Conferma and Cornerstone Partner to Create an Unparallelled End-to-End Automated Payment Solution

MANCHESTER, UK and BLOOMINGTON, IN, USA (November 15, 2016) – Conferma, a leading FinTech company specialising in virtual card technology, has partnered with CornerstoneTM Information Systems to extend Cornerstone’s unique AutoPay solution. The partnership will enable Cornerstone, a leading global travel technology and services provider, to offer its customers credit-based virtual payment solutions for the first time.

Conferma and Cornstone have partnered because their complementary products create a powerful automated payment solution. Cornerstone’s AutoPay enables the operationalization of virtual payment while Conferma has built an unbridled network of banking partners globally.

This partnership creates a seamless automated GDS agnostic solution that is completely integrated into the agency workflow. Cornerstone’s integration into the front-end agent desktop across all major GDSs complements Conferma’s aggregated back-end payment services to create an unparalleled end-to-end automated payment solution. This complete solution allows for the generation of both prefunded and credit based virtual cards within the agent workspace without any changes to their normal booking workflow.

The partnership will also connect Cornerstone’s clients to Conferma’s vast payment ecosystem which supports virtual cards issued in 40 currencies across 193 countries. With a choice of over 25 major card issuing companies and key local names, this partnership gives travel management companies the flexibility to work with their corporations to deliver tailor made virtual payment solutions.

“Our customers have enjoyed the benefits of virtual payment since we introduced AutoPay, and we are committed to enhancing the solution with additional payment options,” says Mat Orrego, CEO of Cornerstone Information Systems. “Conferma’s extensive payment infrastructure allows us offer a more flexible solution to travel management companies that enables them to provide their corporate customers with more payment options.”

Simon Barker, CEO of Conferma adds, “We share Cornerstone’s passion for more efficient corporate travel booking processes, and our combined knowledge and networks within the travel industry makes this a very valuable partnership. Conferma`s credit funded virtual cards and our ever expanding issuing network are ideal for Cornerstone’s TMC and larger corporate travel buyer clients.”

About Conferma

Conferma is a leading FinTech company specializing in Virtual Card technology. A global company, managing transactions in 96 currencies in 193 countries, Conferma is headquartered in Manchester, having been founded by CEO Simon Barker in 2005.

With 80% of Buying Business Travel’s Top 50 TMCs using Conferma, it is an industry standard for corporate travel payment. Conferma’s Virtual Card technology is mainly about simplifying over-complicated processes in Travel and Expense (T&E) payments. It is the gateway between commercial card issuers and the travel community.

Conferma’s many established travel partners include all three Global Distribution Systems (GDS), Sabre, Amadeus and Travelport; leading corporate Travel Management Companies (TMCs) such as CWT, HRG, AMEX GBTA; online booking tools and other booking technology providers. Part of Conferma’s ecosystem are all major card schemes, American Express, Diners, MasterCard and Visa, and over 25 commercial card issuers globally including Barclaycard, Bank of America and Citi.

https://www.conferma.com

About Cornerstone

Cornerstone™ Information Systems is a global technology and services provider that has a unique domain knowledge in the travel industry, from how travel is operationalized to how information is managed. With a foundation in automation, we design, build, and deliver technology for travel companies and corporate buyers. We help our partners manage their process and information, to drive better decision making. Cornerstone has a single focus on travel data from the management of the reservation to the creation and presentation of information. The result is higher quality customer service and nimbler operational responsiveness at a lower cost with fewer resources yielding higher profit. We are people-centric, service-focused, and technology driven.

Companies managing more than $25 billion in travel spend annually trust Cornerstone to help them proactively lower the costs of travel management and drive revenues through travel optimization. Founded in 1992, Cornerstone Information Systems is a privately held company headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana with customers in more than 50 countries.

To learn more, visit www.ciswired.com

For more information, please contact

Conferma Contact:

Charlotte Cloud

Conferma@skyparlour.com

+44 (0)844 2939 764

(00 44)7803 204 779

Cornerstone Contact:

Lauren Wolters

lwolters@ciswired.com

+1 812 727 2031

 

Cornerstone Integrates Credit-Based Virtual Payments Making AutoPay’s Value Even Greater

Cornerstone Information Systems (CIS) launched AutoPay last Spring to oprationalize virtual payments for travel management companies with the ultimate goal of creating a seamless end-to-end payment solution. As we continue to enhance our AutoPay offering, we have partnered with Conferma to bring our clients credit-funded virtual cards, expanding the payment options for our virtual card from only pre-funded to also credit-funded.

The partnership connects our clients to Conferma’s payment network that supports virtual cards issued in 40 currencies across 193 countries. With a choice of over 25 major card-issuing companies and key local names, this tech integration gives corporate travel agencies the flexibility to work with their customers to deliver tailor-made virtual payment solutions.

AutoPay goes far beyond the obvious benefits of instant payment and greater payment security, however. The aim of AutoPay is to operationalize virtual payments through seamless payment processes, improving the bottom line. Travel agents and managers can issue virtual cards for payment without ever leaving their GDS desktop workspace. They are better able to enforce travel policy, reconcile expenses, and report on the results – with no manual work.

When properly integrated with your existing technologies, virtual cards:

  • can be requested from any GDS
  • automatically associate with the booking for tracking and reconciliation
  • integrate with your reporting mechanisms, so you know if you are saving money through travel compliance and can quickly identify issues
  • result in fewer expense errors with less manual reporting from employees

At the end of the day, our concern is not so much about the banking details as it is ensuring that virtual cards become a seamless part of your operations. We aim to enhance your overall travel service and providing credit-based virtual payments is one more step in creating a superior payment solution.

