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.
COMMERCIAL TRAVEL,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS
JetBlue | December 08, 2022
JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) announced a new TrueBlue® loyalty program that offers new perks and more choices as an increasing number of customers look to JetBlue as a trusted source for travel beyond just flights. The new program maintains most of TrueBlue’s signature perks that customers have come to love while also allowing TrueBlue members new opportunities to earn perks and status along the way. The more ways customers interact with JetBlue, the more perks they can earn.
From JetBlue Vacations hotel and cruise packages, to cars, stays and activities from Paisly, to many JetBlue flight extras and add-ons, and purchases on all JetBlue credit cards, everyone from infrequent travelers to road warriors can find ways to earn and redeem in JetBlue’s loyalty program.Our loyalty program must serve the needs of the JetBlue customer today, many of whom look to us as more than just a way to get from point A to point B, said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. Customers have come to love our unique combination of low fares and high-quality service, and now turn to us for more than just a flight. We are evolving our loyalty strategy to deliver even more value for customers across our entire suite of travel products and partnerships, including those who take advantage of our strategic partnership with American Airlines.
We’re rolling out a bigger, better, bluer TrueBlue program this spring that’s designed to meet the needs – and exceed the expectations – of more customers, whether they travel once a week, or just once in a while,said Jayne O’Brien, head of marketing and loyalty, JetBlue. No two travelers are alike, which is why we’ve redesigned TrueBlue to let customers customize their perks as they soar toward Mosaic status, choosing the ones that are most valuable to them along the way.
“We know our customers are booking more than just flights with JetBlue, so we are excited to have a program where travelers are rewarded throughout all aspects of their travel journey, There are so many opportunities for our customers to enjoy the signature JetBlue experience through flights, hotels, cruises, vacation packages, car rentals and more,”
-Andres Barry, president, JetBlue Travel Products.
TrueBlue will offer more value, new choices and unique personalization through a variety of all-new program aspects, including:
Tiles become the new way to track and measure progress toward Mosaic status JetBlue’s most loyal group of travelers.
Customizable Perks You Pick, available to more TrueBlue members without Mosaic status, will reward more travelers sooner.
Multiple levels of Mosaic, each with Mosaic Signature Perks and Perks You Pick, bring expanded perks to JetBlue’s most loyal customers.
Combined spend counts with all JetBlue credit cards. Add up JetBlue travel spend and any JetBlue credit card spend to unlock perks.
New JetBlue credit card enhancements on select cards bring new perks to cardholders.
The new TrueBlue will still carry over many of the perks customers know and love:
All TrueBlue members will continue to earn TrueBlue points on JetBlue and eligible American Airlines flights, and can redeem those points for award travel on JetBlue, including any seat at any time, with no blackout dates or expiration dates.
TrueBlue points will never expire.
Use Cash + Points to pay for JetBlue flights and JetBlue Vacations packages.
Pool points with family and friends.
Earn 2X points on jetblue.com or the JetBlue app.
Select reciprocal loyalty benefits for Mosaic members traveling on American Airlines.
The new program is set to go live in spring 2023 and will make TrueBlue more rewarding than ever before in its 20-year history.
Perks You Pick for TrueBlue Members
The new TrueBlue program is designed to ensure that all TrueBlue members have the opportunity to get rewarded, even before achieving Mosaic status. For the first time ever, travelers can start earning and enjoying perks before earning Mosaic status. TrueBlue members can customize their experience with Perks You Pick, choosing their first perk with just 10 tiles, then add more perks when they reach 20, 30 and 40 tiles. For every 10 tiles TrueBlue members earn, until they reach 50, they will get to choose a new perk from the following:
Get settled sooner with Group B boarding (excluding Blue Basic fares).
Access an expedited lane to security at dozens of airports where available.
First beer, wine or liquor is free each flight (21+).
JetBlue Vacations® bonus.
2X points bonus on a JetBlue Vacations package (one-time use).(a)
Boost your TrueBlue balance with 5,000 bonus points.
