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IATA

Norway debuts new agent-airline pay system

IATA’s NewGen ISS goes live in “technologically advanced and innovative” Norway.

The International Air Transport Association has revealed that Norway is the first market to implement its new-generation settlement systems, NewGen ISS, designed to facilitate the global distribution and settlement of passenger funds between travel agents and airlines.

NewGen ISS represents “the most extensive and ambitious modernisation of the IATA Billing and Settlement Plan since it was created in 1971”.

In 2017, the billing and settlement plan processed $236.3 billion in airline funds with virtually 100% on-time settlement, IATA says. The new-gen version was approved last November at its Passenger Agency Conference.

“As the first market to implement NewGen ISS, travel agents and airlines in Norway are in the vanguard of a vital transformation to modernise the industry’s settlement functions while ensuring the viability of the travel agent shopping channel used by millions of passengers every day,” explains Aleks Popovich, IATA’s senior vice president for financial and distribution services.

“While Norway is a relatively small travel market, it is technologically advanced and has a history of embracing new solutions, making it the ideal environment to go live with NewGen ISS.”

NewGen ISS consists of several pillars. One of these is IATA EasyPay, a new voluntary “pay-as-you-go e-wallet solution” for the issuance of airline tickets with a low cost per transaction.

The Remittance Holding Capacity, meanwhile, is a risk management framework to enable safer selling and mitigate losses resulting from travel agency defaults.

There are three levels of travel agent accreditation, which IATA claims “offer agents greater flexibility”. Travel agents will be able to choose which model is most applicable to their business.

Transparency too
Norway will also be the first market to roll out another vital innovation when the Transparency in Payments initiative is launched there in April.

This is an industry initiative focused on providing airlines with increased transparency and control in the collection of their sales through the travel agency channel.

At the same time, it will enable agents to take advantage of new forms of payment for the remittance of customer funds.

“NewGen ISS go-live in Norway represents the culmination of years of planning, engagement and effort with participants across the air travel value chain, including airlines, travel agents and IT and system providers,” Popovich said.

Over the coming weeks, NewGen ISS will be implemented in Finland (March 16), Sweden and Canada (March 26), Denmark (April 1), Bermuda (April 9), Iceland and Singapore (April 16), with rollout expected to be completed in all BSP markets by Q1 2020.

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