KDS last week here at a client conference announced that it partnered with Conferma, a provider of single-use virtual card numbers. Conferma commercial director Shaun Hinds told The Beat that his company will generate 16-digit virtual card numbers as an alternative to lodge card payments within the KDS booking tool. Conferma also intends to generate virtual numbers for users of KDS T&E Flex, the new name for the data collection component of the KDS Maverick unmanaged travel solution, enabling corporate payment for bookings through public websites.
Hinds said Conferma is aiming by July 2013 to make available virtual numbers to KDS users. He added that deals with other corporate booking tool providers are imminent.
Hinds claimed that one reason for these partnerships is that such large travel management companies as Carlson Wagonlit Travel are pushing for a single-use number option in booking tools. TMCs' interest in the technology has grown since Sabre and Amadeus during the past year became capable of generating virtual numbers at points of sale.
"Lodge cards don't work well in the online environment," Hinds added.
Lodge cards are the original virtual cards__a card number covering all transactions made by all of a client's travelers through a nominated TMC. However, Hinds said many lodge products do not provide a three- or four-digit security code like those found on a plastic payment card, whereas single-use numbers simultaneously are generated with an accompanying security number.
Hinds said single-use numbers can provide financial reconciliation for rogue bookings through KDS Flex T&E.
When a traveler books through a PC on which Flex T&E has been installed, KDS automatically tracks the reservation even if it is on the Ryanair website, for example. The intention is for Flex T&E to jump in when the traveler reaches the payment page and populate a Conferma 16-digit card number, instead of corporate or personal card details filled in by travelers.
"If travelers use a personal card, their company won't get the visibility," Hinds said. "We are trying to tie back the financial data to the free-flowing booking environment we now have in 2013."
Conferma last month added Royal Bank of Scotland to its list of issuers, which also includes American Express, AirPlus International, US Bank, Barclaycard and HSBC.