B2B Wallet – why it took off in Scandinavia
Sick and tired of paying high card fees for low cost airlines? Hot and bothered trying to figure out which card you should pay with? By using your cards more smartly you can save a lot of money.
When we launched B2B Wallet – our solution for paying suppliers – in Scandinavia in 2016, it was tough going but we didn’t give up. Maybe, it was a good thing that Amadeus was a newcomer to the Payments area as it meant we were super-keen and very flexible to adapt our solution to our customers’ needs.
Something must have worked: one year later, Scandinavia is one of the most popular markets for B2B Wallet within the Amadeus Group.
What is B2B Wallet?
For those of you who are not familiar with our B2B Wallet, it’s basically a solution for travel agencies to pay their suppliers using virtual cards. This means travel agencies can choose the payment method, earn revenue and make more efficient supplier payments.
We also monitor the customer’s data and suggest how they can do things better. Often, customers are losing money because they are using the wrong card, the MasterCard instead of the Visa Debit card. Using the right card can save you a lot of money – for example, if you use the Visa Debit card for the low cost airlines you can avoid hefty credit card fees. Our Optimisation Engine solution – which is currently being developed – will help to guide customers when deciding which card to use.
One of the reasons B2B Wallet really took off in Scandinavia was because we could offer customers two cards – a MasterCard Credit Card plus a Visa Debit Card - while our competitors could only offer a MasterCard. Another reason is that you can do everything in the Amadeus system meaning there’s no need to log on to another system to access the virtual cards. We received two awards for the B2B Wallet solution in 2017; Best Business Card Award in February and Best B2B innovation in March.
Card payments – a touchy subject
Virtual cards are a bit of a touchy subject. Some airlines do not accept so-called ‘wholesale’ cards because they are more expensive for the supplier than a normal commercial card. This creates a huge challenge for the travel agencies. That’s why we introduced a “commercial” MasterCard, which is cheaper for the airlines to process.
Since we see more and more airlines reacting negatively to the 'wholesale' cards, we are working on a long-term solution with benefits for both travel agencies and airlines. Watch this space!
About the author
Sara Bäckman joined the Amadeus Payment Team in 2016 as a Solution Manager, responsible for our B2B Wallet solution. Before joining Amadeus in 2010 she worked for several Travel Agencies in Sweden and abroad; e.g. Travelstart in South Africa and Ebookers in India.