Travelport, which enables corporate travel agencies with point-of-sale (POS) technology, is repositioning itself in response to heightened awareness and adoption of virtual cards (v-cards) in the business travel space. The company announced news on Monday (Dec. 11) that it is expanding its partnership with virtual card company Conferma to ease use of v-cards for corporate travel bookings of hotels for clients in Australia and New Zealand.
According to their announcement, Travelport will link its POS tool Travelport Smartpoint with Conferma’s solution for hotel billback and Virtual Card Numbers to streamline travel agencies’ payments to hotels on behalf of corporate travelers using virtual cards. Billbacks occur when the hotel pays back the corporate client the difference between the initial booking cost and the negotiated price agreed upon by the hotel and corporate customer.
Travel management companies (TMCs) can centrally settle their hotel bookings using Conferma’s virtual card technology, the firms explained. The v-cards are issued by a variety of partners on the Conferma network, including eNett, the B2B payments unit of Travelport.
By directly integrating the virtual card solution into the Travelport Smartpoint tool, travel agents can automate hotel payments and reconciliation while enhancing payment security, said Travelport.
“As awareness of virtual cards continues to grow, Travelport recognizes that this collaboration with Conferma will only further extend the the capability of Travelport Smartpoint,” stated Niklas Andréen, Travelport’s senior vice president and managing director of Global Hotel, Car & Digital Media. “It gives TMCs in Australia and New Zealand the opportunity to increase efficiency when managing payments to providers by using virtual cards. It also promotes the use of eNett’s services by our customers via the Conferma platform. With this agreement, we look forward to improving the hotel billback solution for our customers in the region.”
“This will provide TMCs in the Australia/New Zealand region with increased efficiencies, spend controls, payment security and a seamless traveler experience,” added Conferma Director of Sales for Asia-Pacific Darren Blair in another statement. “It will also prioritize the use of Conferma’s pioneering secure email for communication of booking details.”
“This is the first and only protocol that enables hotels to accept virtual cards, adhering to PCI compliance requirements without relying on the antiquated fax-only transmission method,” continued Blair, referencing the challenge hotels face when receiving virtual card information via fax.