AirPlus and Conferma extend collaboration into Nordic Market

Conferma, the Virtual Card Number (VCN) technology provider for the corporate travel sector, and AirPlus International, a leading global provider of payment and billing solutions for business travel, today announced the expansion of their collaboration to encompass Scandinavia, with particular focus on hotel settlement.

As part of their joint activities, the partners are rolling out AirPlus' virtual payment solution, A.I.D.A. for hotel settlement in Denmark and Sweden. AirPlus' clients in the region can now access the solution via their travel management companies (TMCs), hotel booking agencies (HBAs) and self-booking tools.

A.I.D.A. is an automated virtual card payment solution for hotel direct billing which generates a unique AirPlus MasterCard Virtual Card Number (VCN) for each individual hotel booking made, irrespective of the booking platform used. Each hotel booking is billed back to the VCN by the hotel, triggering an automatic payment and reconciliation process.

Unlike legacy payment solutions, such as lodge cards and business travel accounts, where one card number is used for hundreds or thousands of bookings and travellers, every transaction has its own unique VCN, with a specific amount, user and merchant. This not only significantly reduces the risk of misues or fraud, but also removes time-consuming manual reconciliation processes. By automatically matching hotel booking and billing data, the time spent processing and reconciling invoices can be slashed by over 80%.

In addition, as the VCN acts as a unique identifier for both the booking and the payment, all the trip details entered at the point of sale in the booking tool or by the travel agent, plus the essential information data that a corporation needs to manage and control their business travel, such as cost centre, project code and employee number, can be captured. This enables corporations to merge and match all the data gathered throughout the procure-to-pay process and automatically feed it into their expense management or ERP systems, delivering further process efficiencies.

Crucially for TMCs and their clients, A.I.D.A. is seamlessly integrated into the world's leading TMCs, HBAs, Global Distributions Systems, self-booking tools and online travel agents via Conferma's global travel payment network. This gives AirPlus' clients the felxibility to use their preferred booking tools, whilst enabling them to enforce their travel policies and control accommodation costs much more effectively.

"I am delighted that we have been able to extend our long-standing partnership with AirPlus to bring VCN technology to Scandinavia. Scandinavia is home to a large base of multinational corporations who are now looking to modernise their travel expense operations.

AirPlus and Conferma share a belief in the importance of adopting virtual payments as a key driver of process efficiency, whilst also providing greater control and visibility of their expenditure," Simon Barker, CEO of Conferma, commented.

Joachim V. Brockmann, Chief Marketing Officer & Member of the Executive Board at AirPlus International said, "For many organisations, the payment and reconciliation of travel expenses remain complex, error-prone and expensive. Our virtual payment solution has a strong track record in transforming these outdated manual processes, saving costs and delivering value for our clients. We're delighted to be extending our relationship with Conferma to bring these benefits to corporations across Scandinavia and are looking forward to further growth in 2015.