To handle the fast-paced reality of online travel booking, Expedia needed a virtual payment solution as reliable as it was secure and that could keep up with its expanding international business.
Expedia’s credit card network suffered frequent downtime and the system recycled transaction account numbers making reconciliation laborious and resource intensive. International supplier payments were handled entirely via check or bank transfer, prone to loss and fraud.
Given the 24-7 nature of its business, Expedia needed e-payment processing that was flexible, secure, and above all, reliable. Thus, the solution had to offer:
- A truly single-use option — no recycled account numbers
- No network downtime, no matter how much daily booking volume varied
- Scalability, to keep pace with growing international business
- Reduced accounting resources and other administrative costs
WEX Travel Solution
In 2008, Expedia implemented WEX Virtual Payments to handle international bookings, which represent around 12% of its business. This was so successful that in 2010 Expedia migrated their domestic business to WEX, increasing total processed spend by 800% – this was up and running smoothly within 6 weeks.
- Reduced accounting workload by 3%, even as booking volume increased 61%
- Reduced check and wire payments
- Improved efficiency by uniting domestic and international payments
- Significantly improved supplier relationships
“WEX is not your typical bank. They’ve offered better service and better technology, and they customized their solutions to adapt to our highly specic needs. Working with WEX has been a win-win all around, for both us and our suppliers.”
– Senior Director of Financial Operations, Expedia
Liftopia operates an ecommerce platform that sells discounted ski lift tickets, rentals, lessons and more, helping over 250 alpine resorts across North America drive revenue through dynamic, advance inventory pricing and centralized distribution.
Liftopia’s list of resort partners and products was constantly growing and changing. They muddled through a laborious and costly process of writing and clearing checks, which included a constant management of supplier and payee information, paper intensive processes, and inbound customer service issues with lost payments. To better accommodate their partners, Liftopia wanted to provide them with another form of payment.
WEX Travel Solution
Since the majority of skiers and riders pay for tickets with credit cards, many resorts are accustomed to accepting credit cards. Liftopia leverages the WEX Travel solution to pay its ski resort partners. The solution provides a simplified and streamlined invoice process that improves payment delivery speed and drives efficiency. The direct payment process not only enables speed but also allows for flexible payment processing options that fit preferences of resort partners. For example, the alpine resorts in Canada wanted to process payments using a Canadian dollar, locally issued card. Liftopia worked with partners to create a Canadian program and began issuing and settling in Canadian dollars via WEX. This solution also helped Liftopia avoid paying the costs associated with international transactions.
- Streamlined accounts payable processes to reduce costs
- Delivered faster payments to resort partners.
- Avoided fees for payments issued to international resort partners with the wex solution.
“Our resort partners using WEX love the process. As a partial offset to their processing fees, we pay more quickly. We like the flexibility. Win Win!”
– VP of Finance, Liftop
Travelliance is a global lodging and transportation administration company that helps airlines, railroads, construction companies and others manage accommodations and travel for their employees.
With thousands of clients’ employees to transport and accommodate and over 100,000 hotel partners, managing payments is a massive and critical undertaking for Travelliance. Travelliance previously struggled through manual processes, offline systems and managing paper checks. They needed a new approach to payments that would improve and simplify their operation while reducing costs, fraud and complexity.
WEX Travel Solution
Based on recommendations from other WEX clients, Travelliance engaged WEX Travel to transform their payment processes and systems via virtual card. WEX Travel has helped Travelliance through an evolution in payment sophistication and maturity. Originally starting out with manual processes, Travelliance worked with WEX over the years to gradually improve and automate payment operations.
- 95% of travelliance vendors now use virtual payments.
- Tens of thousands per year saved on labor, postage, paper and processing of checks.
“They truly offer a full-service solution to your credit card needs. They are open to new ideas, they’re innovative, they have great technology, they are customer driven and they will do a great job for anyone who has these kinds of needs.”
– Chief Investment Officer, Travelliance
Orbitz is a leading online travel agency, booking millions of flights, hotels, rental cars and more throughout the world.
Orbitz was issuing credit cards to hotels for every confirmed booking, and often there were miscommunications on the settlement price. This resulted in hotel overcharges that needed to be managed and rectified. The reconciliation process was extremely manual and the finance organization saw that their volume was on track to rise from hundreds to thousands per week. In addition to incurring the costs of manual processing and labor, the overcharges represented lost revenue for Orbitz.
WEX Travel Solution
Orbitz leveraged the WEX Travel solution, specifically tailored for the travel industry. Virtual Cards enable Orbitz to issue one-time, electronic payment cards to airlines, hotels and other vendors with chargeable funds limited to the exact amount owed.
- Streamlined payment transactions for millions of travel bookings annually.
- Developed a unique overcharge dispute automation program to replace manual and expensive process.
- Improved dispute resolution while mitigating labor costs and recovering more revenue.
“The level of customer service at WEX is unparalleled in my experience. Being able to have an account executive that not only knows her product but knows mine seems to be the norm at WEX and it’s very much appreciated.”
– Payments Solutions Manager, Orbitz