A replacement for ABTA’s Single Payment Scheme (SPS), developed by technology company Travel Ledger, is to launch late summer 2021 to ABTA Members.
The scheme is ABTA’s direct debit system for allowing fast online payments between travel agents and tour operators. Transactions are consolidated by the payment scheme, so that each week only a single payment is made in or out of each Member’s bank account.
Under the new, more efficient scheme ABTA Members will have control over their payments, not only who they transact with, but also by facilitating deposit and balance payments from travel agents to tour operators, and refunds from operators to agents.
Over time, ABTA Members who join the scheme will have the opportunity to process payments more frequently with the potential for more than the one cycle per week that the current scheme allows.
After evaluating multiple systems, ABTA chose to partner with Travel Ledger because of its technology knowhow and understanding of the travel industry. The new system has been tested by ABTA Member focus groups over the last few months, allowing Members to review and refine the scheme and ensure it works for their requirements. It will use the same process as on the older platform, to avoid disruption to existing users’ back-office functions.
Travel Ledger is an electronic invoice and remittance system which is connected to UK and European banking for easy and secure payments between travel buyers and suppliers, providing secure transaction processing and reconciliation. Once live, Travel Ledger will provide user and technical support to ABTA Members, who will be able to review their own data, as well as identify potential problems with transactions in advance, before payments are authorised or transactions fail – making the system more risk-free for all parties.
John de Vial, Special Adviser at ABTA, said: “The new scheme will use the latest technology to allow fast, accurate and secure consolidated payments and refunds. We’re confident that it will greatly support users’ businesses and make payments easier.”
Travel Ledger founder, Roberto De Ra, added: “Having tested the Travel Ledger system successfully with a large focus group of ABTA Members, we’re delighted to offer the system across the entire ABTA membership in the coming weeks and look forward to fruitful collaboration with them.”
ABTA’s Members in 2019 settled more than 600,000 bookings to the value of more than £900 million.