The International Air Transport Association is abandoning the one-size-fits-all method of travel agency accreditation in favor of a three-tiered approach in its New Generation of IATA Settlement Systems initiative.
NewGen ISS also includes a provision that establishes a threshold for agencies’ cash sales during each remittance period.
IATA’s Passenger Agency Conference, made up of IATA member airlines, have adopted resolutions for the full implementation of NewGen ISS, billed as the most extensive modernization of the IATA Billing and Settlement Plan since its founding in 1971.
The new accreditation levels are:
•GoGlobal Accreditation, for agents with operations in multiple BSPs. They will be required to meet a single set of requirements and criteria and will be able to accredit all their locations worldwide under a single Passenger Sales Agency Agreement.
•GoStandard Accreditation, which corresponds most closely to the current accreditation It is designed for agents operating in a single country, who must comply with the local financial criteria of the BSPs in which they operate and undergo annual financial reviews. These agents will have access to all the BSP forms of payment: cash, credit card and IATA EasyPay, an element of NewGen ISS that is already available in some countries.
•GoLite Accreditation, for agents that do not require a cash facility in the BSP. These agents will ticket only using IATA EasyPay and/or customer credit card. This level offers easier accreditation and, as there is limited financial risk, the financial requirements are minimal.
Agents can convert across models as their businesses evolve.
The second new “pillar” of NewGen ISS, called Remittance Holding Capacity, grants a maximum monetary amount for agencies’ cash sales outstanding to the BSP.
For most agents, the RHC will be calculated based on the average of the three busiest periods plus 100% of the average.
For example, if an agency’s cash sales totaled $6 million, $8 million and $7 million in its three busiest remittance periods, the average is $7 million. Adding 100% of the average results in a total RHC of $14 million.
An agency that reaches its threshold before the end of a remittance period can continue to sell tickets using EasyPay, a previously announced provision of NewGen ISS, or the customer’s credit card.
As an alternative, the agency can remit cash in advance to the BSP to reopen capacity.
Along with EasyPay, the new BSP program includes Global Default Insurance, an optional financial security alternative for travel agents that presents a cost effective and flexible alternative to bank guarantees, and Transparency in Payments, a new industry initiative that allows travel agents to use their own credit cards if an airline consents.