While virtual cards (v-cards) can offer a secure and efficient way for businesses to pay travel suppliers, some industry players have highlighted a key pain point for the payment rail: For suppliers accepting v-cards, they still have to manually enter payment data.
To relieve that pain point, online hotel booking solution Travelport Hotelzon is launching its Payment Consolidation Service, which guarantees hotel acceptance of virtual cards and consolidates mobile payment and invoicing.
New reports on Tuesday (Sept. 12) stated that Travelport is looking to solve for the average of 24 minutes its corporate clients spend on manual hotel booking administrative tasks. It also aims to help hotels with virtual card acceptance, the company said.
“Many customers use virtual credit cards, but very often hotels are reluctant to accept them when there isn’t a physical card,” said Christian Schultz, head of New Market Sales at Hotelzon (acquired by Travelport in 2014), adding that the hotel booking solution company will contact hotels to notify them that they will receive a mobile payment via virtual card.
There is another point of friction the company said it is looking to address with its new service: Corporates often don’t receive invoices from their hotels. The Payment Consolidation Service collects invoices for all hotel bookings and ensures they are presented to the corporate client in a tax-compliant format.
Travelport Hotelzon’s new offering comes as the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) urges more hotels to accept virtual credit cards and for business travelers to increase their use of the tool. Earlier this year, the GBTA formed a task force to identify points of friction associated with hotel acceptance of virtual cards for corporate travel.
“[Hotels] have certain rules and regulations that they have to follow when it comes to the chargeback process, credits and refunds, and virtual cards can pose a bit of a barrier to that process for them,” explained Juliann Pless, CSI globalVCard VP of Travel and co-chair of the task force. “They are just as eager to get some kind of standardization in place so that the process is easy and seamless.”