Virtual IBAN targets travel agency payments

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Because the cost of cross-border payments can substantially bite into profit margins for travel agencies, payments technology provider Ixaris and financial service infrastructure developers Banking Circle are partnering to eliminate that expense with virtual bank account numbers.

Banking Circle's Virtual IBAN (international bank account number) will link into Ixaris' payment products for travel agents, streamlining their processes when making payments to vendors, destination hotels or resorts.

International transactions incur higher bank charges, poorer foreign exchange rates and often delays for major travel brands or independent travel agencies, in addition to administrative costs.

The solution from London-based Ixaris and Banking Circle seeks to convert the cross-border B2B payments into a revenue stream for more than 200 travel agency customers in 50 countries.

"Our partnership with Banking Circle allows Ixaris to offer an even more competitive edge to our travel customers, not only by optimizing payments but by creating a seamless cross border transaction process across more than 25 currencies in 60 countries in a way that banks simply would not allow," Ixaris CEO Aran Brown said in a Friday press release. “Ixaris’ ability to optimize travel payments is now second to none.”

The Virtual IBAN allows businesses to send and receive payments anywhere in the world in real time, eliminating the need for agencies to establish multiple banking relationships in different territories. The travel agencies no longer have to open a physical bank account in the territories in which they want to operate.

The virtual account numbers "play an invaluable role in delivering faster, cheaper payments to merchants transacting around the world," Banking Circle CEO Anders la Cour said in the release. "This improves payments acceptance, settlement times and reconciliation."

Banking Circle, previously a unit of Saxo Bank, first launched the Virtual IBAN in 2017. A year later, EQT VIII and EQT Ventures acquired the global banking services company in partnership with Banking Circle founders.

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B-to-B payments Cross border payments
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