Buzz is growing over Expedia’s new payment model and its potential impact on the hotel industry. While many questions remain unanswered, the Expedia Traveler Preference program could place the relationship between hotels and online travel agencies under an even more intense microscope.

Expedia Traveler Preference is a “preliminary program” Expedia has begun promoting to the industry through its market managers. According to Senior VP of Global Strategic Accounts Melissa Maher, the new technology essentially will allow travelers to choose whether to pay Expedia at the time of booking on the site (and Expedia will pay the hotel) or travelers can pay upon checkout (and the hotel would pay Expedia post stay).