Agent Debit Memo (ADM) is the legitimate accounting tool used by airlines to collect adjustments for Standard Traffic Documents (STDs) issued by Agents (Reso 850m) (pdf). In 2015, airlines have issued 2.3 million ADMs transactions for a value of US $ 579 million, incurring an estimated industry cost of US $ 150 million to manage the ADM process.
The cost incurred by the industry for the management of ADMs is extremely high. To respond to this issue, the Passenger Agency Steering Group had established a dedicated ADM Strategy Group as well as the ADM User Group (Formerly referred to as ADM Working Group) in order to support industry initiatives that would facilitate ADM reduction and improved ADM management.
What do Airlines and Travel Agents have to say about ADMs?
The ADM Reduction Project team conducted an ADM Market Analysis to get market-based data around the topic of ADMs from IATA Member Airlines and Accredited Agents. The ADM Market Analysis Report provides intelligence that will help IATA building a strategy to promote the ADMWG/ADMUG best practices in a more efficient manner.
The ADM Management & Reduction Project has initially been endorsed by the Passenger Steering Group (PSG). It has been initiated in order to support the formation of the ADMUG and facilitate the initial phases of establishing standards and initiatives. The objectives of this project are to:
- Reduce the need for ADMs in various areas, thereby reducing the workload, resources and time spent on post-billing revenue auditing
- Streamline various work processes and enhancing the ADM process, creating a lean post-billing settlement process
- Enhance the communication process within the existing workflow and improve business relationships
After identifying inefficiencies in the current distribution chain, solutions found within the ADMUG are resulting in a reduced need for post-billing revenue recovery via ADMs, and their implementation started taking place in 2017 and is on-going.
More information on the need to reduce ADMs (pdf).
Three workshops facilitated by the IATA ADM Management & Reduction project team brought the ADM User Group members to go through ADM data and define the main reasons for ADMs. Several solutions were identified and agreed on through a final roadmap that will result in a reduced number of ADMs.
The Standard reason codes document describes the main reasons for ADMs
In 2018, the ADM User Group worked on the implementation of these solutions (pdf), which have been categorized in three different streams:
A set of different system enhancements to provide easy access and transparency to information and a self-service platform including a Policy Repository, BSP commission control and Credit Card Acceptance. The Root Cause Analysis showed that the lack of such information was a major reason for ADMs.
A set of rules and practices (pdf) that will help all industry actors impacted by ADMs to better manage those by providing the necessary access to relevant information.
A set of different trainings targeted to specific audience (Airline or Agent) for a better understanding of ADMs, aiming for a better management of the related processes.
Join the ADM User Group (ADMUG)!
The aim of ADMUG is to improve the efficiencies in the current distribution chain and works on identifying, developing and implementing solutions resulting in a reduced need for post-billing revenue recovery through ADMs. ADMs are a well-known challenge for the industry, therefore all industry actors (Airlines, Agents and their Associations, GDSs, ATPCO, ARC & IATA SMEs) are called to work together in a data-focused environment to reach that goal.
This is why any Airline, Agent, Travel Agent Association or GDS entity interested in contributing to the group by providing input with a collaborative, data-driven mindset is invited to join the ADMUG. For receiving more information, participating in the user group's discussions and be part of the solution, please feel free to join the ADMWG extranet, or contact us through ADMProject@iata.org.
The ADMUG Recognition Program
The ADM User Group (formerly referred to as ADMWG) has worked diligently since 2015 to bring industry experts together in the global fight against Agency Debit Memos (ADMs). This Recognition Program aims to recognize and award the hard work of the ADMWG members who have provided with significant contributions to the development of solutions and best practices that have simplified the processes and challenges related ADM’s.
Kudo: "Airline Mapping & Auto-categorization"
This Kudo will be assigned to the Airlines of the ADMWG who have completed both Airline Mapping and Auto-categorization exercises.
We are pleased to announce the Airline winners for this Kudo:
- Hope Harper (Delta)
- Clare Jones (British Airways)
- Neysha Lemos (Emirates)
- Wendy Onofre (TAP Air Portugal)
- Cuma Soysal (Turkish Airlines)
- Kerstin Dosch (Hahn Air)
- Harmony Parisi (American Airlines)
- Ángeles Baeza (Iberia)
- Ángela Rubio (Iberia)
Congratulations to all of them for completing both Airline Mapping and Auto-categorization exercises!
Kudo: “The Best Story Teller”
This Kudo will be awarded to the one Airline, Agent and GDS member of the ADMWG who shares the most outstanding success story demonstrating the adoption of one or more of the ADMWG Best Practices.
Congratulations to Tim DeLaney from Delta Airlines who has been awarded The Best Story Teller Kudo by sharing the most outstanding success story demonstrating the adoption of the ADMWG Best Practices!
