PayNode Ready for European Launch
PayNode, the business aviation payment platform, will be available in Europe by mid-June and has already been extended from the U.S., where it was rolled out in November last year, to Mexico. In addition, as well as being available for American Express cards it is also now available to Avcard users, the company announced here at EBACE 2017.
PayNode was created by Avinode (Booth F70) in the wake of payments system specialist (and World Fuel Service subsidiary) MultiService taking a majority stake in the company in December 2014.
“We’re now six months down the line after launching at NBAA last year,” said Magnus Henriksson, global business director of PayNode, “so at EBACE we have two announcements, expanding internationally to Europe and to Mexico.” He said the decision could be taken to expand further, “as it’s gone well in the U.S. and we have a significant number of clients. More than 55 customers have signed up to date. And early adopters have enjoyed the benefits and reduced costs of Amex transactions [through PayNode].” He added that typical credit card processes are not only slow, but they also come with a 3- to 3.5-percent fee, which PayNode claims is much higher than the rates it is able to offer its customers.
“We’re also adding Avcard, which is global, as a second payment instrument. We went live with it in the U.S.[already]. It is traditionally a card used in the FBO marketplace to pay for fuel, etcetera, but you can put your charter flight on it now too. A lot of flight departments are Avcard users.”
Henriksson said that with its Amex-using customers, PayNode has seen everything from payments for catering “to a hundred thousand dollars or more for a transatlantic flight.” However, he declined to share the overall sales volume figures PayNode has recorded.
“We’ve had a very good amount of transactions and continue to sign up new clients in the U.S., and we’re very excited about bringing it to Europe,” he said. The payment system is now also integrated with other Avinode products such as SchedAero, “so it creates a seamless workflow with automatic notification of payment. As soon as the payer pays, the broker is notified. Then we hold the money until the flight actually takes off, which minimizes the risk of a chargeback.”
Using PayNode, he added, “credit card payments are disbursed to an operator or broker’s bank account the day after a completed flight, rather than up to 30 days under prevailing industry methods.”
The next step in developing PayNode is to introduce wire transactions, although he said this would be a gradual introduction as it is fairly complex. “Wire payments is now our number-one priority. Our target is to run out a beta version for testing and have a first customer by late 2017,” said Henriksson. One aim in addition is to automate the reconciliation of payments, for example, when the amount does not match that invoiced.
He said that intra-country payments or intra-EU payments were easier than international transactions but speeding up the payment chain is the main aim. At present some international payments “can be really, really slow,” said Henriksson, but intra-EU and U.S.-Europe are the easiest to transact. “There is not a one size fits all approach so our focus at first will be on Europe and North America.” Once payments can be made in these and other regions, he said, PayNode will bring a standardized approach to what can be a real headache for operators, brokers, and their clients.
Meanwhile with “a lot of developments in the fintech market,” Henriksson said that PayNode will be “watching closely. We have a roadmap and we are listening very carefully to our customers as well.”
Other developments for PayNode will be to develop a mobile app, although the site works on most browsers anyway, and explore security developments such as using thumbprints for identification.
Here at EBACE, PayNode is doing demonstrations and highlighting Avcard. Europe will accept Amex and Avcard from day one. “With Avcard, we’ll focus on existing Avcard users first,” he said, adding that for those with Avcards that want to charter a flight, if the broker is a PayNode merchant then the client does not need to do anything but pay. Thus for PayNode the aim is to get brokers and others that book charters to sign up, Henriksson explained.
As seen on AIN Online. Read original article here.