Booking.com has created a fintech business to improve access to its travel marketplace for customers and partners.
The company says its aim is to “further remove financial friction from the travel process.”
The fintech unit is being headed up by senior vice president Daniel Marovitz who has led Bookings’ payments products for the past four years.
The team for the new unit is based in Amsterdam and Shanghai and there are plans to expand its size to more than 400 this year.
The unit will act as an independent business developing new products to drive efficiency and “create potential new revenue streams” for Booking.
Marovitz says: “The combination of cross-border and cross-currency transactions is a pain point for the marketplace and therefore an opportunity for us. Markets have vastly different payment practices and methods and bridging the gap between these, helps ease friction and enhances the value we bring as a global intermediary.
“Travel is different from nearly every other corner of e-commerce, strictly because of the often massive time gap between financial commitment from a customer booking and the time they actually take their trip. Many people book and pay for their travel up to a year in advance, which creates cash flow friction for travellers and providers alike.
"We will work to find creative solutions to help our marketplace work more efficiently, flexibly and securely for all participants.”
The creation of the fintech unit is perhaps not a surprise given the company's talk of a connected trip and how the payments platform might facilitate that.
Most recently Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking Holdings, described the payments platform as “foundational for enabling our connected trip strategy."