Naturally, this work requires us to have an organised payment system to book hotels and extended stay accommodations on behalf of our corporate clients. We traditionally utilised lodge cards with higher lines of credit to pay the various properties and while this system worked, there was room for improvement. National uses Sabre to make bookings but, like all distribution systems, Sabre does not have a native system for conveying payment. Consequently, National associates spent hours phoning hotels to understand how we could provide payment on behalf of each guest. From payment links to faxed credit card authorization forms, each hotel had different requirements. Oftentimes, just getting the hotel on the line was a feat itself!
Virtual payments have streamlined how we do business.
The shift to Conferma Pay has been revolutionary for my team. Instead of switching between different systems from our banking partners, we can quickly and easily create a virtual card within Conferma Pay and confirm the reservation. Previously our teams could spend up to 23 minutes creating a hotel booking. Utilizing Conferma Pay has reduced this process to around three minutes. We now conduct the entire payment process within the Sabre booking platform, removing the need to interact with other systems.
Each virtual card is linked to each individual booking, so we have a clear one-to-one relationship between the booking and the payment. This has transformed how we reconcile payments and saved significant time compared to sorting through multiple bookings on a single lodge card. Conferma also displays each transaction/charge made towards that unique card, allowing for real-time monitoring.
Switching to virtual cards has also reduced our fraud exposure. If National is accommodating a family on behalf of an insurance company while repairs are made to their home, we can create a card using Conferma Pay for $2,000 to cover ten $200 nights at a hotel. This is the total value of the virtual card so even in the unlikely event it we’re to be compromised, exposure is limited. Additionally, Conferma Pay’s pre-built communication methods include secure APIs for a more comprehensive data security process.
Conferma Pay also provides us with a new level of flexibility when managing reservations. If that same family’s stay needs to be extended because repairs to their home are taking longer than anticipated, we can simply extend the line of credit on that virtual card. We might increase the limit to $4,000 to cover twenty nights or add additional credit that can pay for meals and incidentals. Because of the specialist nature of National’s business and the frequently changing needs of our clients, our average length of stay during 2021 was 48 nights and most of these reservations required multiple extensions, so the flexibility to control and amend the virtual card simplifies our job significantly while providing a seamless experience for our guests.
Implementing Conferma Pay was simple; it was just a matter of bringing together our banking partners, Sabre, and Conferma Pay. After some preliminary discussions, we were up and running in a matter of weeks!
The Conferma Pay Customer Success team has continually provided high levels of support to ensure we are getting the most from the platform. I’d happily recommend Conferma Pay to colleagues within the industry.