To learn more about our solution, visit our AutoPay page and read our press release.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Virtual Cards for Travel Managers

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The internet is littered with articles espousing the benefits of virtual cards — or Virtual Account Numbers (VANs); and the industry agrees, VANs are the future.

Now that we are all on the same page, let’s talk about making VANs a reality for your travel program. This article is a step-by-step guide in adopting VANS.

#1: Evaluate Your Travel Program Goals

#2: Understand Your Ecosystem and Available Options

#3: Choose A Virtual Card Product

#4 Operationalize VANs Across Your Enterprise

#5 Set Your KPIs and Measure Your Goals

#6 Increase Your Travel Program Efficiency & Profitability

P.S. If you are new to VANs, no worries, here are places to learn about them here and here.

Step #1: Evaluate Your Travel Program Goals

Think of VANs as a verb, a solution that executes a valuable service. As such, VANs must be adopted with purpose to drive a meaningful measurable goal. Without a specific goal, VANs can be a solution in search of a problem.

Typical travel program goals VANs help achieve:

  1. Increase supplier adoption
  2. Decrease personal card use
  3. Reduce fraudulent charges
  4. Expedite reconciliation time
  5. Earn rebates on spend

Step #2: Understand Your Ecosystem and Available Options

The phrase, “you are only as strong as your weakest link” holds true with VANs. The partners in your ecosystem – banks, travel agencies and 3rd party technology – could heavily influence how quickly and efficiently you adopt VANs.

Key things to understand about your partner ecosystem:

  1. Bank – Do they offer VANs? If so what types?
  2. Travel Agency – Can they support VANs? If so, from which providers?
  3. 3rd Party Technology – Do they integrate VANs? If so, is it seamlessly into existing workflows?

Step #3: Choose A Virtual Card Product

Now that a goal has been identified and alignment within the ecosystem has been established, it is time to choose the type of VAN to subscribe to. Depending on the banking institution, many types of VANs are available.

Common types of VANs include:

  1. Prefunded – Spend up to amount put onto card in advance
  2. Debit – Spend up to amount in debit account with overdraft features
  3. Debit with credit line – Spend up to amount in your debit account with a set credit worthiness additional fund amount
  4. Credit – Spend up to amount based on credit worthiness

Each VAN has its own benefits and features, this is for your travel program to find the right fit. Similar to applying for a consumer card, not every card type is meant for everyone.

Step #4 Operationalize VANs Across Your Enterprise

This step is the most crucial of all! Making VANs work seamlessly in day-to-day operations is the difference between a concept and a successful implementation. It is simple to issue a virtual card, it is not simple to issue one within your current workflow while improving productivity and lowering costs. With many ways to generate a VAN, you want one that drives efficiency rather than more work.

Things to consider in making VANs a reality:

  • Who is requesting the VAN? Technology Partner, Travel Agent, Traveler, Corporation
  • Where is the VAN request generated from? GDS, Portal, Website, Application
  • How is that VAN request being handled? Automatic, Manual, Mixture
  • Who is responsible for maintaining the technology? Technology Partner, Travel Agency, Corporation

Step #5 Set your KPIs and Measure Your Goals

When VANs are properly operationalized, they can be tracked and reported on. Access to proper VAN detail and essential data allows you to isolating trends and understand data. Whether through static reports or on-demand visual dashboards, understanding VAN usage is important.

Common VAN key performance indicators (KPIs) to keep track of:

  • What are the total amount of issued, authorized, settled VANs?
  • What are average amount differences in issued vs settled VANs?
  • Which months are peak issued and settled VAN amounts?
  • What is the average refunded VAN amount?
  • Which travel products are VANs being used for the most and where?

Step #6 Increase Your Travel Program Efficiency & Productivity

Now that the infrastructure to a successful VAN program has been laid, you can test and try different strategies to make it more efficient to your specific program. Being creative in motivating traveler behavior is only possible if a VAN program has sound fundamentals and the ability for customization.

Possible VAN areas to tweak and test:

  • How low can hotel VAN tolerances for incidentals become
  • How low can the ratio of VANs issued to traveler become
  • How high can airline ancillary attachment become when paid by VANs
  • How quickly can my VAN process turnover from start to finish

Ways we can help

In summary, as you look towards introducing VANs in your travel management company, the Cornerstone AutoPay solution is designed to operationalize the request and reconciliation of virtual cards. Operating on a the Cornerstone platform,  Cornerstone AutoPay is an integrated automatic payment platform facilitating VANs for corporations, travel agencies, and developers.

Cornerstone AutoPay and our suite of products service through each step of the guide:

#1: Evaluate Your Travel Program Goals

  • AutoPay reinforces travel program initiatives either directly at payment via our VAN solution or upstream with our business rules logic engine iQCX that powers AutoPay.

#2: Understand Your Ecosystem and Available Options

  • AutoPay integrates to travel agencies, GDSs, payment providers, back office systems, banks and card networks.

#3: Choose A Virtual Card Product

  • AutoPay is a MasterCard prepaid VAN product by eNett; we are in development of more types of VAN products.

#4 Operationalize VANs Across Your Enterprise

  • AutoPay seamlessly integrates into travel workflows by allowing the travel agency to automatically request and generate VANs directly from the GDS. We can also automate movement of VAN and travel data to payment or back office systems.

#5 Set your KPIs and Measure Your Goals

  • We have complement reporting, business intelligence and visualization tools to help drive insights and analytics from your VAN data.

#6 Increase Your Travel Program Efficiency & Profitability

  • Our various suite of products are fully customizable to be tailored to your specific workflow and operational needs.