Online hotel booking tool Travelport Hotelzon has introduced a
consolidated payment and invoicing service to guarantee hotel acceptance of
virtual cards and provide monthly tax-compliant statements for corporate
clients. Hotelzon's Payment Consolidation Service debuted in the U.K. at the
beginning of September and will roll out to other European markets over the
next few months, Travelport said.
According to Travelport, its clients spend an average of 24 minutes
of manual admin on each hotel booking. Hotelzon head of new market sales
Christian Schultz said the Payment Consolidation Service addresses two pain
points. One: "Many customers use virtual credit cards, but very often
hotels are reluctant to accept them when there isn't a physical card." Payment
Consolidation Service contacts the hotel to let it know it is about to receive
a virtual payment.
The second challenge, said Schultz, arises if corporates do not
receive copies of hotel invoices, either directly from the hotels or indirectly
via the travelers; even when they do obtain them, they're not set out in a manner
that will be accepted by tax authorities. Payment Consolidation Service collects
invoices for all hotel bookings made through Hotelzon, verifies they are presented
correctly and consolidates them into a single statement for the client.
Travelport launched the product with German invoice management
specialist Itelya Business Services and corporate payments provider AirPlus
International. Both of these companies partnered with HRS to launch a similar
service called Paperless Travel in 2016. Schultz said Travelport will expand
Payment Consolidation Service to include payments through Travelport's own eNett
subsidiary and other virtual payment providers.
Travelport acquired Hotelzon from its original Finnish
owners in 2014. Since then, Hotelzon has extended account management beyond its
northern European base to the whole of the continent and, in 2017, into the
U.S. Fifty-five percent of Hotelzon's revenue derives from direct corporate
clients and the rest from travel management company partnerships.