The Italian network of travel agencies Welcome Travel (jointly controlled by Alpitour and Costa Crociere) and the French telecommunications and electronic payment operator Euronext Afone Participations have launched the online collection and payment system WEP@y.
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A secure digital payment method
The new fintech payment solution will enable agencies in the Welcome Travel network to offer their customers a secure and reliable digital payment method from smartphones or PCs, paying by credit cards in a single solution or by choosing installment payment. Thanks to WEP@y Welcome Travel agencies will be able to manage sales through social networks. They will also be able to create payment links and send them directly from the control panel via email and SMS to govern the collections remotely.
“With WeP@y we want to accelerate the use of digital tools by current and potential customers. From the website of a Welcome Travel agency or thanks to the newly released app, you can consult prices and availability, buy Costa cruises or Alpitour holidays. All this, relying on the consulting support and professional knowledge of travel agents,” explained Massimo Segato, indirect network manager of the We Travel network.
Roberto Galati, country manager of Afone Italia and Spain, added: “The extraordinary and effective collaboration with the Welcome Travel group has allowed us to anticipate the changes in the purchasing habits of its customers, to whom it becomes essential to offer simple, convenient and usable payment methods from every channel. The implementation of the WeP@y platform will guarantee Welcome Travel travellers a smooth and secure shopping experience and the group’s agencies an effective collection process with simplified reconciliation.”
A successful collaboration between two incumbent companies
Afone Participations is a telecommunications and electronic payments operator, based in Angers (France) with a portfolio of more than 600,000 customers including small, medium and large businesses. Afone Paiement, a subsidiary of the group, obtained accreditation as a payment institution from the French central bank in 2011 and from the Spanish central bank in 2019. Since 2017 it has also been operational in Italy.
Welcome Travel Group operates in the tourist distribution and boasts the participation of Alpitour World and Costa Crociere, both of which have a 50% stake in the capital. Welcome Travel, based in Turin, has over 1,300 points of sale in all Italian provinces. Alpitour is in turn controlled by Alpiholding, a vehicle 49.9% owned by Asset Italia 1 Srl (in turn controlled by Asset Italia the club deal promoted by Tamburi Investment Partners, which already owned 32.67% of Alpitour), 0.2% by Chairman and CEO Gabriele Burgio and the remaining 49.9% by other investors.
In May 2018, Alpiholding had taken over their 38.8% stake in the tour operator from Wise sgr and J.Hirsch&Co. On that occasion, the Turin-based entrepreneur Levi, Alpitour’s historic shareholder, had remained in the capital with a view to long-term investment, as had Fabio Landini, a former Presstour partner. Wise sgr had also acquired a direct stake in Alpitour of about 3.5%, while J.Hirsch&Co had left the capital for good. In April 2018, Alpitour had taken over the Eden Viaggi group from the Filippetti family. Alpitour closed 2019 with $2.15 billion (€1.99 billion) in revenues (+18.5% from 2018) and an Ebitda of $76.2 million (€70.5 million) (from $60.4 million (€55.9 million)).
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First published in BeBeez, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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