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Online Travel Agencies

Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) allow customers to book airline tickets, car rentals, hotel rooms and more through an easy to use online interface. Typically, an OTA collects payment from its customers and then makes a payment to the Hotel/Airline via a Global Distribution System (GDS) (such as Amadeus, Galileo).

OTAs (or the GDS nominated by them) can leverage Airwallex Issuing to request one-time use virtual cards through to make these payments. Cards can be set up for a specific amount and currency, along with additional controls such as an allowed merchant category code.

OTA signs up with Airwallex; sets up currency balances in all currencies they require payouts, such as USD, THB, SGD, HKD and so on. They then leverage the Airwallex platform to convert those currencies at near interbank rates.

  1. OTA's Customer makes a booking and chooses to pay to the OTA directly (as opposed to the customers paying the hotel directly), the payment is collected from the customers;

  2. OTA’s system requests a single use Virtual Card for the relevant amount, currency and merchant type via Airwallex API;

  3. Airwallex instantly generates a Virtual Card and sends the PAN back to the OTA’s system via an API response. Virtual Cards are sent out active to make the transaction process seamless for the OTAs;

  4. OTA’s system uses the Virtual Card details to push out the reservation to the GDS;

  5. The GDS pushes out the details to the relevant hotel’s property management system (PMS). The hotel's PMS saves card information along with reservation details;

  6. When the customer checks out (completes their stay at the hotel), the hotel’s system uses the stored card to generate a transaction, which is routed to Airwallex via the Visa network;

  7. Airwallex checks the OTA’s relevant currency account and if there’s sufficient balance in the relevant currency, the transaction is approved and the wallet debited.

OTA Example