Pandemic accelerates the switch to virtual travel payments, new Amadeus study finds

Friday 21 May 2021 11:26 CET | News

Amadeus has revealed in new study that 98.3% of virtual card payments are now accepted by airlines.

According to the press release, the vast majority (76%) of airlines now believe virtual payments benefit both travel providers and sellers. The pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic are accelerating B2B payments transformation in travel according to a new study with respondents from airlines, hotels and travel agencies, undertaken by market research firm Coleman Parks on behalf of Amadeus.  

The way travel agencies pay suppliers like hotels and airlines was evolving before the COVID-19 pandemic, as traditional industry settlement schemes and legacy plastic cards were gradually replaced by modern digital payment methods. Virtual cards that reduce manual processes, prevent fraud, and improve settlement times were slowly gaining ground.  

Therefore, new data suggests the urgent need to improve cashflow across the industry is helping to overcome barriers to the adoption of virtual cards, rapidly increasing take-up. In fact, 74% of airlines cited cashflow improvement gained from shorter settlement cycles as the top benefit for accepting virtual cards.  

Contrary to long held misconceptions, airlines are increasingly happy to accept virtual card payments from their travel agency partners at scale. In fact, 98.3% of virtual card payments presented to airlines by travel agencies using Amadeus’ B2B Wallet solution were accepted over the past three years.

Furthermore, respondents confirmed that during the pandemic, cancellations and refunds have increased significantly, with 93% of travel companies needing to hire more staff specifically to deal with refund administration. However, those travel agencies paying suppliers with virtual cards were four times less likely to have increased headcount (20%) than those still relying on hard to reconcile legacy payment methods (80%). 

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Keywords: Amadeus, study, research, virtual card, online payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce | Online Payments
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce