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.
Help the industry to reduce ADM's root causes
The Agency Debit Memo User Group (ADMUG) brings the entire value chain, Airlines, Agents and their Associations, GDSs, ATPCO, ARC & IATA, together to reduce the number of ADMs globally, in a data-focused environment where constructive, solution-oriented discussions take place. The group is supported and guided by the Passenger Agency Conference Steering Group (PSG). Therefore, the ADMUG acts as an expert group that provides recommendations to the Passenger Agency Conference.
ADMs are a well-known challenge for the industry and the goal of the ADM User Group is to improve efficiencies in the ticketing distribution chain by identifying, developing, and implementing standard solutions to:
- Reduce the need for ADMs in various areas, thereby reducing the workload, resources and time spent on post-billing revenue auditing
- Maintain a sustainable ADM operational infrastructure by streamlining and enhancing procedures to create synergies and a more efficient ADM process
- Enhance the communication process and improve business relationships amongst the industry business partners
Become a member
Any Airline, Agent, Travel Agent Association or GDS entity interested in contributing to the group is invited to join.
Hear from others like yours (pdf) !
Learn about the foundation of the ADMUG (pdf)
The ADM User Group identified the main reasons causing ADMs standard reason codes (pdf) and started working on solutions for standardizing and ehnancing global ADM processes and their related business impacts. These solutions are categorized into three different streams:
Recommendations and best practices (pdf) that will help the industry to manage ADMs in more efficient and streamlined manner.
A set of different system enhancements to provide easy access and transparency to information. A Root Cause Analysis showed that the lack of such information was a major reason for ADMs.
A set of different trainings targeted to a specific audience (Airline or Agent) for a better understanding of ADMs, aiming for a better management of the related processes.
What do Airlines and Travel Agents have to say about ADMs?
IATA 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 (pdf) provides intelligence that will help IATA building a strategy to promote the ADMUG best practices in a more efficient manner.
How to be part of the ADM User Group (ADMUG)?
Any Airline, Agent participating in the BSP, Travel Agent Association or GDS entity interested in contributing is invited to join this industry expert group and work in a collaborative environment to shape the direction of better ADM management and reduction.
- More information on the ADMUG Introduction Kit (pdf).
- Learn how your organization can benefit from the ADMUG (pdf)
How does the ADMUG work?
The ADMUG is an interactive forum that encourages an open dialogue and collaboration amongst industry partners who share their challenges when dealing with ADMs, and agree on solutions and best practices together. The group has a wide scope of participants that let data drive the discussions while everyone reflects on their processes without pointing fingers.
The direction of the ADM User Group is driven by a strategy group (ADM Group) composed of up to 30 entities with an even distribution of Airlines, Agents, and GDSs, as well as a balanced representation of a geographical location.
How to be involved?
Members participate in yearly Workshops and regular calls led by the IATA.
The group holds face-to-face workshops once a year hosted by IATA to review data trends and evolution, brainstorm on industry challenges and validate the group’s next steps. These 2-day events are a unique opportunity to build relationships and take a proactive approach to establish new methodologies of teamwork.
Two update calls are held during the year and intended to summarize the latest developments and share the outcome of the yearly workshop with those members who could not physically attend the meeting.
During the Workshops, the group validates the Work Programme, which includes a set of focus areas and workstreams. Each of them is driven by a Sub-group formed by respective members of the ADM User Group that work together to ensure and the progress throughout the year.
The IATA ADM team is continuously tracking global data as well as the general and specific issues that affect industry actors when dealing with ADMs. The team turns to members' expertise and engage in one-on-one discussions to address any particular ADM patterns that may occur at a local or regional level.
The Extranet site gives the ADM User Group exclusive access to all documents and resources available:
- ADM data reports, presentations, and meeting minutes from our workshops and calls.
- Educational Lab corner with a set of research reports, tools, guides, webinars and training.
- Registration to the workshops, sub-groups, and calls.
- Subscribtion to a monthly newsletter to receive the latest data trends, updates and announcements.
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)
- 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 (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.