Research in to payments methods in travel in Europe has found support for alternative payment methods have doubled in the past three years.
The study was carried out by market research firm Phocuswright and co-sponsored by eNett International.
It found Virtual card or Virtual Account Numbers (VANs) are the most popular form of alternative payment with 69% of travel companies using or planning to use them.
This compares with just 36% in 2013 and represents a significant shift away from traditional payment methods, says eNett.
VANs are forecast to overtake EFT and cheque payments overall in the next few years.
For larger travel companies VANs have already overtaken traditional methods, with 71% supporting VANs, compared with EFT (62%) cash (52%) and cheque (42%).
When it comes to paying hotels and accommodation, travel companies of all sizes cited VANs as the most popular method of payment (24%), second only to traditional credit cards.
The research also highlighted that there was still huge opportunity for travel companies to use technology to solve payment pain points and increase efficiency.
Over one in four (27%) continue to track payments and commissions manually.
Smaller agencies spend 12 hours a week on manually processing payments, with larger agencies dedicating at least four staff spending 16 hours a week.
ENett said this represents €215 million unnecessary annual wastage by European agencies.
Anthony Hynes, eNett’s managing director and chief executive, said, “The research illustrates how advances in payments technologies are causing a significant shift in payment habits.
More and more travel companies are realising the cost and efficiency benefits alternative methods can bring, all by simply changing the way you pay. This is just the start of the FinTech revolution in B2B.
“I am confident that over the coming years we will see a landscape dominated by innovative payment methods, with VANs challenging traditional card payments and providing a frictionless experience for agencies and suppliers alike.”