BTN's annual answer book for business travel managers.
Europe signed a deal with Conferma to provide to all of its issuing banks technology
to furnish virtual card numbers to pay for travel bookings, effective
immediately. Conferma CEO Simon Barker told BTN
his company also is in negotiations for a similar deal with Visa International.
Kingdom-based Conferma's technology helps banks issue one-time, 16-digit card
numbers generated at the point of sale for reservations made through Amadeus, Sabre
and Abacus, as well as various online booking channels. Virtual card numbers
are growing in popularity as a corporate travel payment method because of their
superior control and data quality. The control results from a client
organization's ability to specify the amount to be paid and which merchant to be
used for each individual payment. The card number also acts as a unique
identifier that automatically reconciles the booking with the payment
transaction, effectively eliminating discrepancies between booked and paid data.
already had contracts with three Visa-issuing banks—Barclaycard, HSBC and U.S. Bank. Now, "any bank that participates in Visa Europe will be able to
issue our virtual card numbers," Barker said. "We have had banks
approaching us in countries like the Nordics, Russia and Italy, but dealing
with them individually has been long-winded because we have to work with each
bank and its processor separately. Now we will use Visa's processing system, so
its members will be able to start issuing our numbers within eight weeks for
very little capital outlay. Visa Europe recognized us because banks across the
world are telling their schemes they need to be in the virtual card number
marketplace because this is the future."
also has an agreement with MasterCard, but it applies only to banks signed up
to MasterCard's InControl processing platform. "With Visa, banks will be
up and running much faster and for a lower cost," said Barker.
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