President and CEO of Amadeus, Luis Maroto. Pic: Amadeus

When fintech and travel meet: Amadeus partners with Mastercard and Ixaris

IT SOLUTION provider for the travel industry, Amadeus, has partnered with MasterCard and Ixaris to push forward its newly-launched B2B Wallet Prepaid product, which helps travel agencies manage their finances better.

Amadeus, based in Madrid, knows full well how big fintech is right now. In a statement, they said: “Last year alone, over US$19 billion was invested in fintech startups globally, cumulating in over US$40 billion invested in the last five years.”

The company’s B2B Wallet, which launched in February, is comprised of two ‘virtual cards’ that simplifies two actions – one card earns the travel agency using it a rebate on the amount spent, while the other helps avoid payment card surcharges applied by certain travel providers.

Its partnership with MasterCard, a multinational financial services corporation, will allow Amadeus to offer travel agencies payment acceptance and security around the world. It claims it can also provide “better protection against supplier default”, which refers to a type of travel insurance that covers money lost due to the bankruptcy of any travel service.

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“Amadeus’ solution will build on MasterCard’s vast global network to expand virtual B2B payments in travel,” said the statement.

The company also partnered with Ixaris, a virtual payment technology provider based in Malta, to “drive efficient virtual card management” on its Wallet.

“We are proud to be working with Amadeus to help develop its B2B wallet proposition and now to extend it to countries around the world with out prepaid virtual payments technology at its core,” said Alex Mifsud, CEO of Ixaris Group.

“Travel, and in particular, online travel, is an industry with huge potential to benefit from the changes in the way we pay, receive and send money.”

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Celia Pereiro, head of Amadeus’ travel payments, said: “Virtual card technology is the ideal application of fintech innovation for the travel industry… Since we launched the product in February, we have seen overwhelming demand for it and today have customers in 10 European countries.”

 According to Travel Daily News, the Wallet will also be gradually introduced across Asia Pacific markets in 2017, which could prove to be very lucrative as the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasted in 2015 that Asia would experience the strongest growth in tourism from 331 million to 535 million arrivals by 2030.