Travelport, a business and consumer travel services provider, announced it is using IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric to guarantee commissions paid to travel agencies.
According to a statement released on August 20, the blockchain was designed with input from IBM, travel management company BCD Travel, and three unnamed hotel chains. The system aims to “put the lifecycle of a booking on the blockchain,” to reduce the number of payment disputes.
Let us note that in 2018, Travelport processed over $83 billion of travel spend over $2.4 billion in net revenue.
“Traveler 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,” said Ross Vinograd, Travelport’s Senior Product Director.
Marwan Batrouni, Vice President of Global Hotel Strategy, BCD Travel, said:
“The traveler can modify their booking multiple times, leaving room for information to go missing. For example, if a traveler arrives and then extends a hotel stay, that information might not make its way back to us as booking data.”
Additionally, blockchain will help close the “gaps” made by different payment systems. The system will track, manage, and account for commissions owed to booking agents on behalf of hotel chains. Blockchain tech will ensure that payments are more accurate and quicker than the current, manual method.
If successful, this may improve business for travel agents, who currently wait 60 days after their clients check out to earn their commission. Thirty-four percent of travel agents find commission reconciliation and collection difficult, according to Travelport industry surveys, as reported by Ledger Insights.
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