Sabre's Conferma Pay agrees Mastercard to deal digitise B2B travel payments

Sabre's Conferma Pay agrees Mastercard to deal digitise B2B travel payments

Travel firms need to better manage the payments experience to reflect the revolution the industry is going through, says the GDS

by Aidan Poole

Sabre and global payments specialist Conferma Pay have reached a tie-up with Mastercard to develop virtual card solutions for B2B travel payments.

The announcement is part of Sabre’s vision for an independent travel payment ecosystem and follows the firm’s acquisition of Conferma Pay in August 2022.

Digitising using virtual cards will help overcome the challenges of B2B leisure and corporate travel payments by securely allowing travel buyers and suppliers to track and reconcile payments while benefitting from flexible pricing, financing options and card payment guarantees, according to Sabre.

Roshan Mendis, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Sabre Travel Solutions, said: “The payments industry is in the midst of a revolution and there is an increased need for travel companies to better manage the whole payment experience.

Mastercard has made a minority investment in Conferma Pay, which will continue to operate independently, as part of the tie-up.

“Companies in the travel space – including travel management companies, travel agencies, corporations, issuers and technology partners – need sophisticated solutions and seamless connections.

“Sabre is taking strategic steps to fulfil the needs of our industry, beginning with the acquisition of Conferma Pay.

“Now, the new partnership with Mastercard will help Conferma Pay to build new and enhanced digital capabilities in virtual cards, transforming the payment experience for issuers.”

Chris Fendley, executive vice president of enterprise partnerships at Mastercard, said: “A combination of experience, technologies and capabilities will accelerate travel payment innovation and drive inclusive and sustainable growth for the sector.

“Virtual cards deliver visibility, boost liquidity and increase control over B2B payment flows, which enhance payment strategies and empower organizations across the travel value chain to run, grow and protect their business, which has never been more essential.”

Conferma Pay is integrated with all major card networks and serves over 50 banks while connecting issuers to more than 700 travel management companies, major GDS platforms and over 100 online booking tools.

Martin Cowley, interim chief executive at Conferma Pay, said: “We’ve already made significant inroads in the B2B travel space through partnering with Sabre.

“We are excited about the new investments.

“This, combined with our existing strong relationships, will enable Conferma Pay to build on our global footprint and be at the forefront of addressing industry challenges and opportunities.”

Sabre’s end-to-end virtual payments solution for travel sellers will continue to offer Conferma Pay services, with increased capabilities to help travel buyers, agencies and corporations match travel customer needs.