Travel TechnologyBlockchain technology allows ‘virtual handshake’ between parties

Rezchain aims to correct errors in hotel bookings

Webjet says Rezchain is a ”virtual handshake and early warning system”.
Webjet says Rezchain is a ”virtual handshake and early warning system”. Photo Credit: metamorworks/GettyImages

SYDNEY – These are busy time for Webjet, the Australian Stock Exchange-listed company and the owner of WebBeds, the world’s second largest B2B accommodation provider.

Webjet has unveiled Rezchain, a technology that enables users to eliminate costly discrepancies that occur in up to 5% of hotel booking transactions.

The technology, pioneered in collaboration with Microsoft, makes use of blockchain, which also underpins crypto currencies. Rezchain is the first application of blockchain to verify hotel reservations.

John Guscic, managing director, Webjet, said, “Settlement between hotel suppliers and travel partners can be a complex, time consuming and ultimately costly process.

John Guscic, managing director, Webjet

With multiple IT systems speaking different languages, mistakes are probable, and the default position is often to write off debts when the situation is not clear. For years, the industry considered it a cost of doing business. But, with Rezchain, it doesn’t have to be that way any longer.”

Typically, Webjet said, discrepancies between accommodation trading platforms go unnoticed until after travel is completed, with the consequence that “costly, time consuming and embarrassing, invoice disputes occur – and hotels, travel companies or both lose out on revenues they were expecting to receive”.

Rezchain is being promoted as “a combined virtual handshake and early warning system”, enabling any two parties to verify that their hotel reservation data matches across both booking systems.

“And, conveniently, no sophisticated IT integration is needed,” Webjet said.

Rezchain receives a daily update of all bookings made or modified between two Rezchain connected parties. It then uses Smart Contracts and blockchain technology to highlight issues in data submitted, based on agreed matching criteria.

When there is a discrepancy or mismatch, an email alert is triggered to tell both parties that they should act to correct the records on one side or the other.

If data is received for a new booking from only one party, Rezchain records that as an “incomplete” booking and notifies both sides that one party has the booking recorded and the other side doesn’t.

“A simple daily CSV file is all that is necessary to begin matching data and resolving booking issues,” Webjet added.

Webjet’s B2B accommodation wholesaling division, WebBeds, has been trialling  the system with all of its brands. It is now being made available to any business in the travel industry that transacts over the internet via an XML interface.

After an introductory 30-day free trial, the cost of using it will be a few cents per transaction.

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