DALLAS—In today’s world, contactless solutions are more important than ever. Onyx CenterSource, a global provider of B2B payments and business intelligence to the hospitality industry, has launched virtual credit card payment solutions to its hospitality and travel clients worldwide.
Brian Clubb, Onyx CenterSource SVP of product and marketing, noted that the challenges of COVID-19 increased the need for a solution like this.
“Onyx CenterSource has been at the forefront of electronic payment facilitation in the hospitality industry for years,” he said. “Our solutions have modernized and streamlined the way hotels and agencies do business on an average day. With the unique impacts of COVID-19 on the market—including many of our clients quickly moving to a remote-work environment—some additional challenges came with that. Of course, for those clients still receiving payments via paper checks, those payments may be delayed or more difficult to process if teams are not in their usual office environment. Virtual credit card payments were always aligned with our strategy and solution suite, and combined with the challenges our clients faced from COVID-19, we heard the demand and wanted to answer it.”
Clubb elaborated on how alternative payment methods have evolved over the years. “The industry has evolved significantly from primarily mailed paper check payments years ago. Many business partners in certain parts of the world do not accept checks, and local regulations designed to combat fraudulent payments are becoming more stringent in many regions,” he said. “Virtual payments and payment networks enable transactions without the exchange of banking information, which adds an additional layer of security to the transaction. More clients are looking for electronic solutions to decrease overhead cost, decrease time to pay or days in AR and improve efficiency. Virtual or card payments can be significantly more cost-effective than other payment methods, particularly when leveraged for cross-border payments in medium- to low-dollar amounts. We expect to see even more innovation in the payments space in this market in the near future, and have some developments in this vein on our roadmap, so stay tuned.”
In addition to being contactless, sensitive data can remain anonymous and secure when payments are made.
“VCC is a single-use card number that keeps banking information confidential, unlike check or ACH,” Clubb said. “In addition, one can incorporate several safety restrictions to ensure the intended payee receives the funds. There are many flexible options, ranging from MID-specific (Merchant ID) or industry-level security options. Within all of our Onyx platforms, we also provide encryption of data in transit, making sure the data we receive from and send to our customers is securely encrypted, as well as encryption of data at rest, making sure that processed data in storage is securely encrypted to minimize security risk.”
Other benefits of virtual card payment solutions, Clubb said, include “improved connectivity and payment delivery speed, which is important to our clients, who may have otherwise been waiting on an incoming check payment; trust in accuracy, and security of the payment, funder and payment details; ability to closely manage (or restrict) usage for increase security; and decreased inquiries/first-contact resolution.”
Many hotel businesses are short-staffed right now, having to do less with more, and contactless solutions enable them to do that.
When asked how the pandemic could affect the future of these types of technology solutions, Clubb said, “The pandemic is forcing all businesses across all industries to rethink their models, make adjustments and determine the best way to move forward and remain profitable in the ‘new normal.’ Onyx and our clients are no different. Hospitality market disruptions caused by the pandemic are pivotal to the way businesses flex and respond to evolving dynamics. Will back-office and finance teams be restored to their former full-staff models, or will companies adopt more agile flex models or more technologies driving efficiencies with smaller in-house teams? There is a lot that is still unknown that we think will shake out over the coming weeks and months. Certainly our position is that contactless payments are the preferred method of the future; they decrease cost and turnaround time and increase accuracy and efficiency—and this is not limited to the travel industry.”