Webjet, an ASX 200 listed company with over $3.8 billion in total turnover and the owner of WebBeds, the worlds’ second largest and fastest growing B2B accommodation provider, unveiled Rezchain last month.
Rezchain is a new technology that enables users to eliminate costly discrepancies that occur in up to 5 per cent of hotel booking transactions. The technology, pioneered in collaboration with Microsoft, makes use of blockchain, which also underpins crypto currencies. Rezchain is the first application of blockchain to verifying hotel reservations.
Approximately 1 in every 3 hotel bookings are amended in some way after the reservation was first made and 1 in every 10 bookings experience some kind of manual intervention. Discrepancies typically occur in price, duration, booking status, currency, board basis or room type because the amendments were not recorded on the booking systems of all the relevant parties, be it the hotel, the travel agent, tour operator or other online intermediary.
Typically, discrepancies between accommodation trading platforms go unnoticed until after travel is completed, with the consequence that costly, time consuming and embarrassing, invoice disputes occur – and hotels, travel companies or both lose out on revenues they were expecting to receive.
Rezchain is like a combined virtual handshake and early warning system. It enables any two parties to verify that their hotel reservation data matches across both booking systems and, conveniently, no sophisticated IT integration is needed.
Rezchain receives a daily update of all bookings made or modified between two Rezchain connected parties. It then uses Smart Contracts and blockchain technology to highlight issues in data submitted, based on agreed matching criteria. When there is a discrepancy or mismatch, an email alert is triggered to tell both parties that they should take action to correct the records on one side or the other. If data is received for a new booking from only one party, Rezchain records that as an “incomplete” booking and notifies both sides that one party has the booking recorded and the other side doesn’t. A simple daily CSV file is all that is necessary to begin matching data and resolving booking issues.
In creating Rezchain, Webjet decided to use blockchain because of its independence, robustness and security.
Having built Rezchain, Webjet’s B2B accommodation wholesaling division, WebBeds has been trialling it with all of its brands successfully for several months. It is now being made available to any business in the travel industry that transacts over the internet via an XML interface. After an introductory 30-day free trial, the cost of using it will be just a few cents per transaction.
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