Hotel solutions provider HRS has launched a new corporate hotel payment platform designed to help companies drive policy adoption.

Named Invisible Pay, the platform addresses two problems HRS says can cause travellers to book off policy – payment complications at the hotel front desk and complicated expense reporting.

HRS said Invisible Pay leverages its proprietary hotel management platform to provide solutions that can benefit business travellers, their companies and their preferred properties.

The launch of the platform follows recent research by the GBTA that shows business travellers value simpler payment processes, with 88 per cent saying they would book a hotel where their company offers central or direct payments over one that does not.

HRS claimed the solution accommodates the data requirements of both corporate accounting departments and hotels, with 98 per cent acceptance.

According to CEO Tobias Ragge, hotel compliance among its clients rises an average of 23 per cent when they use the company’s payment solutions.

Speaking to Buying Business Travel at the ACTE Global Summit in Amsterdam last week, Ragge said now was the time for HRS to ‘step up our game’. “Payments are heavily regulated and there are different rules in different markets so it’s very fragmented. But corporates want a global solution, so we set ourselves the challenge of solving the problem.

“The operations side of launching a payment platform was perhaps the biggest challenge. Historically, many properties still required a physical card at check-in even if they accepted payment for the booking online. We spent a lot of time talking to our hotel partners to educate them about the use of card numbers versus physical plastic, and there’s actually no cost to the property

“With Invisible Pay, we can validate all aspects of the booking and invoice, and it can also take away the need for travellers to spend time itemising their expenses. This helps us to see the true spend, which in the long term can inform future negotiations with hotels.

“Will every programme be able to achieve 100 per cent compliance? Probably not, but if we as a solutions provider can fix 70 to 80 per cent of the problems corporates are facing I think that will help.”

In September, HRS announced the acquisition of hotel check-in platform Conichi, which is being integrated into its proprietary payment product suite.

HRS said its payment solutions are currently being used in more than 150 countries worldwide, covering more than US$1 billion worth of transactions, including in China by companies such as Alibaba and Huawei.

The company will feature Invisible Pay at its HRS Corporate Lodging Forum in Paris on 28 November.

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