BCD Travel will be the first travel management company to issue Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) accounts. The BCD-UATP arrangement will simplify payments for BCD clients and their travelers. It also will enhance data collection.
It’s a big step for the entire business travel industry, as a recent Business Travel News article explained: “In the proprietary, airline-owned UATP network, airlines until now have been the only parties to issue its centralized lodge accounts.”
UATP’s payment network is accepted by most of the world’s airlines and many other corporate travel suppliers. UATP billing statements include transaction data like airline, city pair and class of service. BCD will now be able to collect that data on behalf of its participating corporate customers.
Companies will authorize BCD to use their UATP accounts for travel payments, and BCD will help manage the accounts and provide customer service. The travel management company will launch the payment program internally with a test group before making it widely available as early as first quarter 2020. At launch, it only will be available in the U.S.
“At BCD Travel we’re continually looking to innovate in technology, business models, processes and corporate culture,” said BCD Chief Financial Officer Cees Batenburg. “Becoming the first TMC to issue UATP accounts is part of our broader effort to bring innovation to travel payments to improve both the traveler and travel buyer experience.”