Mastercard has joined forces with HSBC Middle East to launch Mastercard Wholesale Program in the region. The initiative aims to advance automation of buyer and supplier payments for HSBC’s travel merchant customers.

By leveraging virtual cards to digitise the way travel organisations pay each other for the various elements that make up a consumer’s trip, the collaboration will boost liquidity and enhance security across the travel value chain.

HSBC will deploy the Mastercard Wholesale Program (MWP), a virtual card-based B2B payment product, for the first time in the Middle East to its travel industry customers. The aim is to advance secure, streamline and automated B2B travel transactions. The solution has been specifically designed for and with the travel industry. It addresses the lack of visibility, control and protection associated with manual payment methods that are still rife across the sector. The innovative proposition is part of Mastercard’s multi-rail strategy that is already being used by over 400,000 travel merchants globally.

A dynamic commercial payment solution to boost travel merchants operations

“Card payments continue to power the travel economy, providing essential cash flow and payment security. Our expanded partnership with HSBC in the Middle East is focused on meeting the specific needs the travel sector has today, as it captures all potential growth. By leveraging Mastercard’s virtual card innovation, this initiative provides HSBC’s travel customers with a dynamic commercial payment solution to boost operations and support the sector’s overall recovery,” said Khalid Elgibali, Chief Operating Officer, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard.

Kyle Boag, Head of Global Payments Solutions for HSBC in the Middle East, North Africa and Türkiye region, added: “We are dedicated to improving our specialist products to match the changing demands of our customers. It’s essential we give them the digital tools necessary to make the most of their sales opportunities. By using the Mastercard Wholesale Program, traditional and online travel agencies, bedbanks, tour operators and travel management companies will enjoy more control over payment options, while improving cash flow through a secure and efficient platform.”

IATA forecasts 2024 will hit a record high for travel

Insights from IATA predict that 4.7 billion people will travel by air in 2024. The number represents a historic high that exceeds the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019. As consumers return to travel and the industry continues to grow, it is essential that the sector re-thinks the processes and technologies that bring these bookings to life.

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