Response to collapse of tour operator FTI

Koert Grasveld from B2B travel payments specialist Terrapay comments on the collapse of FTI and the impact it would have on B2B payments.  “Travel agents and tour operators everywhere are under huge and ever-increasing amounts of pressure to advance pay hotel chains, single property owners and many other suppliers of services – this undoubtedly will have played a big part in today’s news. Right now everyone in the FTI B2B ecosystem – be they actual travel services suppliers, travel agents selling their packages, or more simply the B2B distributors and tech partners – will all be scrambling around to understand their financial exposure but even more importantly to understand what protection they have in place. Those who have been using virtual credit cards to transact with FTI will find themselves having much greater protection than anyone using old fashioned bank transfers – certainly anyone using prepaid virtual cards, as no fictive money would have been loaded on the card if the service had not been consumed yet / was due payment. Even those certain of financial protection could still be in for a very busy few weeks though, with refund requests and charge-backs being issued at the consumer end, resulting in huge amounts of back-office admin unless they have in place up-to-date, automated systems. If COVID wasn’t a wakeup call, then perhaps this will be to make sure that travel companies invest in robust B2B payment technology.”