A lot of hotels still uses faxes for the direct-billing of corporations -- instead of settling with individual road warriors -- and travel management company Travel Incorporated has developed a way to automate the process.
The Duluth, Georgia-based travel management company says its eDirect Hotel Solution streamlines the process for hotels, travelers, and corporate procurement and financial managers.
Whether the hotel reservation is made by a travel agent or the traveler through an online booking tool, a fax template is emailed to the hotel,
hopefully around 72 hours before the guest's arrival date.
"For security purposes, a temporary authorization code will be generated and active only for the duration of the stay," Travel Inc. says. "A credit limit will be assigned based upon a calculated formula associated with the nightly rates of the reserved property."
And, if there is a mixup and guests arrive at the property and no record of the reservation or fax template can be found, then travelers can access the fax template with the complete itinerary from their mobile device and pass it along to the hotel, says Linwood Hayes, the TMC's CIO.
"A unique feature of our eDirect Hotel Solution is the empowerment of the traveler to resend the fax to the hotel directly from their travel itinerary accessible via email or smartphone," Hayes says. "This ability may be invaluable when a traveler checks in after hours, on weekends or if the hotel misplaces the original information."
That some hotels are still using faxes is fairly mind-boggling, but the Travel Inc. solution appears to help bridge the gap.
The fax template process integrates with Concur expense reporting and accounting systems as it contains all the data required for the reconciliation process, Hayes says.
Tina Haney, Travel Inc.'s CFO, maintains that the eDirect Hotel Solution also curtails security and fraud issues that may be inherent in fax tranmissions for direct-billing.
"Because the fax is sent electronically, there is reduced risk of fraud," Haney says. "Only the room stay and taxes are allowed to be charged. Once travelers complete their stay, the authorization code becomes null."