These perks will allow even occasional travelers to enjoy an elevated travel experience when flying on JetBlue. Once a customer earns 50 tiles, they reach Mosaic 1 status, receive all TrueBlue Perks You Pick and are set up to qualify for even more perks within new Mosaic levels.(b)
New Mosaic Levels
As part of the reimagined TrueBlue program, JetBlue is also meaningfully enhancing the Mosaic program to include four distinct Mosaic levels, each featuring a Mosaic Signature Perk. Each Mosaic level has a set of distinct benefits plus, customers are entitled to pick a Mosaic Signature Perk.
Mosaic Signature Perks:
Mosaic 1 – 50 tiles:
First two Checked Bags Free.
Beer, Wine & Liquor.
Even More® Space at Check-In.
Dedicated Support Line and Priority Chat Assistance.
Complimentary Upgrades on Heathrow Express.
Mosaic 2 – 100 tiles: Even More Space
Up to 7” more legroom at no extra charge during booking (pending availability).
Mosaic 3 – 150 tiles: Move to Mint®
Four Move to Mint certificates that enable complimentary upgrades from core to any Mint seat.
Number of certificates required to upgrade varies.
Mosaic 4 – 250 tiles: Move to Mint Again + BLADE Airport helicopter transfers
Two additional Move to Mint certificates.
Credits that can be redeemed for four complimentary seats on BLADE Airport helicopter transfers between Manhattan and JFK or EWR.
Additionally, each time a member qualifies for a new level of Mosaic, they’ll also be able to select one new perk from the Mosaic Perks You Pick menu.
Mosiac Perks You Pick:
FoundersCard Blue Membership
Enjoy 150+ premium travel, business, and lifestyle benefits—created exclusively for Mosaic members.
Pet Fee Waiver
Jet with your pet (cat or small dog) at no extra charge ($125 value per flight).
$99 Statement Credit on Select JetBlue Cards
$99 one-time statement credit for JetBlue Plus or Business Card.(c)
Get or gift a 20-tile boost to get to the next level faster.
Boost your TrueBlue balance with 15,000 bonus points.
Mint Suite Priority (arriving later in 2023)
Priority access to Mint Suite selection on select aircraft (pending availability). Excludes Mint Studio™.
Tiles are the new and easy way to track progress toward status, while earning perks at key milestones along the way. Intrepid travelers and casual fliers alike will be eligible for perks sooner than ever before and even if they haven’t yet achieved Mosaic status. While still earning valuable points that can be redeemed for award travel, TrueBlue members will also earn tiles based on their combination of travel spend and credit card spend, not just one or the other.
One tile is awarded for every $100 in qualifying spend on more of the ways a customer can JetBlue.(d) Hotel rooms and resorts. Cars and cruises. Activities and extras. Travelers will be able to rack up rewards with JetBlue Vacations, Paisly by JetBlue, JetBlue fees, JetBlue add-ons and American Airlines-operated flights. Additionally, one tile is awarded for every $1,000 in qualifying spend on all JetBlue credit cards.
JetBlue and Barclays Credit Card Enhancements
This spring, JetBlue is also introducing enhancements to select Barclays JetBlue credit cards. JetBlue Plus Card members can enjoy Points Payback, allowing them to redeem points to pay themselves back from purchases of $25 or greater, up to a maximum of $1,000 annually. Points redeemed for purchases will appear as a statement credit toward their account balance. In addition, JetBlue Business Card members can enjoy early Group A boarding on JetBlue-operated flights.
The Transition to the New TrueBlue
In spring 2023, Mosaic-Qualifying points and segments will be retired and TrueBlue members will see how many tiles they have based on how much they’ve already spent in 2023. Any member eligible for Perks You Pick will have the opportunity to select them based on their in-progress 2023 tile count.
