Payment cost and efficiency is becoming a major topic for the airline industry. New payment studies by Edgar Dunn & Company and McKinsey & Co. that were presented during the World Financial Symposium held in September 2022 in Doha, Qatar, shed light on the challenges and opportunities. As an example, Edgar Dunn & Company estimated payment acceptance costs at $20.3 billion annually, which confirms that identifying more cost-effective forms of payment is critical for airlines’ financial health. Meanwhile, the McKinsey & Co. study noted that payments also present a value-creation opportunity.
IATA Pay is an alternative method for travelers to pay for air tickets purchased online by directly debiting their bank account. It improves speed and security of payments, while reducing payment costs. Airlines benefit from additional services, such as settlement within 24 hours, reconciliation, refund management and an administrator portal.
Since its launch in 2022, IATA Pay has helped participating airlines to save up to 99% in payment processing fees while providing travelers with a highly secure alternative form of payment.
Find out more: high level transaction flow for airline web ticket purchase (pdf).
Watch the below promotional video to know more about the value proposition and benefits IATA Pay brings to the Airline Industry:
Regulatory initiatives such as the EU’s Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) encourage the development of new solutions such as bank account to bank account, real time payment and request-to-pay services.
At the same time, the adoption of immediate payment solutions is becoming global. Some cashless alternatives such as Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in India are becoming popular and a mandatory offer in some jurisdictions.
IATA Pay leverages these developments to enable airlines to offer their customers a direct payment solution when purchasing airline products and services online.
A cost-effective alternative payment solution
IATA Pay is a cost-effective and highly secure alternative payment solution which optimizes cash flow.
To airlines, IATA Pay advantages are:
- Highly secure, no chargebacks or holdback practices
- One technical integration for all available markets
- Single contractual relation with IATA, managing exposure to service risks
- Control of customer payment information
- Simpler payment process for an end-to-end shopping experience
- Faster cash flow to the merchant
- Optional white-labelled payment method.
- Transparent price structure
To consumers, the benefits include:
- Highly secure
- Enhanced consumer shopping-experience with seamless payment.
- Increased number of payment options
- Possible on demand restoration features such as pay later, cash-back rewards and payment insurance
Interested with the potential of IATA Pay for your company?
Please check out the FAQs below and contact us now.
What is IATA Pay?
What is IATA Pay?
IATA Pay is a new payment solution for direct ticket sales via airline websites that can also be utilize in other use cases (NDC, Agency Portal, Group Sales). It is based on instant bank transactions and leverages on open banking or Request-to-Pay schemes.
Is IATA Pay already a product? Where will it be offered?
Yes, IATA Pay is live in Germany, UK, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Italy, India, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
IATA Pay will keep expanding to other geographies such as the Americas, MEA and Asia-Pacific markets, like Hong Kong and Thailand.
The intent is to go global making IATA Pay available in all markets in which instant payment, open banking and request to pay are accessible.
What are the currencies available for IATA Pay?
Currently, the currencies in scope are EUR (Europe), GBP (UK), as well as Indian Rupee (India).
Through 2022 and onwards, new markets outside of Europe will be onboarded to IATA Pay. For these markets the scope is local currencies.
Note that ICCS is compatible with IATA Pay when the service is available in the market.
What are open banking and Request-to-Pay (RtP)?
Open banking and Request-to-Pay are emerging trends in the banking and payments sectors. These regulatory trends allow for new players to enter the payments landscape and create a payment method which is more direct between the merchant and consumer.
Request-to-Pay is a regulated scheme that allows for a payee to request a payment from a payor. In this context, the payor would only need to approve this payment request to initiate the payment. Request-to-Pay schemes usually cover instant transactions that are definite.
Open banking schemes provide a regulatory framework and/or rulebook for financial information messaging via standard APIs that can support new payment solutions based on Request-to-Pay transactions
What are the advantages of instant payments?
Instant payments are also known as immediate payments, faster payments and real-time payments. Key features include:
Immediate availability of funds to the vendor.
Assured payment: once a payment has been made, the sender cannot deauthorize the transfer.
Confirmation of funds via real-time balance. Once a payment is authorized, the sender’s account balance reflects the deduction instantaneously.
How does IATA Pay work?
Will IATA Pay be presented as another alternative for payment at the checkout stage?
Yes. At the checkout page, IATA Pay will be presented together with any other payment option offered by the merchant (e-wallets, debit / credit cards, other bank transfer solutions, etc).
IATA Pay will be offered to merchants as a white-labelled solution, so in case of airlines, they will be able to decide on the branding.
What is the payment flow of an IATA Pay transaction?
First, IATA Pay is selected as the payment method by the customer at the checkout stage.
The airline will send the request to IATA Pay with an instant API communication. IATA Pay will use the payment and bank details to send a payment request to the customer’s bank account. The funds will be transferred directly and securely from the customer’s account to IATA’s bank account.
The next day, IATA will settle the funds to the airline’s account.