Kudo: “Payment Card Synchronization”
This Kudo will be awarded to the GDS who have completed a Payment Card Synchronization exercise with the ADM Project team. The winners for this award will be announced at a later stage.
Kudo: “Commission Control Cleanup”
This Kudo will reward the Airline of the ADMWG who has sucessfully conducted a clean-up exercise on their Commission Control setup in BSPLink. The winners for this award will be announced at a later stage.
Kudo: “Bring a Travel Agent Buddy”
This Kudo will be assigned to the Travel Agent/s of the ADMWG who has invited a fellow Agent that has joined the working group.
Congratulations to Ajaya Sodha from GTMC who has been awarded the Bring a Travel Agent Buddy Kudo for helping expand our community by inviting several Travel Agents to join the ADMWG!
Kudo: “Most Valuable Player”
This Kudo will recognize one Airline, Agent and GDS member of the ADMWG who has shown the greatest level of support and commitment during their participation in the ADMWG.
Congratulations to Krzysztof Kosciesza-Zaba (Kris) from Sabre who has been awared the Most Valuable Player Kudo for the invaluable contribution to the ADMUG in working towards a successful common goal!
Below is some usefull documentation available about the ADM Management & Reduction initiative. You will also find information regarding work done by the ADM User Group.
- ADM User Group Introduction Kit (pdf)
- ADM Auto-Categorization Guide (pdf)
- ADM COVID-19 Emergency Tookit (pdf)
- ADM Market Analysis Report 2019 (pdf)
- ATPCO Tax Product - Adoption per GDS (pdf)
- ADMUG Best Practices Guide (pdf)
- ADMUG Best Practices Guide - Template to customize (docx)
- ADM Market Analysis Report 2017 (pdf)
- Why is ADM Reduction important? (pdf)
- ADMUG Brochure (pdf)
- BSP Commission Control Fact Sheet (pdf)
- ADMUG agreed solutions (pdf)
- ADMUG Standard Reason Codes (pdf)
- ADMUG Chargeback Guidelines - English - Spanish (pdf)
Contact us for more information.
Educational video on ADM prevention in collaboration with ATPCO
The ADM Reduction Project team brought together two experts from IATA and ATPCO to talk about ADMs related to the management of exchange and refund rules. Learn about their specific tips on the three “categories” in which the airlines can instruct their policies for voluntary changes and refunds.
Training for Airlines and Agents
In a coordinated effort with IATA Training team, specific training needs have been identified to address common ticketing errors that lead to ADMs.
Training for Airlines
- Customized training for your Airline based on your historical ADM data, to better understand pain-points causing ADMs issuing for automated fares
- A better understanding of fare construction that will empower your staff in filing fares and accurately reflect your Airline’s intent
If you are interested in receiving a customized training portfolio based on your Airline’s ADM data, please contact us at ADMProject@iata.org
Training for Agents
- Handpicked ticketing courses that will help your consultants enhance their knowledge on specific areas proven to be the main reason for human error and resulting in ADMs
- If you are interested in ticketing courses that will help you prevent ADMs, please go through the below online modules and find the list of available courses at the end of each level
Online Interactive Learning Modules
Take our interactive lessons below and see how well you know the areas where common mistakes are being made!
*Please make sure you have Adobe Flash installed on your computer
Credit Card Chargebacks and Fraud Prevention
Credit card chargebacks have consistently represented about 11%* of the total value of ADMs globally over the last three years. This is equivalent to over USD140 million of revenue leakage in 3 years time!
While the main reasons for such high chargeback ADM values have yet to be fully identified, discussions among the ADM User Group highlighted two of the biggest challenges facing the industry in trying to reduce them:
- Tight timelines allowed to airlines for providing evidence to adequately challenge and remedy chargebacks
- Raising the level of awareness about the importance of fraud prevention at the point of sales
To overcome ADMs and chargebacks, the ADMUG in collaboration with IATA’s Industry Fraud Prevention initiative, presents Credit Card Chargeback Guideline (pdf) , a guide that provides a compilation of best practices and useful information in order to help the industry prevent the occurrence of card chargebacks related to ADMs.
Read the full interview of two payment experts from ARC and IATA discussing how ADM reduction could be an indication of fraud prevention.
Tips for Airlines and Agents on how to protect their businesses from fraud
- Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2) (pdf)
- Address Verification System (AVS) (pdf)
- 3D Secure and EMV (pdf)
- Frequently asked scenario (pdf)
More information on and tips on how to prevent fraud can be found at the IATA Industry Fraud Prevention Website – FAQs section.
*Note: Percentages based on ADMs that could be categorized with a reason for its issuance.