Joint Venture Seeks to Ease Automated Payments

Global distributions systems Sabre Holdings and Amadeus on Monday announced a joint venture to launch Moneydirect, an automated payment processing, clearing and reconciliation tool for the travel industry. Moneydirect will focus on both travel suppliers, excluding air, and agents to provide an industry standard solution for improving payment processing. Some examples of Moneydirect services include processing of deposits and pre-paid bookings, bulk settlement for group bookings and global commissions processing. "Travel players are continually looking for ways to streamline and improve their business," said Phillipe Chereque, senior vice president, corporate strategy for Amadeus. "Moneydirect will have the flexibility to handle any type of payment." ASTA has already given its backing for the new product remarking that competition can only benefit travel agents. Cheryl Hudak, ASTA's president and CEO, warned the Airlines Reporting Corp. to take note of the new tool "on the edge of its market and assure that its treatment of travel agents does not invite this firm into its settlement market." She goes on, "The introduction of a new automated payment processing system, especially one that increases travel agent efficiencies and reduces manual processes, can benefit agents in making their back-office and accounting systems more streamlined and potentially saving them time and money."

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