TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,FEATURES AND ADVICE
Airwallex | December 16, 2022
Global fintech Airwallex is pleased to announce that it has been chosen by TripActions as the partner of choice for its global cross-border payments and FX needs to support TripActions Liquid, its corporate card and expense management solution.
With support from Airwallex’s global payments and banking infrastructure, TripActions can further streamline travel and expense management experiences for its customers across 130 markets by providing a seamless, cost-efficient way to convert and pay out funds in over 45 currencies.
“Identifying faster, easier, and safer ways to move and manage money is key for businesses that want to grow at scale. At Airwallex, this is exactly the pain point that we are building a solution for, TripActions is the modern day, all-in-one solution for corporate travel and expense, and we are pleased that we are able to support them and their ambition as they look to grow and expand their business globally.”
-Ravi Adusumilli, Global Head of Partnerships and General Manager, Americas at Airwallex.
TripActions aims to make travel and expense easy, and Airwallex’s vision to deliver better experiences and tech solutions aligns exactly with that goal, said Michael Sindicich, EVP and General Manager of TripActions Liquid. With Airwallex, we are now able to reimburse our customers’ international employees in their local currencies instantly or on the same day in many countries, and we’re excited to continue working together as we bring more innovative features to businesses everywhere.
Founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2015, Airwallex reported significant business growth in the last year, with revenues more than doubling year-over-year. In the US, Airwallex has also built steady traction, having experienced rapid customer growth, and having won “Startup of the Year” in this year’s US Fintech Awards. Today, the business operates with a still-growing team of 1,300 employees in 19 locations across Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America.
Airwallex is the leading financial technology platform for modern businesses growing beyond borders. With one of the world’s most powerful payments and banking infrastructure, our technology empowers businesses of all sizes to accept payments, move money globally, and simplify their financial operations in a single platform. Established in 2015 in Melbourne, Australia, our purpose is to connect entrepreneurs, business builders, makers and creators with opportunities in every corner of the world. Today, Airwallex has a global footprint across Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America.
AirDNA | November 15, 2022
A new joint report from hospitality data supplier STR and short-term rental analytics provider AirDNA shows that competition between short-term rentals and hotels has accelerated in the fight for leisure guests, with the price gap tightening and rental supply falling behind in urban markets.During the pandemic, the U.S. short-term rental sector used its supply flexibility to recover faster than hotels, especially in coastal and mountain destinations, pushing rentals' market share to a record 17% of total lodging in summer 2020. Hotels retargeted towards leisure guests to reclaim demand, focusing on urban areas, pushing short-term rentals' market share back to below its pre-pandemic trajectory.
"During the pandemic, short-term rentals had an advantage over traditional hotels due to consumer perception of better COVID-19 safety, Now in 2022, hotels can compete on price and have claimed demand on key holidays where, pre-pandemic, they typically lost out on leisure travelers."
-AirDNA Vice President of Research, Jamie Lane
Hotels Lead in Cities
In large cities, short-term rental supply contracted dramatically as demand dropped off in 2020, while government subsidies helped to reduce permanent closures of hotels. As urban demand began to recover in 2022, hotels were ready to accommodate travelers, while urban rental supply remains 17% below 2019. With strict regulations limiting short-term rentals in cities like New York and San Francisco, which both lost 25% of their pre-pandemic supply levels, supply is unlikely to fully recover in these areas.
"Looking to the future, hotel supply will likely remain strongest in urban and suburban locations, with low development in coastal and rural areas due to higher barriers to entry, where short-term rentals will likely see more opportunity for growth,"
-STR's Vice President of Analytics Isaac Collazo.
A new STR survey of more than 1,000 travelers shows that value for money is an important factor for rental guests, even more than hotel guests. Despite the perception that rentals are cheaper, in 2019, hotels and comparably-sized rentals were priced around the same, except in urban locations. In large cities, hotels were priced 42.9% higher than rentals, but that gap has closed to 26.6% in 2022. Hotels are now offering lower rates than rentals in all location types except urban and coastal resorts, where the difference is 10%.
While rentals' market share is highest in coastal and mountain or lake destinations, in urban and suburban locations their share has flattened or declined. Rentals should continue to grow their market share, albeit at a slower pace than pre-pandemic, led by expansion in resorts and small towns less well-served by traditional hotels.
