New Automated Capability Replaces the Hotel Bill-Back Process
for UK Travel Management Companies
LONDON – Feb. 4, 2011 – Sabre Travel Network (http://www.sabretravelnetwork), the leading provider of high performance solutions for the travel industry, announced plans to launch new Virtual Payment capabilities, powered by Conferma, that will streamline and automate payment processes for travel management companies.
This month, selected agencies in the United Kingdom will begin using Sabre’s Virtual Payments for Hotel Settlement to replace the bill-back process and settle payments with hoteliers for corporate client hotel bookings via single-use virtual credit cards. Broad market availability will follow in the second quarter, with further geographic expansion to follow.
“Manually settling hotel invoices and payments is a time-intensive and costly process. Sabre’s Virtual Payments for Hotel Settlement fully-automates the process through the Sabre Red Workspace, making it easier and faster for agencies to process,” said Martin Cowley, senior vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Sabre Travel Network. “Virtual Payments is another example of Sabre’s ongoing commitment to investing in innovation and ensuring that Sabre Red meets the specific needs of our UK customers.”
Currently, UK-based travel management companies book their clients’ hotel using the credit card stored in the traveler profile. Consequently, guarantees and payment settlement must be done manually through a multi-step, time-consuming process. With Sabre’s Virtual Payments for Hotel Settlement, a virtual credit card is created at the time of booking and is automatically faxed to the hotel to guarantee the reservation. At check-out, the virtual credit card is charged by the hotelier and Virtual Payments automatically reconciles the booking to the payment.
Virtual Payments for Hotel Settlement will:
- Increase productivity and reduce costs by replacing the manual, time-consuming processes with an automated, paper-less process
- Accelerate billing and collections by simplifying the client invoice process
- Increase security and protection from potential fraud by generating a unique virtual credit card for each reservation
- Enhance data management capabilities by providing online transaction reporting that links payments directly to specific bookings
“We are thrilled to collaborate with industry leaders such as Sabre,” said Simon Barker, CEO of Conferma. “Conferma’s proven success in the payment and settlement space combined with Sabre’s strong reputation and market presence around the globe will deliver benefits not only for the travel agent community but also the hotel sector who receive immediate payment on guest departure, eliminating credit exposure.”
In the coming months, Sabre Travel Network and Conferma will develop and implement a variety of virtual payment services for the EMEA, APAC and Americas regions.
About Sabre Travel Network
Sabre Travel Network is the world’s leading provider of high-performance travel solutions. By combining its unique expertise and leading technology, Sabre powers business performance across the travel industry. Sabre’s multi-channel merchandising and procurement solutions enable corporate and leisure agencies, corporate travel programs, airlines, hotels and other travel suppliers around the world to make money, save money and provide better customer service. Sabre Holdings connects people with the world’s greatest travel possibilities by retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology solutions for the travel industry. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at http://www.sabre-holdings.com/.
Conferma is an expert in travel and expense booking and settlement technology. The booking, payment and reconciliation technology which Conferma delivers enables process improvement, innovation and secure payment management, all of which drive cost savings and efficiency. Conferma first launched its settlement platform in 2004 and is privately owned.
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