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Webjet launches first working blockchain initiative in the hotel distribution industry

February 21, 2018 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Webjet Limited (“Webjet”) has expanded its blockchain initiative, Rezchain, to selected external organisations.

Over the past 2 years, Webjet has developed a blockchain-based solution, Rezchain, that enables participating travel companies to eliminate the pain of reconciling accounts payable (“AP”) and accounts receivable (“AR”) issues and the out-of-pocket costs that unreconciled data is likely to cause.  Rezchain is now deployed on its 4th generation blockchain infrastructure to support Rezchain Smart Contracts.

The problem Webjet has addressed is common throughout the hotel distribution chain and the benefits of the solution are immediate.  Industry estimates assume that 3-5% of bookings are disputed in some form when one party attempts to invoice the other party and disputes can take months to resolve.  In some instances, bookings are not invoiced at all, meaning one party is 100% out-of-pocket unnecessarily.

Rezchain is the hotel distribution industry’s first functioning blockchain enabled technology platform where companies share data “on chain” to address mismatched data in real time, eliminating disputes at invoice time.  Thorough testing between Webjet’s own B2B companies has proven the effectiveness of the solution, reducing the time to resolve any identified disputes and allowing the businesses to grow without needing to increase AR & AP resources at comparable rates.

Webjet is delighted to have signed Rezchain agreements with several of the industry’s most prestigious companies: Thomas Cook (Europe), DidaTravel (China), Mitra Global (Indonesia), and hotel chain, Far East Hospitality.

“Rezchain requires no technical integration on the part of the participating company; a simple daily file is all that is necessary to begin matching data and solving booking issues” says John Guscic, Webjet’s Managing Director. “In a low margin, high transaction volume business, it is essential to find ways to be more efficient and eliminate administrative burdens that add no value.  It was this fundamental principal has led to the development of Rezchain”.

Thomas Hohn, Chief of Group Complementary Product at Thomas Cook, stated “Thomas Cook is pleased to be working with Webjet, and other innovative industry partners, to create a more efficient and productive industry.  This initiative will deepen our relationship with Webjet, following the successes we have experienced to date as part of our strategic sourcing partnership established in 2016.”

Webjet is initially offering “blockchain as a service” to participating companies and expects over time larger organisations will start contributing computing power and running their own mining nodes.  “It can be overwhelming for a travel company to consider adopting a new process that also requires the steep learning curve of a new technology” commented Graham Anderson, Webjet’s Head of Technology, “Rezchain offers a simple entry point to blockchain efficiencies and allows companies to choose when and if they want to be part of the underlying infrastructure.”

Ensuring the privacy and security of sensitive company booking data has been paramount in the design of Rezchain. “Some strengths of blockchain technology include that it is decentralised, distributed, and open, but this is also a challenge when companies are sharing sensitive data.  Rezchain’s architecture ensures any sensitive data stored “on chain” is hashed and cannot be decoded, while still allowing companies access to the granular detail necessary to resolve mismatched booking data” said Lynne Oldfield, Webjet’s Director Corporate Development.

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