ARC informed the company’s Board of Directors of the successful implementation of the revised draft/payment cycle between travel agents and carriers in compliance with ARC’s revamped Agent Reporting Agreement (ARA).
ARC said the revised ARA, which went into effect at the beginning of this month, was the result of a collaborative industry effort to modernize accreditation standards and bring greater efficiencies to historical business processes.
The board was briefed at their semi-annual meeting held today at ARC’s Louisville office, which serves as the company’s data and technology hub.
“We’ve completed two cycles under the new ARA reporting and draft/payment calendar with no significant increase in returned drafts,” said Mike Premo, ARC’s president and CEO.
“We applaud the travel agency community for their superb preparedness in successfully adjusting to the updated ARA, which more aligns with the electronic business processes of today. I’m certain that this positive outcome is just one of many to come, as ARC teams up with industry stakeholders in the future to improve business operations for all," Premo said.
Both carriers and agents benefit from the updated financial settlement process, as they now realize their payments five full days ahead of the previous procedure, ARC noted.
Today, ARC pays the majority of agents on a weekly basis. For these agents, this means accelerated payments for credits, ARC MarketPlace booking commissions, and professional service fees charged to credit cards and processed through ARC’s travel agency service fee and Agent’s Choice programs, ARC said.
“I am very happy that ARC has implemented a faster payment process for service fees,” said Cessy Meacham, president of Anytime Travel Solutions. “ARC’s service fee program lets us process service charges in less than a minute and invoice them all together without wasting time matching charges. I have always trusted ARC for these types of transactions and no other merchant solution is simpler to use.”
Faster settlement under the updated ARA also provides a positive change in cash flow for carriers, ARC noted. For example, by advancing the weekly disbursement of approximately $160 million in cash, ARC creates an annual cost of capital benefit of $16 million for the airline industry.
“ARC has a proud history as an industry innovator, from launching electronic ticketing to the recent ARA update,” said Bonnie Reitz, chairman of the ARC Board of Directors. “But what’s truly exciting is to watch ARC continue to transform as an industry leader far beyond financial settlement by bringing diverse industry players together to find solutions to common challenges, and then by offering innovative products to meet those challenges. On behalf of the board of directors, we congratulate all of the outstanding ARC employees for a job well done.”
Nearly 14,000 travel agencies and 190 airlines use ARC's settlement services, which in 2012 totaled more than $84 billion.