What do you get when you combine
a major global distribution system and a virtual payment platform widely
adopted in corporate travel? Sabre and Conferma Pay plan to show us.
The Texas-based travel
distribution and IT company in early August acquired U.K.-based virtual
payments company Conferma, with a goal "to expand our investment in
technology for the payments ecosystem in the travel industry," according
Conferma connects card issuers
to 700 travel management companies and dozens of online booking tools,
according to the company. It is integrated with all major card schemes and has
more than 50 banking partners that issue Conferma-generated virtual cards across
scores of currencies. It works with all major global distribution systems, not
just Sabre. There is no indication this will change, as Conferma "will
continue to operate independently and serve the entire travel industry and
beyond," according to Sabre.
In November, Sabre and Conferma
announced a partnership with Mastercard that included Mastercard's agreement to
take a minority investment in Conferma.
Conferma for years has powered
the Sabre Virtual Payments product, which Sabre launched in 2012. The two
initiated a partnership on virtual payments for hotels and in 2016 expanded it
to the air segment.
These will continue, but their
next chapter, written together, will be focused on adding capabilities for TMCs
and corporate clients at the busy intersection of travel and payments. Sabre
flagged development of "end-to-end" payment solutions that extend
from pre-trip to in-trip and post-trip.