Changing the name of the game of B2B payments in the hospitality industry

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The post-COVID19 scenario for the travel industry shows bookings are plummeting to almost nil, with increasingly lower margins, and a marked increase in risk, moving insurers to reduce availability of credit for the sector.

Trust between players who have traditionally collaborated has been badly hurt, and the rules of the game are changing.

In the face of this environment, the Open Payment Alliance (OPA) —the new B2B payment standard for the travel industry, led by HEDNA and HTNG with the collaboration of the Voxel Group— is more necessary than ever to help rebuild trust between OTAs, bedbanks and hotels.

In addition to generating efficiencies by automating B2B payment processes and allowing a greater variety of payment methods, this new standard will also allow for more flexible payment terms to be agreed between the parties, minimizing risk and making it unnecessary for insurers to participate in the process.

The Open Payment Alliance

The Open Payment Alliance (OPA) is the new standard for B2B payments in the travel industry. From the inception of the Open Payment Alliance at the HEDNA B2B working group in 2017, Voxel has worked closely with leading industry stakeholders to implement proofs of concept and early pilots of the Payment Manager (OPA’s backbone).

The promising results of those pilots led in 2019 to a partnership between HEDNA and HTNG to develop a standard specification to interconnect the Payment Manager with booking engines, GDSs, Channel Managers, CRSs and PMS systems. The release of these specifications in May 2020 is a major breakthrough that changes the name of the game in B2B payments in the hospitality industry.

The Payment Manager is the framework that will reshape the travel industry and rebuild confidence among industry players

Benefits for Suppliers (hoteliers and wholesalers)

Drastically mitigates risk exposure
Reduces reliance on credit insurance
Fully automates settlement procedures and bank reconciliation
Cost optimization
Direct integration of payment details and status in the PMS or AR system

Benefits for Buyers (travel agents and wholesalers)

Risk mitigation
Reduced reliance on credit insurance
Competitive advantage. Independence of credit insurance means larger purchasing bandwidth
Higher flexibility to cater to suppliers’ payment requirements
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Adding transparency and traceability to the payment process.

Enabling new forms of payment which are more cost efficient between known or contractual parties who trust each other

Electronic reconciliation and settlement of payments that wipe out typical manual card processing errors causing breakages, chargebacks and other pain points

Electronically streamlining complex payment flows which require invoicing or bill back

Taking PCI and other compliance issues out of scope

Leveraging electronic invoices to automate VAT refund procedures for international business travelers. And many more…

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