PAYFORT, an Arab online payment gateway, announced a new partnership with Amadeus, promising to deliver full integration with Amadeus e-Power’s online travel booking solution for travel agencies. One of the largest online booking solutions in the world, Amadeus e-Power helps travel agencies grow their e-commerce presence and provide customers with the ability to shop and book travel via an agency’s website or mobile app, according to a press release issued by the company.
Omar Soudodi, managing director of PAYFORT, expressed his pleasure to announce PAYFORT’s partnership with Amadeus. He said that integrating the company’s payment gateway with Amadeus e-Power will help open up a world of opportunity for Middle East travel agencies. He added that—while airlines were early adopters of online payment services—it has taken some time for the travel services sector to catch up, and many travel agencies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have yet to fully embrace e-commerce. “This new integration will ultimately help more travel agencies in the region drive more online sales by making it easy to offer customers better online payment options and create a stronger appeal for “millennials,” who have a strong preference for booking all travel requirements via digital or mobile channels,” he noted.
Online travel is now the fastest growing payments sector in MENA. According to PAYFORT’s State of Payments 2016 research, online payments in the region’s travel sector grew by 42%, from $3.195bn in 2014 to $4.549bn in 2015. Meanwhile, online transactions in the airline sector grew by 17%, from $10.20bn in 2014 to $11.97bn in 2015.
The fastest growing online travel markets were identified as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which showed an increase in transactions from $1.14bn in 2014 to $1.65bn in 2015, a 45% increase; and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which saw a 68% increase in transactions, from $0.92bn in 2014 to $1.55bn in 2015. PAYFORT expects the volume of e-commerce transactions in the Middle East’s travel sector to exceed $15bn per annum by the year 2020.
The press release stated that Amadeus e-Power puts the power of a global distribution system (GDS) at the travel customer’s fingertips, offering a full range of air, hotel, and car content through one single view. E-Power also integrates Amadeus Master Pricer, a fare search technology, which promises to not only gives out the least expensive bookable fares, but also convenient itineraries and a wide choice of airlines, together with date flexibility, all with real-time availability.
“Today’s travellers are looking for consistency, transparency, and choice,” said Antoine Medawar, vice president of Amadeus MENA. He added that the partnership with PAYFORT makes it easy for regional travel agencies to offer customers payment options and enhance customer-service levels. Medawar noted that the company sees significant growth still to come in the region’s online travel services market, and e-Power allows agencies to offer global information and bookings, while localising and branding their own services to suit their customers’ needs.
PAYFORT has made online payments safe and secure for buyers and sellers across the MENA region, delivering a complete suite of payment solutions tailored to Arab online buying habits and trends. PAYFORT offers a variety of safe and secure e-payment solutions, which can cater to any size of business from small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) up to the region’s largest enterprises.
Moreover, PAYFORT utilises a secure payment network, which is built using the most sophisticated and up-to-date fraud-prevention technology, all while providing complete flexibility in offering online payments. In addition to providing unrivaled security, the gateway accepts a variety of payment methods, including local currency payments from services such as Fawry in Egypt, SADAD in Saudi Arabia, and e-Dirham in the UAE.
PAYFORT is the payment platform for the leading e-commerce websites across the Arab world—such as Nile Air, Air Arabia, Flyin, Travelstart, Akbar Travels, Orient Travels, Rayna Tours, Almousafer.com, Altayyaronline.com, Souq.com and beIN Sports. These sites rely on PAYFORT to manage their payment processes easily and securely so they can focus on improving the customer experience