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5-minute guide to IATA BSP changes and card alternatives

From 1 June 2016, the way travel management companies (TMCs) invoice clients is going to change from a monthly to fortnightly BSP remittance.

BSP is the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) billing and settlement plan that allows TMCs to make a single regular payment covering all sales of tickets on IATA member airlines.

It was originally launched in 1971 in Japan and was designed to simplify the selling, reporting and remitting procedures of IATA-accredited TMCs and agents. Today, it is a worldwide system covering over 181 countries and territories with more than 78,000 agents and 400 airlines participating in the scheme.

As the industry gears up for the change in June, we take a look at how corporate charge cards and lodge card solutions, such as American Express, Diners Club, AirPlus, Visa and Mastercard, have been facilitating travel spend and why they work so well.

Your card options

Corporate charge card – TMCs book flights using a client's corporate card number.

Lodge card – also known as a company account or ghost card (in the USA), TMCs use one account number to book all travel for that company.

The benefits of cards for businesses

If you're thinking a charge card or lodge card could be the right solution for your business, here are some reasons why a lot of companies have already made that move:

  1. Easy set up – setting up a lodge/charge card account takes minimal work for you and your TMC.
  2. Keep paying monthly – no need to worry about multiple statements or charges, you will continue to be invoiced monthly but from your chosen card company.
  3. Make bookings in the same way – no need to change the way you buy flights.
  4. Additional/enriched management information (MI) – collect detailed information against each transaction, helping you to save time when reconciling accounts.
  5. Save time by connecting your expense management tools (ie Concur, SAP or KDS) with your account.
  6. Cut costs associated with handling invoices.
  7. Added benefits with loyalty schemes.

An alternative way of paying for business travel

Whatever you decide to do, we can guide and help you make the right decision for your company.

If you'd like to find out more about the changes and CTM's corporate travel services and products, please call 0845 470 8702 or email

Sources: BSP and CASS fact sheet, IATA, December 2015; An essential guide to purchasing business travel services, CIPS, January 2009; Fortnightly BSP Remittance: Why moving to a Lodge Card is the Best Solution for your TMC, AirPlus

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