Worldline partners with Nordic NDC to boost travel sector in Nordic region, in order to provide a level playing field for small and medium-sized travel operators with access to broader travel distribution solutions
Worldline, the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry, and Nordic NDC ApS (Nordic NDC), a travel technology solutions company, has announced a strategic alliance that will improve the ability of small to medium-sized travel companies to offer airlines tickets to their customers. The partnership focuses on the Nordic countries as well as the Baltic states.
The strategic agreement between Worldline and Nordic NDC will cater to the needs of small and medium-sized travel operators that wish to increase their presence in the Nordic region. As part of the partnership, Nordic NDC and their partner AARON GROUP will provide the world-leading multi-source booking tool “Symphony” and the data integration hub “Atlas” that travel agencies will use. In combination with Worldline’s comprehensive payment solutions and PSaaS (Payment System as A Service), it is now possible for agencies to benefit from new online booking technology. The joint solution will enable public online booking tools to be utilised by the Nordic and Baltic travel professionals.
By joining forces, Worldline and Nordic NDC will be able to accelerate their growth in markets with enormous potential across Northern Europe, including Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland as well as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. These are typically very mature markets with high IT literacy and high spending habits. However, global actors in the travel industry typically prioritise perceived large markets such as Central Europe, USA, Far East and as a result, the Nordic region has been overlooked.
The partnership will allow Worldline to increase its presence in the Nordic area in terms of acquiring and gateway solutions. The payment service benefits customers but also a whole new range of travel businesses, thanks to its flexibility provided by Worldline’s payment solutions. The bundle solution will facilitate an omnichannel process, which will dramatically help customer engagement as well as customer retention.
The Nordic region was traditionally served by a limited number of players who dominated the market for customers seeking to book airline tickets. The new technology provided by Nordic NDC and AARON GROUP makes it possible to provide access to all distribution sources available to travel agencies when making airline bookings. Small and medium-sized travel agencies are now able to provide their customers with comprehensive airline and ticketing information, including those from GDS, Low-Cost Carriers (LCC) and from NDC.
Commenting on the partnership, Peter Skieller, CEO and co-founder at Nordic NDC ApS, said: “We are very excited to be embarking on this new partnership. We see this as a break into a market that has been dominated by established participants. With this new solution, Worldline, AARON GROUP and Nordic NDC will be able to deliver something truly innovative to the whole travel sector. The agreement will be a step-change for travel professionals that wish to make their operations more efficient and profitable whilst improving the service to their customers.
Those agencies will be able to enlarge their offering to include airline tickets and hotel bookings they were not able to include before. With access to more and better airfares, lower distribution and handling costs this will quickly increase the revenue and income in the agencies. This is a gamechanger that will allow these agencies to compete with the big players or directly with the airline sites.”
Chris Lanckbeen, Head of Travel and Hospitality at Worldline, added: “At Worldline, we are proud to develop our relationship with innovative companies and Nordic NDC is a perfect example of such technologically-oriented businesses. The Nordic region is a market that tends to be a little overlooked and we are happy that this partnership will allow us to increase our presence in the area. In addition to our payment expertise, our WhatsApp Business solution will enable the distribution and provision of WhatsApp Business API, allowing travel agents to send tickets via WhatsApp.”
The payment service is available and live right now. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers tended to book the cheapest tickets on OTAs. Both corporate and independent travellers are now more cautious as cheap tickets may not be refunded and hence consumers are looking for more security and the ability to interact with a person should a problem arise. Therefore, with a growing desire for personal interaction and service, the role of the local travel agency will be strengthened.