Air Europa, Spain’s third-largest airline, has signed up to use a new closed-loop payments solution from global payments firm Nium.
Dubbed Nium Airline Payments (NAP), the solution is wired to accept payments via the Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) – one of the oldest payments networks in the world.
NAP provides airlines, travel agents and online travel agencies (OTAs) with a sustainable and equitable ‘closed-loop’ payment model. It aims to close the door on ‘damaging surcharges’ and ‘business restricting non-acceptance policies’.
The launch follows Nium‘s acquisition of travel payments optimisation leader Ixaris in 2021.
NAP gives airlines the flexibility and control to design transparent incentives for OTA partners, based on routes, seasonality as well as business volumes. It also promises customers, such as Air Europa, “significantly reduced per payment cost savings, faster settlement times and flexible incentives for sellers”.
Nium’s process is also IATA Resolution 890 compliant and registered with the IATA TIP (Transparency in Payments) programme.
An ‘airline distribution conundrum’
Spencer Hanlon, head of travel at Nium, says it is “very honoured” to help Air Europa resolve “one of the biggest airline distribution conundrums of the internet era”. That is ‘do I increase my distribution at the price of accepting high payment fees, or limit distribution to partners who offer better payment terms but reduce overall sales opportunities?’.
Yago Casasnovas, head of payment, fraud prevention and distribution at Air Europa, said: ““We were very inspired by Nium’s innovative approach to create an alternative payment method, and proud to offer it to our B2B partners.
“We are communicating the availability of this new option to our travel agencies, tour operator and TMC customers and we hope that they will soon join us in taking advantage of the benefits of using it.”
Nium has come up trumps with a range of B2B payment solutions for the travel industry, including virtual credit cards (VCCs), real-time ‘pay-in, pay-out’ in over 100 currencies to over 190 countries, and most recently crypto solutions.
Fight against illegal wildlife trade
In a separate announcement, Nium recently joined the United for Wildlife (UfW) Financial Taskforce. The Taskforce has pledged to use financial infrastructure to curb animal trafficking. It also promotes cross-industry collaboration and establishes best practices in identifying and reporting suspicious financial activity.
The UfW network has contributed to over 450 law enforcement cases, over 250 arrests, almost 200 seizures of wildlife products and trained over 100,000 people.