Mosaic members will be assigned a Mosaic level based on how much they spent in 2022 or how much they spent in 2023, whichever is greater. They’ll immediately begin enjoying the Mosaic Signature Perks of each level and will have the opportunity to select Mosaic Perks You Pick associated with that level. For more information about JetBlue’s new TrueBlue program, visit: jetblue.com/newtrueblue.
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries customers to more than 100 destinations throughout the United States, Latin America, Caribbean, Canada and United Kingdom. For more information and the best fares, visit jetblue.com.
Qualifying travel spend excludes government taxes and fees and travel insurance. All net purchases are qualifying credit card spend. See TrueBlue Terms & Conditions and applicable cardmember agreement.
Members selecting the JetBlue Vacations Bonus perk will earn this benefit on the 6 TrueBlue points per eligible dollar spent on airfare and 1 TrueBlue point per eligible dollar spent on hotels, car rentals, cruises, and transfers calculated based on the member’s individual proportionate share, as determined by JetBlue, of a JetBlue Vacations package booking; members selecting this perk will not earn the bonus on any other individual travelers’ portions of the booking. Points bonus does not apply to the Mosaic bonus, any credit card bonus, or any additional bundled points or promotional points. See terms and conditions.
Any TrueBlue Perks You Pick that are not selected by the member as they accumulate tiles will automatically be granted upon reaching any level of Mosaic status, but the 5,000 bonus points and the JetBlue Vacations Bonus will not be available to Mosaics who earned status in 2022 for 2023. If a Mosaic qualifies for 2024 and beyond, they are eligible to receive these perks.
The $99 Statement Credit on Select JetBlue Cards is available to Barclays JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard® and JetBlue Business Mastercard® cardmembers only. You will be eligible to select this benefit after reaching Mosaic 1 status. The benefit can only be redeemed once per Mosaic qualifying year. If you product trade from Barclays JetBlue Plus Card to the Barclays JetBlue Card, you will no longer be eligible for this benefit. The statement credit will appear 2-4 weeks after you select the benefit. Your Card Account will not be eligible to receive the statement credit if it is closed or in default under your Cardmember Agreement at the time of fulfillment.
Selfbook | December 09, 2022
Selfbook, a unique, comprehensive hotel payment software platform bringing direct bookings and modern payment technology to hotels worldwide, announced a strategic investment from Amex Ventures. The investment follows a $40 million Series A and A+ round led by Tiger GlobalThis announcement highlights Selfbook’s continuous growth within the hospitality space. As it continues to broaden its reach in the travel industry, Selfbook looks forward to working with American Express following this investment.
Selfbook enables hotels to offer guests a seamless, one-step checkout experience directly on their websites while elevating the user experience and streamlining the payment process for hotels, which can increase conversion and boost revenue. Selfbook also groups multiple services, such as restaurant reservations, spa appointments and activities, into a single payment flow to easily drive upsells.
“The American Express brand is synonymous with global travel and payment security, and we are thrilled to have Amex Ventures be part of our investor base, As hotels around the world continue to use Selfbook to offer a guest-first booking experience and secure payments, the investment from American Express will help us deepen our global presence and provide even more effective payment tools for our partners.”
-Khalid Meniri, Co-Founder and CEO of Selfbook
We are constantly on the lookout for innovative technologies that enhance and elevate the travel and payments experience,” said Margaret Lim, Managing Director of Amex Ventures. “We believe Selfbook is driving hotel bookings and payments into the future with their elegant checkout experience, intuitive user interface, and robust support for modern payment methods preferred by guests through a unified platform that seamlessly integrates with existing hospitality software.
Uniquely positioned at the intersection of fintech and hospitality, Selfbook revolutionizes hotel bookings and payments from the inside out. Working in tandem with hotels’ existing technology systems, Selfbook enhances what matters most to hotels, including direct conversion, revenue, cash flow control, and security. Built by a team of hospitality veterans, Selfbook’s products provide a refreshingly effortless user experience for guests and hoteliers alike. Selfbook is committed to empowering hotels worldwide with modern e-commerce solutions tailor-made for our industry.