Travel agencies made payments worth at least $236 Billion to airlines in 2017 alone, according to IATA . Yet, today’s approach to making such payments remains costly and complex. It’s against that backdrop that Amadeus, Elavon and Mastercard have partnered to deliver an innovative payments approach that benefits both travel agents and airlines.
The Amadeus B2B Wallet Partner Pay solution is already reducing the cost and complexity of receiving and making payments for Thai Airways and Select Travel, a travel agency based in Sweden, as part of an on-going trial. When the agency initiates a payment on a Thai Airways booking it uses a virtual Mastercard card. Elavon acts as the acquirer so the airline can accept payments initiated by a wide variety of issuers within Mastercard’s global network.
The new solution covers the entire payment flow between Thai Airways and Select Travel improving efficiencies and reducing costs by up to 70% compared to existing payments methods – such as checks and bank transfers – which incur higher transaction costs. The savings are achieved through efficiencies in fraud prevention, chargebacks and cash flow.
Bart Tompkins, Managing Director, Payments, Amadeus commented: “We’ve taken a close look at travel agency payments to airlines and how we can simplify the situation in a way that works for everyone. Amadeus B2B Wallet Partner Pay is more secure, more straightforward and less costly for all players, which is essential for the adoption of a new payment innovation.”
Airlines can now accept Amadeus B2B Wallet Partner Pay virtual card from travel agencies that facilitates flexible payment models and transparency on the cost of acceptance. Moreover, this payment method has been designed to help increase loyalty and ultimately, encouraging additional bookings from travel agency partners.
Mrs Pornsri Chotiwit, General Manager Sweden, Finland & Estonia, Thai Airways added: “We’re pleased with the results of the pilot and view this new approach as an important way to build closer ties with travel agencies. We think it’s a ‘win win’ for us and our partners.”
“At Mastercard we are committed to making it easier to make and receive payments. Through our long standing partnership with Amadeus we continue to develop innovative solutions that address the needs of the broader travel ecosystem” said Kevin White, Director Enterprise Partnerships Travel Industries, Mastercard.
Brett Turner, Head of Airline Acquiring, Elavon said: “As the world’s largest payment processor for the airline industry we are in a strong position to contribute to this innovation. Our customers expect us to find new ways to reduce the complexity of payments and this is a great example.”
Amadeus B2B Wallet Partner Pay is an extension of Amadeus’ B2B Wallet offering, which is integrated into the travel agency booking flows allowing each payment to be made by a single use virtual card. The approach automates payments reconciliation whilst enhancing fraud prevention and protecting agencies from the risk of supplier defaults.