Aussie company Webjet have launched the first working blockchain initiative in the hotel distribution industry. While most people’s minds immediately turn to cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology has far greater uses and this implementation by Webjet aims to resolve disputes over expenses and reductions in labor costs.
Webjet’s been in the game for around 2 years with their blockchain initiative, Rezchain, but is now enabling participating travel companies using its 4th generation blockchain infrastructure to support Rezchain Smart Contracts.
These Smart Contracts should help reduce the cost and hassle of resolving the estimated 3-5% of bookings that 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 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. Currently Webjet have signed Rezchain agreements with:
- Thomas Cook (Europe)
- DidaTravel (China)
- Mitra Global (Indonesia)
- Far East Hospitality.
Webjet’s Managing Director, John Guscic says,
“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”
“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”.
Chief of Group Complementary Product at Thomas Cook, Thomas Hohn 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.”
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.