Travel Agency Commission Settlement: How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Commission Payment Process

Blog , Hotels ,
October 26, 2020
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Travel agency commission settlement is an important steppingstone to building profitable relationships between hotels and travel agencies. Intermediaries, like travel agencies and OTAs, are an important part of a hotel’s distribution plan, and intermediary payments have grown to be the second largest expense of rooms departments. Along with a desirable hotel offering and tiered commissions, a streamlined commission payment process can help earn hotels a spot on an agency’s preferred supplier list.

But how does an agency measure the effectiveness of your travel agency commission settlement process? How do you know what to look for when choosing a third-party payment processor? Ask yourself the following questions to see if your commission processing could benefit from an upgrade.

Does My Hotel Have Fast Travel Agency Commission Settlement?

Travel agent commission settlement beginning at check out.Travel agencies expect to be paid in a timely manner for the business they bring to a hotel. In fact, many agencies who receive payment from Onyx CenterSource expect the process of commission payment to begin at check-out. Whether you’re using a commission payment platform or doing the process of commission payment in-house, connectivity is key to a smooth and swift payment process. Your payment process should support PMS or CRS integrations that automate the process for you, sending check-out data in a timely manner with little to no oversight on your part.

If you answered no…find a commission payment processor who values your time and productivity. Look for platforms that can automate data transfers and a payment processor that will work with your business to make commission payment fast and effortless.

Does My Hotel Have Accurate Commission Processing?

Without a proper travel agency commission settlement process, payment accuracy can deteriorate quickly. Agencies notice when their commissions are lower than the expected amount they are owed, and they will have a plan to collect. With a streamlined commission processing model, you are given the tools to ensure accuracy, like tools that allow you to confirm bookings and monitor payments. These tools help you provide agencies with their full commission payment amounts while also giving you a more efficient way to validate stays. Agents will have a clear understanding of check-in and out dates and any variance noted by your hotel, and a clear process will give you more control over your commissions.

If you answered no…calculate the hours you spend confirming and managing agency payments and compare those numbers to the time you spend fielding agency inquiries. A new way to manage travel agency commission settlement will not only improve your partnerships through higher performance, but it will lower your agent payment inquiries over time.

Does My Hotel Have an Efficient Process for Payment Inquiries?

Travel agent inquiring about commission payment over the phone in a cafeIf your hotel has an inefficient commission settlement program, your travel agency payment inquiry rate will reflect that. Hotels tend to see more agencies inquiring about their payments when there is a bottleneck in the process. This can come from delayed payment, lack of communication between hotel front desk and accounting, and lack of communication with your agency partners regarding their payment.

If you answered no…find a provider who will help you lower payment inquiries through a mix of streamlined payment processes and inquiry management solutions. A faster and more efficient payment process will naturally lower inquiries, while inquiry management services, which should be built into your service, will help you manage the lowered number of inquiries.

Is My Travel Agency Commission Settlement Process Cost-Effective?

Fixed costs associated with commission processes, such as those costs accrued with an in-house commission processing model, aren’t as cost-effective as transaction-based commission processing. With a fixed-cost payment model, you will always end up paying the same costs to process your commissions whether you are processing a lot or a little. Many commission payment providers work on variable payment models such as transaction based. This can mean, your overall cost for commission processing will lower with decreased volume, which can be advantageous during travel industry down times such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

If you answered no…consider transferring to a third-party provider who offers alternative payment models that can accommodate your business within your price range. Your time and cost savings can be put to good use by focusing on your guest retention rather than travel agency payment.

Is My Commission Processing Program Catered to My Hotel’s Needs?

Connectivity, communication and automation are all necessary steps to successful travel agency commission settlement. But every hotel is unique in their needs. Whether your hotel needs specific payment rules in place or a designated integration with your property management system, the right third-party provider will be able to work with your hotel to ensure your commission process runs smoothly.

If you answered no…find a provider that can check the boxes for your personalized commission payment process. Flexible solutions will key to your payment success.

How Onyx Can Help

At Onyx, we’ve helped thousands of hotels streamline their commission payment process, and we’ve seen the benefits that hotels get from a streamlined commission payment process. Agencies prefer to do business with hotels that have an efficient travel agency commission settlement process. And Onyx solutions provide the flexibility and connectivity you need to build stronger relationships.

Onyx CenterSource is the leader in travel agency commission settlement because the level of service and automation we provide is unparalleled in the commission processing space. CommPay, our industry leading commission processing tool, provides automation and integration that will streamline your commission process and support you in increasing agency partnerships.

If you’re interested in learning more about how CommPay can support your hotel, contact an Onyx representative today.