Skift Travel News Blog

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

Travel Technology

Amadeus Creates New Payment Business Called Outpayce

3 months ago

Travel technology company Amadeus said it was making a “significant investment” by setting up a wholly-owned business called Outpayce, which will focus on “delivering a smooth and connected travel payment experience across the traveler journey and accelerating the pace of fintech innovation in travel.”

It has also applied to the Bank of Spain for an eMoney licence, so Outpayce can eventually provide regulated services in the European Economic Area, with the intention to offer card issuing and Open Banking capabilities in travel.

The new division will build on the work of Amadeus’ existing payments business with the launch of an open API-based platform that helps third-party payments and fintech companies connect quickly and easily to travel companies.

It predicts 80 percent of companies plan to either match or go beyond 2019 levels of investment in fintech innovation in the next 12 months.

Hopper recently secured an extra $96 Million investment from Capital One to expand its partnership.

Online Travel

Booking.com to Test Guest ID Verification and Payment Alternatives for Foreign Purchases

3 months ago

Booking Holdings is hiring rapidly at its new engineering office in Bengaluru, India, to work on new projects such as how to verify guest identification with machine learning and new products such as alternative forms of international payment to traditional credit and debit cards.

The parent company of Booking.com has about 20 employees at its tech center now but expects to ramp that up to about 100 by year-end, according to The Times of India. The business unit will work on how to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to better manage risks and hassles in travel transactions.

The company wants to verify IDs such as passports and driving licenses by linking the company to sources of identification data and using artificial intelligence and machine learning to scan these and verify identities automatically.

That is one of the projects that the Bengaluru office will tackle, Daniel Marovitz, senior vice president of fintech at Booking.com, told The Times of India.

The team will also look at possibly building a “foreign exchange card” as an alternative form of payment to a traditional credit or debit card. Today, many credit and debit cards charge a different, higher foreign exchange rate than the lowest available on the market.

The planned Booking.com product would attempt to offer a cheaper alternative. The ambition is for customers to use the card, which will come in physical and digital forms, for routine purchases and not just for booking a hotel. It may eventually enable customers to take advantage of buy-now-pay-later and other insurance-like products that Booking Holdings might operate on its own as a financial technology player.

Both projects fit with Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel‘s vision for “a connected trip” that he laid out at Skift Global Forum in September (see video).

The news of the product testing and development dovetails with recent Skift Megatrends about the financialization of travel and how the rise of global mobile wallets are upending travel payments.

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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