Amadeus, the travel technology solutions company, announced on Tuesday (May 14) that it has teamed up with Elavon and Mastercard to facilitate payments for Thai Airways.
In a corporate blog post, the company said that despite the fact that travel agencies made $236 billion in payments to airlines in 2017, making and receiving those payments is still complex and expensive. As a result, the three have partnered to create a payments system that benefits both parties involved in the transaction.
Dubbed Amadeus B2B Wallet Partner Pay, the solution is already being used to reduce costs and complexity in receiving and making payments for Thai Airways and Select Travel, a Sweden-based travel agency.
In the ongoing trial, the agency initiates payment on a Thai Airways flight using a virtual Mastercard. Elavon acts as the acquirer, so Thai Airways can accept payments by a variety of issuers within the Mastercard global network, Amadeus said in the post.
The service covers the entire payment flow between Thai Airways and Select Travel. Since the start of the trial, it has reduced costs by as much as 70 percent compared to other payment methods, including checks and bank transfers. Those two payment methods tend to incur high fees, noted Amadeus.
“We’ve taken a close look at travel agency payments to airlines and how we can simplify the situation in a way that works for everyone. Amadeus B2B Wallet Partner Pay is more secure, more straightforward and less costly for all players, which is essential for the adoption of a new payment innovation,” said Bart Tompkins, managing director of payments at Amadeus.
Airlines can accept the Amadeus B2B Wallet Partner Pay virtual card from travel agencies, increasing flexibility and transparency, said Amadeus, noting that the payment method is aimed at increasing loyalty and encouraging additional bookings from travel agency partners.
“We’re pleased with the results of the pilot, and view this new approach as an important way to build closer ties with travel agencies,” said Pornsri Chotiwit, Thai Airways’ general manager for Sweden, Finland and Estonia. “We think it’s a ‘win win’ for us and our partners.”