Mastercard and HSBC Middle East have joined forces to introduce the Mastercard Wholesale Program (MWP) in the Middle East, with a specific focus on the travel industry.

The aim of this partnership is to digitize and automate buyer and supplier payments for HSBC’s travel merchant customers, thereby enhancing liquidity and security within the travel value chain, the companies said in a Wednesday (May 29) press release.

The MWP is a virtual card-based B2B payment product that will be implemented by HSBC for the first time in the Middle East, catering to the unique requirements of the travel industry, according to the release.

This solution addresses the challenges associated with manual payment methods, such as a lack of visibility, control and protection, the release said. By leveraging Mastercard’s virtual card innovation, the initiative seeks to streamline and secure B2B travel transactions.

Khalid Elgibali, chief operating officer, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at Mastercard, emphasized in the release the importance of card payments in driving the travel economy. Elgibali said that this expanded partnership with HSBC in the Middle East aims to meet the specific needs of the travel sector, providing a dynamic commercial payment solution to boost operations and support the industry’s overall recovery.

Kyle Boag, head of global payments solutions for HSBC in the Middle East, North Africa and Türkiye region, highlighted the significance of digital tools in maximizing sales opportunities for customers. By utilizing the MWP, traditional and online travel agencies, bed banks, tour operators and travel management companies will have more control over payment options, improving cash flow through a secure and efficient platform, Boag said.

As the travel industry rebounds and continues to grow, it becomes crucial for the sector to rethink processes and technologies that facilitate bookings, the release said. B2B payments play a significant role in powering the travel economy, and the Mastercard Wholesale Program aims to accelerate the adoption of virtual cards for travel transactions, bringing benefits across the travel value chain.

In another recent deployment of the Mastercard Wholesale Program, Checkout.com said May 2 that it teamed up with Mastercard to offer virtual cards to online travel agents. In this collaboration, as part of the MWP, customers of Checkout.com will be able to pay their suppliers more easily and benefit from higher conversion rates, the companies said.

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