“Frankly, I have two goals when it comes to our payment process”: Travelport gets in on the blockchain gang

Travelport has revealed it has got in on the blockchain action with an announcement today that it has developed a solution using the trending tech, that will improve the hotel commission reconciliation process. 

In partnership with IBM Services and travel management company BCD Travel, as well as a number of hotel chains, the blockchain technology solution aims to optimise hotel commission processing on a distributed ledger by managing reconciliation, tracking and accounting for commission payments owed from hotel chains for services purchased by travellers via booking agencies.

Commenting on the technology, Travelport’s senior product director, Ross Vinograd said: “Blockchain technology applied to commission reconciliation has the potential to deliver real ROI to both a travel agency and the hotel. Traveller modifications at the property, no shows, and complimentary room nights are just a few examples that drive commission discrepancies which in turn generate escalations, cost, and revenue loss. Our aim is to put the lifecycle of a booking on the blockchain and we believe doing so will drive transparency, trust, and ultimately booking volume.”  

Kurt Wedgwood, IBM blockchain leader for Travel, said: “Global distribution companies and providers would benefit from this use of blockchain technology to remove their never-ending work of reconciliation to spend that time adding new experiences and insights for the traveller. Eliminating the hours spent addressing dollars in dispute or the timeliness and accuracy of information allows all participants to focus on what matters most: the traveller.”

 “From my perspective, there are data standardisation issues throughout the ecosystem from all parts,” Dan Stephenson, regional process owner and shared services director at Hyatt commented during the GBTA panel. “One of the things that has attracted me to this particular project, is I see this as a potential solution – one of the only ones that I am aware of that could actually work to solve for some of those standardisation issues. Frankly, I have two goals when it comes to our payment process – that we pay accurately, and that we pay as quickly as we can. The less time we’re all spending thinking about getting to the right answer, the better off we all are.”

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