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Thursday, 2 May 2013

Embracing New Technology

You could argue that being averse to change is a stereotypically British trait. There is always going to be reluctance, reticence and even resistance when embracing not only a new supplier but also a change of culture, especially amongst larger organisations, where existing practices are so heavily embedded in that culture.

Well, organisations don’t come much bigger or British than the Government. Yet when HMRC appointed Redfern to manage their UK-based travel with a clear mandate to progress the volume of online bookings from 50% to 95%, here was no better indication of an organisation willing to embrace new technologies to render processes more cost-efficient.

Indeed, with the ink on the contract barely dry, Redfern had already increased the number of online bookings from 50% to 95% within a month, 11 months ahead of schedule. In some departments this figure was over 98%. All equating to an estimated saving of £140,000 per year for HMRC and consequently the taxpayer. Current projections suggest that HMRC will achieve an estimated £3 million in savings across accommodation spend this year, and savings of over £20 million over the length of the four year contract. This is an improvement of 70% compared to previous costs.*

So how exactly did Redfern effect this saving? ‘Integrating technology from multiple suppliers’ was cited as one of, if not the main catalyst. Conferma was one such supplier, providing the comprehensive hotel inventory at Redfern’s disposal in tRIPS via our Booking API, which has been integral to HMRC maximising savings across their accommodation requirements. However it is our Virtual Card Number (VCN) technology, available through our Payment API that has delivered tangible savings for the settlement of hotel transactions.

At Conferma we pride ourselves on being revolutionary. We have set the new standard in payments technology without compromising on the usual benefits that people have come to expect from us, not least the highest standard of payment security.

Our automated solutions mean that the payment process not only becomes touchless for the TMCs but also has minimal impact on their existing workflows and procedures, negating any effect felt by the change of culture I mentioned earlier.

This increased efficiency has allowed Redfern to quadruple their turnover and manage eight times more transactions than others in the sector. Yet the number of staff has only increased twofold to cope with this increased volume.

At Conferma, it’s not the change to working cultures that is revolutionary or radical, it’s the end result. The savings made by the British Government are testament to this. So if you’re hesitating over embracing new payments technology, look no further than the new standard:  Conferma.

*Figures taken from the article How Redfern Travel smashed targets by making online booking simple from Travolution, 17 April 2013

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