AirDNA helps hosts, property managers, and investors succeed in the short-term vacation rental market by turning rental data into actionable analytics. The Denver-based company has tracked the daily performance of 10 million vacation rentals in 120,000 global markets since 2014 to provide real-time market insights. Their range of online and exportable reports offer a solution for everyone in the industry to analyze trends, price rentals, identify new investment opportunities, and benchmark performance.
STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for the global hospitality industry. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, an international headquarters in London, and an Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. STR was acquired in October 2019 by CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP), the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,COMMERCIAL TRAVEL
Sabre Corporation,Conferma Pay and Mastercard | November 29, 2022
Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, and Conferma Pay, a global fintech firm that specializes in payment technology, announced a new partnership with Mastercard to accelerate the use of virtual cards for business-to-business (B2B) travel payments.
Today's announcement builds on Sabre's August 2022 acquisition of Conferma Pay. The collaboration with Mastercard is the next step in advancing Sabre's goal to create an open and independent travel payment ecosystem.
Digitization of travel payments with virtual cards helps address the historic challenges associated with B2B leisure and corporate travel payments. The securely generated, single use card numbers provide a link between booking and associated payments to third party suppliers. Travel buyers and suppliers are therefore able to easily track and reconcile payments, as well as benefit from flexible pricing, financing options, and enhanced security through card payment guarantees.
"The payments industry is in the midst of a revolution and there is an increased need for travel companies to better manage the whole payment experience, Companies in the travel space – including travel management companies, travel agencies, corporations, issuers and technology partners – need sophisticated solutions and seamless connections. Sabre is taking strategic steps to fulfill the needs of our industry, beginning with the acquisition of Conferma Pay. Now, the new partnership with Mastercard will help Conferma Pay to build new and enhanced digital capabilities in virtual cards, transforming the payment experience for issuers."
-Roshan Mendis, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Travel Solutions.
As part of the agreement, Mastercard has agreed to make a minority investment in Conferma Pay, which will continue to operate independently and serve the entire travel industry and beyond. Mastercard's investment in Conferma Pay is subject to customary closing conditions.
A combination of experience, technologies and capabilities will accelerate travel payment innovation and drive inclusive and sustainable growth for the sector, said Chris Fendley, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Partnerships at Mastercard. Virtual cards deliver visibility, boost liquidity and increase control over B2B payment flows, which enhance payment strategies and empower organizations across the travel value chain to run, grow and protect their business, which has never been more essential.
Conferma Pay connects issuers to more than 700 travel management companies, all the major global distribution systems and more than 100 online booking tools. Conferma Pay is fully integrated with all the major card schemes and serves more than 50 banking partners, who issue Conferma Pay generated virtual cards in nearly 100 currencies.
"We've already made significant inroads in the B2B travel space through partnering with Sabre, We are excited about the new investments. This, combined with our existing strong relationships, will enable Conferma Pay to build on our global footprint and be at the forefront of addressing industry challenges and opportunities."
-Martin Cowley, interim CEO at Conferma Pay
Sabre's Virtual Payments will continue to offer Conferma Pay services – with increased capabilities that help travel buyers, agencies and corporations best support travel customer needs. Sabre Virtual Payments is a unique, secure, automated and integrated end-to-end payment solution designed to simplify and add value to the transactions that TMCs, OTAs, travel agencies, corporations and travel suppliers do every day. Sabre Virtual Payments takes all the capabilities of Conferma Pay and its network of issuers and combines it with seamless integration across Sabre products for -connected travel buyers, agencies and corporations.
About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com.
About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.
About Conferma Pay
Conferma Pay is a global financial technology company. It designs and integrate virtual payment systems that provide a more efficient, seamless and secure way to pay for businesses. Conferma Pay was born in Manchester in 2005. Since then, it has connected over 700 TMCs, and directly integrates with all the major GDSs and OBTs. Its roots lie in corporate travel payment integration. It enables its payment providers to flow virtual cards into the preferred purchasing process of any business travel buyer. Crucial to this is its network of banking partners, who have issued virtual cards in over 200 countries, in 40 currencies with over 45 commercial banking partners via all major card networks. Its ecosystem continues to expand to meet the growing requirements of its global customer base.