Singapore, 23 November 2015: The trend for immediate payments is causing U.S. agencies to look for alternative payment methods, exclusive research commissioned by eNett International reveals today. World leading market research company, Euromonitor, interviewed travel agencies across the U.S., unveiling four key payment challenges caused by trends in the industry, that are driving agencies to re-assess their supplier payments strategies.
Offering large incentive discounts in exchange for immediate payment is a tactic used by a growing number of suppliers as they look to optimize their inventory. For agencies, leveraging immediate payment discounts are a big part of remaining profitable, with the research revealing travel agencies using credit cards to pre-pay and secure the best deals. However, this has led to issues with agencies reaching card limits and having to obtain senior management authorization.
Another challenge agencies are contending with is international payment. Greater volumes of international leisure and business travel from the U.S. has seen an increase in cross-border payments. Wire transfers have been the default solution, but transaction fees, which respondents cited to be as much as US$351 a time, are pushing up the cost of international payments significantly.
Other findings showed U.S. agencies looking to automate data reconciliation. When an agency is paying for multiple trips via the same credit card, reconciliation of card statements can be extremely time-consuming. This is particularly acute for travel management companies, who need to give their corporate clients accurate invoices and detailed reports. Interoperability between differing payments and booking platforms is critical to addressing this, as is data matching at the point of sale.
Fraud remained a top concern for agencies, with protection from card fraud a high priority when it came to selecting a payment solution. The findings showed that the wealth of legislation to tackle card fraud, is itself causing agencies problems. For example, once the initial payment is made, some agencies aren’t permitted to store travelers’ credit card details in their systems. This means card details must be taken again to pay for any extras, causing negative customer experiences.
eNett Managing Director and CEO, Anthony Hynes, said, “We undertook the research to inform us of the challenges agencies are facing in the U.S. travel payments landscape today. It is clear agencies are being driven to find alternative payments solutions that enable them to work with distributors anywhere in the world, while protecting them and their customers from fraudulent transactions. The U.S. travel industry is ready to embrace real change in the way they make supplier payments, and innovative payment solutions like Virtual Account Numbers (VANs) will be at the forefront of this change.”
A VAN is an automatically generated 16-digit number used for supplier payments and can include payment parameters such as amount, currency, date and merchant, making it a more secure way to pay or be paid. It delivers reduced risk from fraud and supplier default, automated payments and reconciliation, and value back through rebates2.
You can download the full whitepaper on the findings here
. And to find out more about Virtual Account Numbers, go to www.enett.com
1. According to U.S. respondents interviewed
2. VANs terms and conditions apply
About eNett International
eNett International simplifies the complexities of payments by connecting travel industry specialism with payments expertise.
We pioneer innovative B2B payment solutions that reduce risk and facilitate even more travel content, at a lower cost. Easily integrated into existing travel booking workflows, our payment solutions deliver financial, data and efficiency rewards for travel agents and industry suppliers.
Our secure Virtual Account Numbers (VANs) enable travel agencies of all sizes to automatically generate a unique MasterCard number and pay their suppliers from directly within their booking flow. And our exclusive, long-term partnership with MasterCard provides access to the world’s fastest payments processing network and 35.9 million payment locations worldwide, wherever a supplier accepts MasterCard online.
We are majority owned by Travelport, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and our VANs are seamlessly integrated into its Travel Commerce Platform.
Further strengthened by our global banking services partner and shareholder Optal, eNett is building a reputation for trusted and practical B2B payment solutions for the travel industry and beyond.
Euromonitor International, a world leading market research company, carried out in-depth interviews with 19 travel agencies from the U.S., including traditional travel agents, online travel agents, specialist tour operators and travel management companies.