Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Business Travel

Agoda Adds Fintech Partners Ahead of Asia’s Full-Scale Reopening

2 months ago

Travel platform Agoda has been pushing ahead with a series of new fintech partnerships, with its eye on Asia’s corporate travel recovery.

Agoda, which is part of Bookings Holdings, recently started working with Singapore’s global payment platform Sunrate, and is also now collaborating with Australia’s Airwallex to target business travelers in Hong Kong.

The deal with Sunrate will see it integrate its own online travel solution into Agoda. Sunrate helps online travel agencies support single and multiple corporate card payments for flights and accommodation, and lets users set spend limits and define usage.

Airwallex, which uses technology to help reduce the fees charged for processing overseas transactions, is partnering with Agoda to make travel planning easier for corporate customers in Hong Kong. Airwallex Hong Kong customers get discounts and cashback on accommodation bookings using their Airwallex Borderless Cards.

The company said 84 percent of its Hong Kong business clients plan to take a business trip in the next 6 months.

The partnerships come as China and Hong Kong gradually lift their travel restrictions. A day after China announced changes to its controversial zero-Covid policy, Hong Kong said inbound arrivals would only need to undergo daily rapid antigen tests for five days, instead of seven days.

“It is great to see businesses in Hong Kong recover from the pandemic, and to see so many that are eager to travel again,” said Giuliana Riitano, Asia Pacific market director of Agoda. “For many, their next business trip may be the first time they have traveled in a very long time.”

Travel Technology

Sabre Buys Payment Tech Firm Conferma Pay in Bet on Virtual Cards for Business Travel

6 months ago

Sabre acquired payments technology vendor Conferma Pay based in the UK, on August 3, the travel tech company confirmed in a statement to Skift. The travel technology company based in Southlake, Texas, didn’t reveal deal terms.

“Sabre has had a successful partnership with Conferma Pay for many years, and Conferma Pay is the basis upon which its Sabre Virtual Payments proposition is built,” a spokesperson said.

Conferma Pay provides software and commercial deals to help the travel industry move to virtual cards, where a business traveler buys each thing with a separate virtual number. So-called virtual cards can provide more secure authentication than traditional processes and more easily adapt to mobile wallets, such as India’s Paytm and China’s Alipay. (Skift has covered this in its recent megatrend Travel Payments Find Path to Painless.)

During the pandemic, Conferma Pay signed many deals and created integrations to help spread the adoption of virtual payments. In late 2020, it helped Visa launch Visa Commercial Pay, a suite of business-to-business payment solutions that strive to replace most manual processes.

Business Travel News Europe was the first to report on the acquisition.

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