Hedna, the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association, presented the Open Payment Alliance (OPA) at its annual Global Distribution Conference in Dublin. The initiative is aimed at transforming B2B payments in the travel industry. Led by Xavier Ginesta, the chairman of the Voxel Group, the OPA has been set up to create a B2B Payment Channel to provide an innovative response to the current complexity of payment and billing processes in the sector. In order to solve the main critical factors the industry faces with B2B payments, baVel has developed a platform that centralises and automates the entire process, making it possible to eliminate manual management and increase cost optimisation.
The lack of a specialised B2B payment channel in the travel industry has given rise to multiple inefficiencies over time - notably the disproportionate use of credit cards as a means of payment despite the high cost to hotels; use of the fax as a common means to send credit cards and their processing rules and errors arising from manual processing of cards. The arrival of the OPA makes it possible to eliminate the fax and automate manual processes. A single control panel facilitates access to various payment services without the need to integrate with each of them separately.
The OPA is run on a platform which is made up of a growing number of technological partners. Its mission is to promote disruptive innovation in B2B payments in the travel industry, facilitating the incorporation of new means of payment that are cheaper than credit cards and automating collection processes. OPA partners include virtual credit card issuers such as Wex, eNett and Airplus, international bank transfer specialists such as Onyx and Transpay, forex experts such as Global Reach Partners, channel managers such as Derbysoft, value-added service companies such as Taxecure (reclaiming international VAT on corporate hotel spend), totalling more than 30 tech companies in the payments industry.
This alliance is an unprecedented milestone in the travel industry and, just as has already happened with booking management, the creation of a single standard channel for the entire industry, will facilitate connectivity with any B2B payment system.
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