Amadeus has launched Amadeus Agent Pay, which allows airlines to take payment more securely while improving the customer experience. By removing payment from call centre conversations, airline agents can focus entirely on serving customers, improving call centre efficiency. Finnair is the first airline to deploy the solution in its Finland call centre, where Agent Pay led to fewer manual payment errors and faster call resolution.
Call centres are still a significant channel for many airlines, accounting for 15% of total airline bookings. Until now, however, airlines have had to trade off security against convenience when taking payment in this channel. Customers must give their card details over the phone, either to an agent or an automated voice system. While the latter is more secure, neither makes for a great customer experience. Moreover, customers are limited to only being able to pay with cards, unlike other channels that offer multiple payment methods.
Airline agents using Amadeus Agent Pay send their customers a link, via SMS or email, to a secure webpage; the customer can then complete the payment from their smartphone, tablet or PC. Meanwhile the ticket is kept on hold, and issued automatically once the payment is completed. This allows customers to pay how they want, and when they want, as well as making call centres more secure as they no longer have to handle card details.
Following the airline’s successful call centre implementation, Finnair recognised the opportunity to use Agent Pay in other channels. “After seeing the positive impact on customer experience and call resolution times, we have also introduced Agent Pay for our chat-based customer service agents,” said Satu Karaksela, Digital Customer Care Manager, Finnair. “Facilitating payments in this way has allowed us to resolve many more customer queries on first contact, improving customer service and freeing up agents’ time. We are also testing Agent Pay at the airport.”
With Agent Pay, customers can also pay with alternative methods such as PayPal and Alipay, just as they would in the airline’s web or mobile page. This could help airlines further stand out in a competitive marketplace – according to Worldpay, 61% of airlines claim that offering alternative payment methods can be a major differentiator.
“Amadeus Agent Pay enables air travellers to pay simply, more securely and conveniently, making the best use of their conversation with call centre agents,” said Celia Pereiro, Head of Travel Payments, Amadeus. “We are delighted to be working with such an innovative airline as Finnair and we are confident that this new payment solution will help airlines offer greater customer experience in this channel while reducing their costs.
“Alternative payment methods have gained important traction in recent years. In today’s market airlines need to anticipate customer needs, wherever they are, so we cannot afford to overlook them – and Agent Pay is a simple solution for airlines to add choice and boost the experience in call centres.”