May 29, 2018
– Andrew Gulsrud, chief operating officer, Prime Jet
With a fleet of Gulfstream aircraft, US-based charter company Prime Jet serves high-net-worth clients globally.
To operate with maximum financial efficiency in a highly competitive market.
Introduce the benefits of Paynode for transactions from customer payments to catering.
Transactions using Paynode allow Prime Jet to work with more financial speed, confidence and security than ever before.
Paynode, Avinode and Marketplace
Launched in 2002, boutique air charter company Prime Jet has long set high standards in utilisation, service, reliability, safety and operational expertise. The company’s customers range from A-list celebrities and professional athletes through to ‘Silicon Valley’ executives.
Prime Jet runs two US offices – in Colorado and California – and an office in Singapore but the company has staff based all over the world to ensure truly global 24/7 service.
Prime Jet’s chief operating officer Andrew Gulsrud says: “We believe in focusing on one thing and being the best at it, so we exclusively operate Gulfstream aircraft. We’re experts at what we do and we know small details really make a difference to our customers.”
Critical financial management
Successfully running a business aviation charter company requires expert financial management and control.
“We can’t price flights at such a low rate as to set an unsustainable precedent,” says Gulsrud, “but we are working in a competitive industry and we want to be cost-effective for our customers. Financially, therefore, you live on a razor’s edge in our business. And payment processes have long been a sore point.”
Eager to avoid the problems of traditionally slow payments in business aviation, Prime Jet introduced the Avinode Group’s Paynode platform.
Rapid payment processing
Paynode offers a fast, secure and transparent way to pay for charter flights. Operators can create and send pre-populated customer payment requests with just a few clicks. And the funds will disburse into the operator’s bank account the day after the flight, not weeks later. Through Paynode, Prime Jet can process payments more rapidly than ever before, not just for trip transactions but for services such as catering.
Working with confidence and security
Alongside speed, confidence and security are important too. With the high operating costs of business aviation flights, and the tight profit margins, operators naturally want to avoid any uncertainty or delay over payments.
“With Gulfstream operation costing around $8,000-$9,000 per hour, a typical trip cost for us would be about $50,000,” says Gulsrud. “As our profit margin will only be around 10%, any delay or even non-payment is a serious matter. We will already have invested a lot of money. Sometimes, if there is doubt in advance over the security of a payment, you simply have to turn down the business.”
Gulsrud continues: “Our industry’s ‘traditional’ security checks for customer payments, involving tasks such as scanning hard-copy photographic identification documents, are so slow. But with Paynode’s online service and ‘due diligence’ procedures, everything is made much easier and more secure for us than before. Put simply, using Paynode means we have a much better chance of getting paid than before. We welcome any measures that improve the security of transactions. With Paynode, we can confidently take on business we might previously have turned down because of uncertainty over customer payment.”
Gulsrud adds: “We really appreciate Paynode’s transparency too and the step-by-step updates on how each payment is progressing. Tracking each payment is easy.”
Paynode also helps Prime Jet control and reduce costs. “Our credit card transaction fees fall from 4% to 2.5% when we use Paynode,” says Gulsrud. “When you’re handling millions of dollars of business each year, that 1.5% gain means a big financial saving.”
Paynode and Avinode Marketplace integration
Paynode also helps Prime Jet when the company is acting as a broker. “We were actually the first US customer for the online Avinode Marketplace for buying and selling air charter,” says Gulsrud, “so we can generate and send Paynode customer payment requests through that platform too.” There is no need to re-enter data, which saves time and minimises the risk of errors.
“We’ve run about 6% of our trip transactions through Paynode in the two months since we began using the service,” says Gulsrud. “We’re looking to build on that figure, particularly with the addition of wire bank transfer transactions.”
Gulsrud continues: “We’ve never had any problems or issues with Paynode. Customers appreciate the smooth flow of the transactions too. It’s a pretty bulletproof system and the support is phenomenal.”
“Brokers and operators are certainly excited by Paynode,” says Gulsrud. “We all want the best possible image for the air charter industry.” And with Paynode helping to bring even greater financial efficiency and integrity to business aviation, Gulsrud confirms: “The more companies using products like Paynode, the better for everyone. My team and I definitely recommend Paynode.”