Wakanow.com – an online travel agency – has announced its transition from a two-week airline billing settlement cycle to a daily direct remittance and pre-paid card payment settlement, which is aimed at reducing the cost of travel for customers.
The firm changed its payment model from the two-week Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP), because the plan requires multi-billion bank guarantees. This prompted travel agencies to pass on the increased cost to customers.
The new model will make airlines receive payments within 24 hours against the BSP’s four-week timeline standard. Some of the benefits of the new payment procedure, the firm said, include a faster refund process in which claims can be turned around in a few working days rather than the current arrangement which takes months to complete.
Wakanow’s Group Managing Director, Mr Obinna Ekezie, said: “In the last two years, airfares have increased due to the devaluation of the naira and increased airline risk in payment collection and remittance.
These new daily remittance and prepaid card settlement platforms to be launched by Wakanow have been tested by notable airlines, such as Emirates, Royal Air Maroc and Kenya Airways. We believe this would revolutionise the entire travel industry and offer reduced pricing for airline tickets.”
Wakanow, Ekezie said, is working closely with its International Air Transport Association (IATA), airlines partners and Zenith Bank to streamline the transitio.
Regional Manager of Royal Air Maroc, Jamal Harichi, hailed the new payment initiative. He said: “This new method as championed by Wakanow would enhance painless ticket purchase and promote professionalism in the industry. Wakanow has returned with a successful, safe and dynamic initiative that will give a new lease of life to the travel industry and propel the economy.
“I renew my full support for the innovations initiated by Wakanow.com and thank the entire team for their efforts in order to make Nigerian market a model of innovation, modernization in African tourism sector.”