Earthport ('Earthport' or the 'Company') announces that it has entered into an agreement to provide international payment services for Virtual Automated Technologies ('VAT').
VAT is an Oregon based Global Payment Solutions Provider. VAT's proprietary SpeedyWallet software links stored-value cards and other unique global payment programmes to the Internet, creating a most innovative and comprehensive web-enabled solution for the management of sending and receiving global payments.
Making use of the Earthport Universal Payments Network ('UPN'), VAT will expand its services to both its existing and new clients commencing with its TravelPay service.
TravelPay is a new service providing an innovative solution to the problems of settling low value international payments within the travel industry. The payment and settlement of large monetary amounts within the travel industry is already handled by the Global Distribution Systems (GDS's) but none of them have an integrated fulfilment payment and settlement function and, as a result, delays of 30-45 days in the payment being made are not uncommon. Smaller payments - such as a booking commission from a hotel to a travel agent or from a local car hire company back to an online travel agent - cannot be handled economically by the GDS systems.
An average business stay in a hotel is around 2.5 nights at a rate of $70, which results in a commission of $17.50 (at a 10% commission rate). With the average cost of commission payment/collection transfer being $30, the economics do not work and currently, these monies either do not get collected at all or paper cheques are used.
Using TravelPay, a hotel receiving a booking via an overseas agent will deposit funds using a local bank transfer into a local Earthport bank account. As soon as the funds are cleared, the travel agent's e-wallet will be updated to show the arrival of the funds which can then either be withdrawn (and exchanged into local currency if required) or left in the e-wallet and used to pay international suppliers or agents.
The TravelPay Program is not only cost efficient (generating estimated savings of 80% over the current method of processing booking agent fees), but is also time efficient, generally settling all accounts within twenty-four hours. Utilising the TravelPay system will provide significant benefits for both the travel industry reservation system and the booking agents.
David Fife, Earthport CEO, commented: "This exciting contract underlines the reach and efficiency of the Earthport UPN for industries with unresolved payment needs and highlights Earthport's strategy. It proves our ability to provide a secure and cost efficient service to a diverse range of industries and we are delighted to partner VAT in this project with TravelPay."