Amadeus to Launch Wholly Owned Payments Business in 2023

Amadeus next year plans to launch a new payments-focused business, with a prepaid virtual card on tap to be its first offering, the company announced.

The new business, Outpayce, will be wholly owned by Amadeus and would build upon the company’s current business line by offering its own regulated services. Amadeus has applied and is awaiting approval for an eMoney license from the Bank of Spain, which provides the ability to offer payment services, such as accepting and transferring funds and issuing debit cards in the European Economic Area. Amadeus expects that approval will come early next year, and Outpayce will launch on Jan. 1, said Amadeus EVP of payments David Doctor, who will become Outpayce’s CEO.

The first such service, which Doctor said could launch in the third quarter of 2023, will be a pre-paid virtual card. In one use case, the virtual card will be able to be generated when travelers are booking in Cytric, and travelers would be able to use it throughout the trip with company-set limits and restrictions on what and for how much it can be used, Doctor said. The cards also would be able to be issued in the B2B Wallet product, which agencies use to pay for travel services, he said.

Amadeus and Outpayce will look to “plug in the gaps and take friction out of the whole process” with integrations as it launches the product,¬†particularly in use with hotels,¬†he said.

Besides its own offerings, Outpayce will work to develop an “integrated payment ecosystem” through which travel companies can connect to a variety of fintech providers via open APIs. It plans “significant” investment in that suite of APIs, Doctor said, and will build on its current platform that already provides services from several companies including Citi, Mastercard and PayPal.

In addition, Outpayce expects to hire more payment experts and technology engineers over the next few years, alongside the Amadeus employees and assets that will be transferring to the new company, to support product development and business expansion, according to Amadeus. Doctor said growth through acquisition is not out of the question, though Amadeus will be looking at them not just to add customers but to “create extra value.”

Outpayce will “evaluate opportunities” to expand in additional geographies beyond the European Economic Area as well, Doctor said.

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