Joint Venture Provides Industry Solution to Automate Payments for the Travel Industry

  • Amadeus
  • 09.17.07
Sabre Holdings and Amadeus, leading providers in global travel distribution and technology, announced the approval and launch of Moneydirect, a joint venture that will provide an industry solution for secure, automated payment processing, clearing and reconciliation for the travel and tourism industry.

This announcement follows the filing made in August by the two companies with the European Commission for antitrust approval for the joint venture. An initial announcement was also made at that time.

Moneydirect will focus on travel suppliers such as hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, car rental companies, ferries, railways and travel intermediaries such as travel agencies and wholesalers. The intent of the joint venture is to establish an industry standard solution to improve and better meet the requirements of the travel industry with payment efficiencies, increased automation and improved interoperability.

"In a rapidly evolving industry, travel players are continually looking for ways to streamline and improve their business," said Philippe Chereque, senior vice president, Corporate Strategy, Amadeus. "We believe Moneydirect can help the industry significantly increase efficiencies and reduce reliance on manual processes. All this can be achieved on the cost-effective and neutral Moneydirect payment platform. Moneydirect will have the flexibility to handle any type of payment, will have a high level of security, and the ability to integrate with existing front and back office products with these features. Moneydirect will provide a comprehensive industry solution that will work in any part of the world."

"While Amadeus and Sabre compete in many areas, both companies saw the tremendous opportunity to provide an industry standard where none exists today," said Greg Webb, chief marketing officer for Sabre Holdings. "The companies have unprecedented scale as evidenced by our technologies and business processes installed and integrated at thousands of travel agencies around the world, all of which do business with hotels, cruise lines, car rental companies, tour operators, rail companies and other suppliers. This represents a tremendous amount of cost and complexity today due to different handling of money flows and associated data elements in each point of sale, back-office application and with each trade partner. In addition to the complexity this creates for travel industry suppliers and travel agencies, there is also very little automation for the payment processing. Because Moneydirect offers a solution to address this complexity and inefficiency, we have received very positive reaction to this new solution."

Moneydirect will integrate the existing financial instruments already used by the travel industry into a best-in-class, multichannel, GDS-independent and neutral platform which will allow users to effectively manage all aspects of their payment needs in a flexible, easy-to-use solution.

Some examples of Moneydirect services include processing of deposits and prepaid bookings, bulk settlement for group bookings and global commissions processing.

One of the key features of the Moneydirect solution is its flexibility to meet a variety of needs:

  •     Any booking channel - GDS independent
  •     Any type of payment - prepayment, deposits, settlements, collections and commissions
  •     Any timing of payment - before or after the delivery of services
  •     Any direction of funds - push or pull funds
  •     Any currency or country - cross currency and cross border
Moneydirect received European Commission approval on September 12. The company will be headquartered in Ireland, with subsidiaries in the United States and Australia. Moneydirect will leverage the existing electronic payment system of the same name commercially available in Australia and New Zealand since 1998. The Australia and New Zealand operations will become part of the new joint venture.
James Filsinger has been named as the chief executive officer and general manager of Moneydirect. Previously, Filsinger was vice president of New Business Ventures at Sabre Holdings. Laurent Chartier will be the chief operating officer of Moneydirect. Previously, Chartier was a director in Amadeus' corporate strategy department.

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