The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) will discontinue the use of Payment Express and the related automated collection of carrier fees and charges, building instead on ARC’s success using alternative billing and collection tools. In a statement reaffirming ARC's confidence in the value of the agency distribution channel, ARC said the move was taken in response to agents' needs and concerns.
“ARC Memo Manager— an automated settlement function that reduces distribution cost, speeds cash flow, and provides increased data visibility and accuracy— is included under [ARC’s] Revenue Recovery Services and is expected to accommodate the segment fees and booking charges formerly billed under Payment Express," ARC said in a statement. "The major difference is that the the travel agent initiates the payment under ARC Memo Manager. Also falling under Revenue Recovery Services will be the collection of debits related to the ARC Agent Reporting Agreement such as unreported sales and credit card chargebacks.”
“ARC vigorously supports the value of the agency channel," said Mike Premo, vice president of marketing, sales and customer care for ARC. "We want to ensure that our system continues to be the most efficient link possible between suppliers and travel sellers. This includes making the best tools available to both carriers and agents for easy resolution and settlement of all fees and charges— tools that provide full visibility and complete communication, and that take advantage of the settlement already in place with the agents’ ARC reporting process."
ARC said that it is making significant changes to enhance its products and solutions that streamline the revenue collection process between customer groups in recognition of growing individual carrier interest in more comprehensive collection solutions. At the same time, and responding to ongoing feedback from travel agent customers, ARC has decided to fashion its Revenue Integrity Solutions in a manner that agents will find positive from an administrative perspective.
In a phased approach throughout the balance of the year, Revenue Integrity Solutions will provide value to carriers and agents alike including the many fraud-controlling functions that ARC currently provides such as fraud alerts and fraud detection tools. ARC said it also looks forward to being able to offer new automated services to the agent market in the fraud control area. Also falling under the new Revenue Integrity Solutions is Revenue Recovery Services, which will include the various products and services that facilitate the resolution and collection of carrier fees and charges and charges related to the ARC Agreement.