New York — Tech thinkers from corporate travel agencies, airlines, investment firms and others gathered Wednesday for the first Blockchain In Travel Summit, hosted by JetBlue Ventures. The consensus was consensus. For blockchain to improve how travel companies work with each other, it’s all about collaboration.
When ATPCO last month unveiled its Next Generation Storefront, officials weren’t sure how it would work on mobile devices. Progress and opinion are mixed among three corporate travel service providers now adopting the concept. Chief executives at PSNGR1 and TravelBank expected this week to activate new displays backed by NGS. PSNGR1’s deployment covers web, mobile web and mobile app interfaces. TravelBank is implementing on its desktop version, with the mobile channel expected to follow later this year.
Canadian Travel Firms Last Year Beat Back Visa Rules Mandating Card Security Codes, Skirting Issues Southwest Bookers Could Face
A mandate from Visa Canada that merchants collect card security codes for not-present transactions last year met with resistance from travel companies. They claim to have convinced the payment network to delay rules and make exceptions. Such a need complicates service by agents or arrangers purchasing online, through “direct connections” or via telephone for travelers whose security codes should be found nowhere but on the cards they hold. Travel management companies could face related challenges if a Southwest Airlines plan that surfaced last week comes to pass.
Connected vehicles are entering the fast lane of car rental. Familiar to corporate fleet managers, the concept uses telematics for two-way communications between vehicles and operations management. It underpins many of the new services coming to an evolving ground transport sector.
Effective April 30, Visa will require online airline ticket buyers to input the three-digit security codes from the backs of their credit cards. While that’s not a problem if the code is in your wallet, it’s a showstopper for an intermediary looking to book for you. Southwest Airlines informed industry parties about the development, and travel management companies are trying to understand the implications.
Business travel agency entrepreneurs sometimes say they’re not competing with large travel management companies because they are not going after the large or highly managed end of the business travel market. But big TMCs are taking their clout and experience down market. Talking about categories of business travel clients can be confusing. Small, medium, large. Unmanaged, lightly managed, managed. National, regional or global. Guidelines versus mandates. Different rules of thumb emerge depending on industry vertical, the vertical’s performance, the firm’s leadership style or employee demographics. Perhaps a diverse market deserves what BCD Travel’s Torsten Kriedt called a “portfolio of options.”
SAP Concur’s rivals are getting bigger. Certify and Chrome River on Tuesday announced a merger resulting in Certify parent K1 Investment Management owning a majority stake in a new holding company. Certify and Chrome River said their combined market value was more than $1 billion. Terms related to the sale of Chrome River by investors including management and Bain Capital Ventures were not disclosed.