Grasp Advances Virtual Payment Integration With Online Booking Tools

Released last month, Grasp Technologies’ latest version of the GraspPay virtual payment system integrates with online booking tools via XML connections. Aside from SAP Concur’s work to integrate virtual payment with its Compleat mid-office system, no parties had accomplished seamless online booking tool integration, Grasp vice president Dave Lukas claimed.

Lukas said Grasp’s “prominent integrations” are with Concur Travel and Sabre’s GetThere, but the capability exists to hook into any other booking system a client uses.

“We approach it from the traveler profile level, and that makes it easier,” Lukas explained. “There are no additional technology or changes to workflows that need to be implemented to use it. It simply plugs right into the existing profile setups in the points of sale.”

Grasp Technologies VP and chief sales officer Dave Lukas

Users now also can apply the same virtual account number for multiple hotels on the same trip, or multiple travelers staying at a hotel. In those cases, users can set specific dollar amounts for each. Another feature allows for guest bookings using virtual payment.

GraspPay is the fastest growing part of Grasp’s business, according to Lukas. It’s free for users. Grasp makes its money on the back end by divvying up the interchange fee with issuing partners Wex or Corporate Spending Innovations (formerly CSI globalVCard), after client rebates are carved out.

Grasp went for a business model that doesn’t charge users because “there is a lot of talk about virtual cards but people are still new to it,” Lukas said. “We want to help this solution grow around the world.”

The exceptions are for some banks coming in to support the program that, according to Lukas, “do not have the ability to share interchange (basis points) at the level that Wex or CSI do.” In those scenarios, Grasp on a case-by-case basis would charge a transaction fee between $0.50 and $1.50.

GraspPay this year also began supporting payment for airline bookings. “We are seeing that it is about 20 percent of what our hotel volume is at this time,” Lukas said. “We expect to be on par with hotel volume at some point next year.”

Concur in 2017 announced it had integrated Conferma-facilitated virtual payments in the Compleat mid-office. Since then, according to a spokesperson, it added CSI as a second partner and helped a growing number of TMCs implement virtual payment programs.


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Author: David Jonas

David Jonas in 2006 co-founded business media firm ProMedia.travel after ten years as a journalist with Business Travel News. David rejoined BTN in 2010 as executive editor when its parent company acquired ProMedia, and in 2014 co-created The Company Dime. David has a bachelor's degree in communications from Cornell University.

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