In the latest issue of TravMagazine, Jeffrey Kusnadi (Sales Manager Travel Trade Benelux & Nordics) and his colleague Benny Leipold (Account Manager Travel Trade Benelux & Nordics) discuss the rise of Virtual Cards.
"The rise of Virtual Cards"
During the COVID-19 crisis, AirPlus International has made significant investments in expanding its product offerings and acquiring new customers. The provider of payment solutions for (business) travel has been making considerable strides with a renewed portfolio. In this interview Jeffrey and Benny provide more information about the offerings.
AirPlus is primarily known for its payment solution in the business travel world," says Benny Leipold. "We are a provider of payment and data solutions to make the procurement of all travel-related services as efficient as possible. Our target audience includes both business travel agents and the leisure segment. This includes tour operators or smaller travel agencies, as well as procurement organizations and offices affiliated with larger groups. Independent travel agents also make use of AirPlus.
Why do you expect a rise of Virtual Cards in the next years and how do they make business payments more efficient?
Jeffrey: "The most commonly used payment solution of AirPlus is the virtual card product. First, we work with the customer to determine which solution suits them best. Are they using it to purchase group hotel bookings or buy tickets from airlines? We have a suitable product for all specific elements.
With the AirPlus Virtual Cards, companies control when and how a payment method is used for travel services. Another advantage is that travel services are centrally invoiced, creating an overview of all incurred expenses, such as flights, hotels, and car rentals.
"An important advantage is that the data is processed immediately in the systems," says Benny. "Many travel companies in the Netherlands, for example, use BAS from Fadiro. In our system, a company can include its BAS dossier number per transaction to directly load this data into BAS. The benefits are convenience and time savings. We give back time to the users so that they can focus on what they are good at: selling travel.
The virtual card is often created for a specific purpose and with a maximum amount. This makes the Virtual Card much safer than a regular credit card, which has a fixed card number, is valid for four years, and essentially circulates worldwide," says Benny. "At some point, you may encounter fraud with a regular credit card, but the likelihood of that happening with AirPlus is minimal.
For the virtual credit card, AirPlus collaborates with Mastercard due to its global acceptance," says Jeffrey. "The virtual credit card is for one-time use only and cannot be used by another person. As a travel company, you can use it to settle payments for hotels, car rentals, parking, and trains, ensuring that your customers have no worries.
But that is not all. Under the name Virtual Cards Procurement, AirPlus offers another payment solution for ad-hoc expenses, such as purchasing exhibition tickets online or buying flowers for a client. It can also be used for recurring non-travel-related expenses such as rent, social media campaigns, and subscriptions.
Because they can be used for many different types of expenses, Virtual cards are rapidly gaining popularity as a secure and efficient payment solution for businesses. They offer a range of benefits, including enhanced security, streamlined payment processes, and greater control over spending.
"The use of virtual cards is expected to continue growing in the coming years. We anticipate a doubling within the next ten years."
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