News release

Date: 2nd October 2018

New research shows the under-appreciated back office as crucial driver of success in travel

• The travel industry understands the strategic value of payments – 84% viewed payments as a strategic priority • But it has a long way to go – just over a third of respondents (36%) knew how much payment transactions cost the business • And paper still dominates – not just the use of fax but also cheques: 33% of respondents are still using cheques.

London, UK, 2nd October 2018 – Travel providers that seize the opportunity to use technology, offer flexible payment solutions and exploit data gathering tools to create stress-free customer experiences, will reap rich rewards. But, according to new research, there is still a long way to go in an industry where the fax and cheques are still a regular occurrence.  

The launch edition of the Ixaris Megatrends Report finds that while 84% of respondents to an industry wide survey viewed payments as a strategic priority, just over a third of them knew how much payment transactions cost the business.

The research conducted by travel technology provider Ixaris, combines insights from 18 industry stakeholders, innovators and intermediaries with the results of a survey conducted from over 100 travel leaders across the US, Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

The key findings focus on 3 areas, namely 1) Processes– the link between payments and the back office and customer experience, 2) Products– how innovation and digitisation of the back office can drive product development, for example through better customer experience, payment flexibility and 3) Pathways – the route to the customer which requires joining up the pieces of the travel value chain, underpinned by data and analytics, including payment and transaction visibility

The report highlights that there are other opportunities for savings from payments efficiencies apart from direct costs. Larger travel company treasury teams, for example spend up to 44% of their time managing payments in their business. 

In addition, overlooking the back office impacts budgets for innovation. Smaller companies are up to 50% more likely to pay higher transaction fees than their larger rivals and are around 50% less likely to use advanced payment formats like virtual cards – at a time when travel, particularly digital and online travel is becoming more and more concentrated among a handful of small players.

Adoption of virtual cards is slow. Around two thirds of small companies are not using them – and the interviews show that the travel industry doesn't understand them or their value to the business very well,” points out Alex Mifsud, founder and chief strategy officer at Ixaris. 

 “At a time of massive focus on data and analytics, transaction data barely registers with only 14% of respondents indicating that they collect such data as part of their analytics programmes. Travel providers that seize the opportunity to dismantle their operational legacy – making use of new payments services and data gathering tools along the way – to create stress- free customer experiences, will reap rich rewards. In the digital era if you want to leap forward, you’ve got to keep looking at what’s happening in the back,” says Mifsud.

Link to report:


About Ixaris

Ixaris has brought innovation to the payments industry for over 15 years. Our mission is to help businesses pay one another simply, efficiently, and inexpensively. The Ixaris payment platform is a single, unified solution built for the initiation, execution and acceptance of B2B payments, enabling organisations across a range of sectors to unlock value from every payment.

Ixaris customers include travel agencies, global banks, leading corporates and technology providers.

For further information please contact:
Denise Gee denise[at]magnacartacomms[dot]com +44 (0)779 3768109

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