
Marriott 4.3
Westin 4.3

Most Expensed Car-Rental Services
National: 26.55%, averaging $189.30
Enterprise: 16.44%, averaging $206.17
Hertz: 13.55%, averaging $198.34
Avis: 12.24%, averaging $171.67
Budget: 3.73%, averaging $181.22

Top Rated Car-Rental Services
Enterprise 4.4
National 4.4
Hertz 4.2
Avis 4.0
Budget 3.9

For complete data and analysis from the SpendSmart Q2 2017 Report, go to: http://www.certify.com/CertifySpendSmartReport.aspx.

About Certify

Certify is the leading online travel and expense management solution for companies of all sizes. Organizations worldwide book travel and complete expense reports quickly, easily, and cost-effectively using Certify cloud and mobile applications. For more information about Certify, please call 207.773.6100 or visit http://www.certify.com.

Media Contact
Kevin Wolf, TGPR
kevin@tgprllc.com
(650) 327-1641