Global air travel has been fast rebounding, and there has never been a better time for the travel industry to rebuild the synergy of the ecosystem. For airlines, because of razor-thin margins, operational optimization has become the key focus. Technological innovation in facilitating B2B travel payments has evolved rapidly, and Nium has pioneered a new approach by developing a closed-loop B2B travel payments system.
Traditional card payments, which offer travel agents and OTAs financial incentives, strike at the core of an airline’s margins. Air Europa, one of Spain’s largest airlines, was keen to adopt a modern B2B travel payments solution that reduced payment costs, settled funds faster, and improved operational efficiencies. Aspiring to increase customer loyalty while delivering seamless payment experiences, Air Europa targeted driving higher conversion rates, building innovation into processes, and regaining control over costs impacting essential cash flow.
Keeping this goal in mind, Air Europa partnered with Nium to power their B2B travel payments using the closed-loop Nium Airline Payments (NAP) to improve profitability tied up in thin margins and slower settlement times. With this solution, they could improve relationships with OTAs to respond to increased customer demand—all without requiring additional technical integration.
“We were very inspired by Nium’s innovative approach to create an alternative payment method, being proud to offer it to our B2B partners. We are communicating the availability of this new option to our travel agencies, tour operators and TMC customers, and we hope that they will soon join us in taking advantage of the benefits of using it.”
Nium’s unique closed-loop B2B travel payments solution (NAP) links to Air Europa’s system directly to service higher payment volumes. It’s a bank payment for the airline, a virtual credit card payment via UATP for the OTAs, and a win-win scenario for both. An added upside is better management of disputes and refunds.
Overall, the new B2B travel payments capabilities are helping the air travel industry respond to rapid growth in bookings and resulting in higher profit margins. This, in turn, is leading to lucrative incentives for OTAs in terms of routes, seasonality, business volumes, and more.