The B2B travel booking industry is being challenged by the demand for faster payments, according to new research.
A study conducted by eNett International, released Friday (Dec. 18), said U.S. corporate travel agencies are actively exploring new payments technologies and methods in response to the broader trend of the demand for immediate payments.
The research saw Euromonitor interview travel agencies in the nation to identify their payment challenges. According to the analysis, B2B travel firms are responding to several payment trends.
For one, travel suppliers are looking at offering incentive discounts in exchange for immediate payment, reports said. Researchers noted that these companies are using prepaid and credit cards to secure better deals from suppliers, though these payment methods have caused friction due to reaching card limits and requiring manager authorization.
A rise in overseas business travel from the U.S. has also led to friction, the report found, with travel agencies struggling with cross-border payments. These businesses are most commonly using wire transfers to pay overseas suppliers, though a major hurdle for this payment method is the transaction fee, analysts said.
[bctt tweet=”A rise in overseas business travel from the U.S. has led to payments friction.”]
The researchers also found that these travel agencies are eyeing automated data reconciliation to reconcile their payments. “This is particularly acute for travel management companies who need to give their corporate clients accurate invoices and detailed reports,” the companies said in a statement. “Interoperability between differing payments and booking platforms is critical to addressing this, as is data matching at the point of sale.”
“It is clear agencies are being driven to find alternative payment solutions that enable them to work with distributors anywhere in the world, while protecting them and their customers from fraudulent transactions,” said eNett CEO and Managing Director Anthony Hynes in a statement, adding that Virtual Account Number technology will likely emerge as a solution to some of these issues for travel agencies.