Voxel Acquisition Latest sign of disruption in travel payments – Skift
Hotels, airlines, agencies, aggregators, credit card issuers, and fintech companies are disrupting the way they handle back-office payments. They’ve deployed new software and automated workflows to replace manual steps, lower currency conversion costs, fight fraud and defaults, and provide consumers with easier ways to purchase travel. The latest sign of the upheaval is the Voxel Group, a Barcelona-based travel payment technology provider, which is acquiring Troovo, a payment technology provider in Sydney.
The companies did not disclose the terms of the transaction on Wednesday. Post-merger, Voxel’s baVel Pay product plans to process a gross cargo volume of $ 2.8 billion (â¬ 2.4 billion) per year by 2022 – and to increase that number tenfold over the next five years . Every day on the Internet, online travel agencies (OTAs) and travel aggregators make various payments in different currencies.
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Voxel is one of many companies taking steps to digitize and fully automate B2B payments and reimbursements in the travel industry. Mastercard began sponsoring an “early adoption program” for new technical standards for virtual card payments in travel. Last year, Wex took ownership of eNett to improve its competitiveness serving travel agencies with its payment services. In July, Emirates began rolling out a way for travelers to pay for tickets directly from their bank account to the airline’s bank account through an industry-managed system.
There is more: in June, the startup Nium, backed by Visa, announced that it would acquire Ixaris to improve its cross-border payment solutions. Ingenico ePayments has led a dynamic pandemic activity helping travel agencies expand contactless transactions beyond the airline industry. A Danish startup also announced in July that it would tackle business travel payments.
For more background on the payments disruption, Skift Research this month released a report Why Hotels Should Make Payments Technology a Priority. (Free sample, here.)
Consider the payment-related steps that Voxel claims to serve to get a feel for the overall issues plaguing the travel industry. Provider aims to help a provider or agency retrieve a reservation from a channel partner, such as a global distribution system or channel manager; choose and generate the optimal payment method for this reservation, take out exchange rate insurance that mitigates exposure to exchange rate fluctuations; distribute the payment directly to the hotel; receive and reconcile the electronic invoice; settle transactions; and send a reconciliation report to the payor and the payee, all of these boring but important tasks.
Voxel said the merger would add seamless digital connectivity with Amadeus, Saber and Travelport, three companies that link airline content to travel agencies. It will also add a decision engine that will attempt to optimize the management of electronic means of payment and eliminate all manual procedures prone to errors.
Voxel will endeavor to retain Troovo customers, which include hotel consolidator Webbeds and travel agency group FlightCentre. In June 200, Amadeus and Troovo entered into a partnership to automate payments for business-to-business travel.
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Photo credit: Apple Pay is one of the new forms of payment that travel companies need to support. Apple