HRS, the leading global corporate lodging platform, named internationally-renowned travel and payment executive Kurt Knackstedt to the new role of Chief Growth Officer, leading the company’s expanding payment solutions business. An established payment innovator who led Troovo’s growth from start-up to global prominence, Knackstedt is known worldwide in B2B payment and managed travel circles for his pioneering approach to the deployment of virtual credit cards and automated payment technologies.
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Kurt Knackstedt, an accomplished payment automation pioneer and globally-renowned business travel management expert, joined HRS in June 2021. Mr. Knackstedt is now Chief Growth Officer for HRS’ Payment Solutions business unit, overseeing commercial, marketing and strategy functions globally. “It’s a transformational time for our industry, and I can’t think of a better place than HRS to play my part in the next evolution of travel and payment,” said Knackstedt. (Photo: Business Wire)
HRS’ payment solutions are used on multiple continents today by a growing number of Fortune 500 managed travel programs. Recently enhanced by the April acquisition of Itelya, the world’s leading travel invoice management services provider, the end-to-end solution is plug-and-play ready. It connects seamlessly with all leading ecosystem providers, including credit card merchants, expense tool providers and VAT reclaim services. Companies using HRS payment solutions see program adoption rise by an average of 23 percent, boosting transparency and financial performance.
Knackstedt, a Chicago native now residing in Sydney, heads the commercial, marketing and strategy functions for HRS’ payment solutions unit. HRS has more than 100 staff members solely dedicated to the development of B2B automation that streamlines payment to suppliers, reimbursement to travelers, and VAT reclaim for corporations. He will report directly to HRS CEO Tobias Ragge.
“It’s a transformational time for our industry, and I can’t think of a better place than HRS to play my part in the next evolution of travel and payment,” said Knackstedt. “The company and its growing client base are blazing new trails with their approach to a fully-automated pay2reimburse process. HRS is well-positioned to help corporate travel procurement leaders drive optimal performance as the industry emerges from the pandemic.”
Mr. Knackstedt joins HRS after six years as CEO of Troovo, an Australia-based start-up he co-founded in 2015. The company’s groundbreaking payment automation quickly drew international acclaim across the B2B travel ecosystem, highlighted by Business Travel News awarding its “Innovator of the Year” honor to Troovo in 2018. Before that, he led the global travel and expense category for Rio Tinto, a prominent mining industry company. Mr. Knackstedt served on the Executive Board of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) for eight years, including a term as President from 2014-17. He also held executive roles with American Express and Travelport.
“Kurt’s a proven entrepreneur, and his mindset perfectly fits our HRS DNA and the creative clients we collaborate with every day,” said Tobias Ragge. “His proficiency in the payment realm is known throughout our ecosystem, and his years of industry service at ACTE gives him an unparalleled global network. We’re excited to tap into his expertise, gain from his leadership skills, and help clients benefit from our payment automation enhancements in the years to come.”
HRS is revolutionizing managed lodging programs for corporations, hotels and business travelers worldwide with its proprietary technology and expertise. The company is committed to facilitating safety, savings, security, satisfaction and sustainable hotel options for its global client roster. Leveraging its unique Lodging as a Service platform, HRS oversees the totality of corporate hotel programs for its clients, from initial procurement and rate assurance to booking, virtual payment and expense management. With more than 65,000 hotels joining HRS’ Clean & Safe Protocol in 2020, and the recently launched Green Stay Initiative, the company provides newly-prioritized information on key decision factors impacting post-pandemic travel. The company’s data-driven solutions deliver savings and performance for corporations across all hotel categories, including transient, meetings and long-stay lodging scenarios – all while digitizing processes on the hotel side for a better traveler experience. Founded in 1972, HRS today works with 35 percent of the global Fortune 500, as well as the world’s leading hotel chains, regional hospitality groups and independent hotels. More information at www.hrs.com/enterprise.