Webjet launches blockchain platform for hotel bookings

Webjet hopes larger organisations to get involved and start contributing computing power

Following two years of developing and testing the initiative between its own B2B companies, Webjet has expanded its blockchain initiative to external organisations to help them avoid invoicing disputes arising out of unreconciled data between accounts payable and accounts receivable in the hotel distribution chain.

Now deployed on its fourth generation blockchain infrastructure supporting Rezchain Smart Contracts, the solution has seen take-up from Thomas Cook (Europe), DidaTravel (China), Mitra Global (Indonesia) and Far East Hospitality.

Webjet hopes larger organisations to get involved and start contributing computing power

According to Webjet, industry estimates assume that three to five per cent of bookings are disputed when one party attempts to invoice the other party and disputes can take months to resolve. In some instances, bookings are not invoiced at all, meaning one party shoulders the full out-of-pocket cost.

The company says Rezchain is the hotel distribution industry’s first functioning blockchain-enabled technology platform where companies share data “on chain” to address mismatched data in real time, eliminating disputes at invoice time.

“Rezchain requires no technical integration on the part of the participating company; a simple daily file is all that is necessary to begin matching data and solving booking issues,” said John Guscic, Webjet’s managing director.

“In a low margin, high transaction volume business, it is essential to find ways to be more efficient and eliminate administrative burdens that add no value. It was this fundamental principal has led to the development of Rezchain”.

Webjet is initially offering “blockchain as a service” to participating companies and expects larger organisations would start contributing computing power and running their own mining nodes over time.

And on the issues of privacy and security that come with open technology such as blockchain, Lynne Oldfield, Webjet’s director corporate development, said: “Rezchain’s architecture ensures any sensitive data stored ‘on chain’ is hashed and cannot be decoded, while still allowing companies access to the granular detail necessary to resolve mismatched booking data.”

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