Solve Payment Challenges To Grow Agency Market
February 19, 2014
SINGAPORE, 19 February 2014: Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) are well positioned for growth in the agency market if they are able to address agents’ payments challenges, delegates attending the World Low Cost Airlines Asia Pacific Conference learnt today.
eNett Head of Product Strategy, Mark Bowmer, who presented at the conference, said that if agents’ top concerns were met, LCCs would be poised to expand their agency distribution and increase sales.
“Low Cost Carriers have significantly changed the industry” said Mr Bowmer. “But until now, they’ve largely focused on the consumer market. To expand distribution and attract the agency market, LCCs will need to solve a number of payment challenges, including reconciliation and cash-flow issues.”
A number of LCCs in the region require bonds which can result in agencies having to provide collateral for numerous LCC accounts. This is often not an option for many cash-poor agencies. Alternatively, they avoid the agency portals and book directly on the consumer site, often with the customer’s credit card which is less than ideal for marking-up rates and proving agency expertise.
“Being available on the GDS is a good first step to growing their agency customer base,” said Mr Bowmer. “The ability to provide a low cost form of payment that doesn’t require bonding and solve reconciliation and foreign exchange concerns will accelerate this growth.”
According to eNett’s analysis of PhoCusWright’s Payments Unsettled Report published last year, manual payments handling and reconciliation cost the industry USD1.5 billion a year with an agency transacting USD25 million, on average, allocating a part-time resource to manage it.
eNett Virtual Account Numbers (VANs) automate payments and significantly reduce time spent reconciling invoices or credit card statements to bookings. They are integrated with agency booking flows, including all Travelport GDS, seamlessly linking booking data to unique MasterCard numbers.
“An agent can request a VAN either in the GDS or on the LCC website when they’re making a booking and eNett will capture the booking details, simplifying reconciliation for the agent,” said Mr Bowmer. “Reporting is in real-time and VANs can be requested in 28 different currencies, with more to come over the next few months. eNett VANs do not require bonding, in fact we pay rebates on every transaction made using a VAN to pay, generating a new income stream for the agent.”
LCCs looking to take advantage of eNett’s agency network will also benefit from guaranteed payment and eliminated credit and agency default risk.
Key Benefits of eNett VANs for Low Cost Carriers:
- Access all agents in a market
- Faster cash flow – no cash delays
- Easier to sell due to integration with LCC websites, GDS and other self-booking tools
- Improved data for LCC’s agency customers
- Access to point of sale
- Seamless reconciliation of invoices to booking data
- Guaranteed payment
- No credit risk
- No exposure to agency default risk
About eNett’s Virtual Account Number (VAN)
A VAN is generated for every booking to ensure supplier payments are processed quickly and safely, enabling automated reconciliation at point of sale. It is safer, more secure and seamlessly integrated within an airline’s booking tools.
About eNett International (www.enett.com)
eNett International is a global provider of dedicated payment solutions for the travel industry. A joint venture between Travelport and PSP International, eNett uniquely connects travel industry specialisation with payments expertise through a payments platform that reduces risk, improves reconciliation and produces financial, data and efficiency rewards. Our partnerships with Travelport – one of the world’s largest GDS provider – and MasterCard Worldwide, supply us with unparalleled reach across the travel industry.