Heard something similar to this before? Amadeus has created a joint initiative with AirPlus to give travel agencies virtual credit cards for payments to suppliers.
The Amadeus AirPlus Travel Agency Card allows businesses to simplify payments to non-BSP carriers, hotels and rail operators through a a system which gives staff a virtual credit card number to keep details secure and away from physical paper trails.
Agencies for the "new virtual payment solution" in Italy and the UK will be the first to receive deployment of the tool, followed by other countries including Switzerland and Germany.
Senior vice president for new businesses at Amadeus, Francisco Pérez-Lozao, says the move is the "natural next step in our payments services business expansion".
However, those with reasonably long memories will recall a previous occasion when Amadeus got into the payment end of the industry.
Two and a half years ago Amadeus closed its MoneyDirect payment service, a joint venture with rival GDS Sabre.
The pair created (and later won regulatory approval) for the MoneyDirect system in 2007, launched in a bid to create an industry standard to improve payments and increase automation of fulfilment, although the foundations of the company were actually born in 1991 as a payment platform for Jetset, one of Asia-Pacific’s large tour operators.
The company had big ambitions, with a plan to expand the business out of its original Asia-Pacific (Australia and New Zealand, specifically) base to Europe and North America.
The joint venture was officially extended to the UK, US and France in 2008, with Canada, Italy and Germany following in 2009.
MoneyDirect launched its own virtual credit card system in May 2010.
Just a year later, Amadeus and Sabre announced the service would be disbanded, a decision which clearly boosted the pair's rival Travelport, which was then getting into the payments game through its own joint venture, eNett.
MoneyDirect said at the time it would be recommending eNett to its Australia and New Zealand-based customers.
Since then, eNett has become an important part of Travelport's portfolio of services globally, with the service talked upregularly in its earnings statements as a growth area of the business.