travelBulletin

AFTA view: August

Jayson Westbury, chief executive AFTA, gives us an update on the new chargeback scheme (AICS) and the NTIA.

Jayson Westbury, chief executive AFTA

By now I am sure readers of travelBulletin would be well aware of the latest industry based initiative launched by AFTA last month in the form of the AFTA Insolvency Chargeback Scheme (AICS). This scheme has been in the making for some time and already the interest and participation by travel agents across the country is extensive.

It was to be expected as this scheme resolves a problem that has plagued the travel agency community for decades. How does a travel agent protect themselves against a credit card chargeback when a supplier collapses?

For years, concepts and ideas including insurance options have been considered but all the while resulted in expensive and selective solutions. Now this AFTA led industry scheme solves the problem once and for all.

The AICS scheme is free for travel agents to participate in thanks to changes to the credit card surcharging legislation and rules that the Federal Government brought in last year.

Basically what this all means is that travel agents can surcharge consumers for the use of debit and credit cards and include a small cost built into the surcharge to cover the risk of a chargeback. This means that no longer do travel agents who decided to participate in the scheme have to be concerned at all about accepting credit cards from consumers for travel purchases.

It is a simple, legal, cost effective and sensible approach to the problem and clearly from the response that we have already received being viewed by travel agents as an excellent solution.

For all the detailed information about the scheme, who is covered, how it works and who can participate, simply jump onto the www.afta.com.au home page and head to the AICS page. Of course as with all things AFTA, participants must be ATAS accredited in order to comply with the new schemes requirements.

On a final note, the NTIA last month proved to once again be an important event for the travel industry with our biggest event ever being held at the International Convention Centre Sydney. It was great to see so many from within the industry get together for a night of nights and share in the joy and celebration as the winners were announced.

37 categories awarded on the night with guests finding the new venue and format enjoyable, relaxed and something new to look forward to for years to come.

As our major sponsor, Qantas once again provided spectacular support for the event including many giveaways to experience the new 787 Dreamliner flight from Perth to London. Can’t wait to give that go myself as it just sounds like a great idea and different way to get to London.

I can’t forget to also thank all of the wonderful sponsors who put their trust and support behind AFTA each year as we produce the night of nights for the travel industry. I look forward with great expectation to the NTIA 2018 when we get to do it all over again.

 

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