Will IATA Pay transactions go through the BSP?
IATA Pay direct sales are independent from the BSP payment, although IATA Pay leverages on the BSP’s settlement infrastructure.
Is IATA Pay part of the BSP?
IATA Pay is a payment solution which mainly focus on airlines’/agents’ direct sales and will be settled separately from the BSP payments, although leveraging on the BSP’s settlement infrastructure.
How will my airline receive the funds?
IATA will reconcile the collected funds and settle them in a lump sum amount to the airline on the day following the transaction to a domestic bank account (Note: Bank accounts within SEPA area are considered domestic).
ICCS is compatible with IATA Pay when ICCS is available in the market, enabling the airline to repatriate their funds in their preferred currency.
This means that airlines could receive daily settlements which will include all the prior day’s transactions.
How is the airline communicating with IATA Pay to initiate payments?
All interactions between airline and IATA Pay to initiate payment or refund will be via API communication, through the interface that has been built between both parties.
How are IATA Pay charges invoiced? Where can I find/download the invoice?
IATA pay charges will be invoiced along with the monthly IATA BSP invoice, for details on the charges you may refer to the BSP/CASS & AIRLINE CODING/MITA PRICE LIST.
All IATA invoices are available for download on the Simplified Invoicing and Settlement (SIS) platform.
Are direct sales from the airline’s website the only solution available for IATA Pay?
The initial scope of IATA Pay is direct sales from the airline’s website that can also be utilize in other use cases (NDC, Agency Portal, Group Sales). So, further options in the pipeline are expanding to other sales channels and to travel agents.
How can my airline integrate and use IATA Pay?
How can my airline start using IATA Pay?
Similarly to other financial services in IATA, your airline will be requested to provide contact information, instructions for settlement and a signed contract.
To activate the service, IATA Pay will be integrated to your check-out website like any other payment alternative.
For further information on contract conditions, kindly address your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
How will IATA Pay be integrated in my airline’s checkout page?
IATA Pay can be integrated directly into your airline’s check-out page, either through your payment gateway provider or through a direct connection to your airline’s systems.
It is easy to connect to the IATA Pay interface. Check out the technical information for integration in the IATA Pay extranet. If you still don´t have access contact email@example.com and will guide you.
Note that IATA Pay is already integrated to IFG (IATA Financial Gateway) and IATA is in talks with the main providers in the market to integrate with them.
The IATA Pay team is ready to support you in your IATA Pay journey. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Who can be a user in IATA Pay extranet from my Airline?
Any airline employee could have a user in the IATA Pay extranet, usually stakeholders in payments and ecommerce departments.
There can be different user profiles with different levels of access and roles in the extranet. There will be a main user from the airline with administrative power and visibility of all other users, this main user will be able to add, remove and change authorizations to any of the other users.
How can my airline use real-time refunds feature?
Airlines will instruct IATA Pay to perform refunds as per their own internal policies. The instruction is sent through an interface (API) so that it is executed in real time.
Based on Airlines instructions, real-time refunds will be available to customers that made the original purchase using IATA Pay.
Is there a document or guide explaining the IATA Pay admin portal's functionalities?
Yes, please contact email@example.com to share the appropriate documentation to guide your needs to familiarize yourself with IATA Pay functionalities.
What other stakeholders are relevant to IATA Pay?
What is the link between IFG and IATA Pay?
IATA Pay and IFG are complementary to one another: IATA Pay is a new payment solution for the airline industry, while IFG is a payment orchestration service which optimizes airlines and travel suppliers’ different sales payment processes.
IATA Pay is already integrated with IFG.
What is the difference between IATA EasyPay and IATA Pay?
These are two different payment solutions offered by IATA.
IATA Pay is a new payments solution based on instant bank transactions, IATA EasyPay is a “pay as you go” e-wallet solution for travel agents to issue tickets via the BSP.
Is there a difference between IATA Pay and similar existing open banking payment solutions?
From a user experience point of view, most instant payment methods may be very similar because they must comply with the same regulations. However, from an airline’s point of view IATA Pay has many differentiating factors. These include:
- Cost-recovery pricing model, up to 93% reduction in cost.
- A single industry solution covering all available markets as opposed to individual market solutions
- One single contract covering all markets available in IATA Pay
- 1-day settlement with the future potential for same-day settlement
- Airline is in control of the customers’ payment, which flows through IATA – a neutral party.
How is IATA Pay working with their financial partners?
IATA will work with two types of financial partners: Payment Initiation Service Providers (PISP) and Cash management providers. Airlines aren’t affected in any way by this as they are only connected to IATA Pay. There is no contractual or technical integration required between airlines and IATA’s financial partners.
Note that PISPs will not be managing airlines’ funds but only exchanging the data required for payment initiation. This is the role of the cash management provider, which as per Industry Governance mandate needs to be among the top 10 financial entities globally.
For further Q&A, please raise a query through the IATA Customer Service Portal. We will be happy to discuss your needs.