Webjet reveals Rezpayments to accompany Rezchain blockchain
Webjet's blockchain results show how businesses can score some easy wins with the technology.
Travel aggregator Webjet presented the Rezchain blockchain (pictured above) in February 2018. It essentially serves as a source of truth for the hospitality industry, where "conservative estimations indicate that 5% of hotel bookings are disputed in some form when it comes to invoice time," according to Rezchain.
1 in 3 hotel bookings are amended in some way after the reservation is first made, and 10% of hotel bookings experience some kind of manual intervention that can result in discrepancies down the line, it says. You can see why disputes are so frequent.
These disputes are typically slow and expensive to resolve, and in many cases result in a loss for all involved. But with companies sharing data on chain, many of these can be quickly and easily resolved with minimal disruption to existing processes. Rezchain lets the various parties involved verify that everyone's booking data matches, and be alerted of any discrepancies that could result in a dispute.
It's not unlike the value proposition of other logistics-type blockchains. When something goes wrong you don't want to pick up a phone, send a million emails and call in the lawyers. You just want to have reliable data – that all parties can agree on – sitting in front of you, to head off issues in the first place and to help solve them.
The parties don't necessarily trust each other, and are worried about data tampering, which is why you use a blockchain. In this case, Rezchain is a series of smart contracts on a private Ethereum blockchain.
And now there's Rezpayments.
One of the key functions of Rezpayments is to reduce the scope of Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance risk in Webjet's overall business.
In overly simple but not entirely inaccurate terms, Rezpayments rolls a lot of sensitive customer credit card data into a tight ball and then lets Webjet put that ball in a safe place. Previously, a range of Webjet systems and associates all had to hold credit card data, which was expensive, because you have to be extremely careful when holding credit card data.
In more detail, Rezpayments lets Webjet's clients capture a customer's credit card data and direct it to Rezpayments where it is exchanged for a digital token. That digital token can then be stored instead of the full credit card information. Whenever the customer's credit card information needs to be verified, the token can be verified through Rezpayments instead.
The key is that the customer's credit card information goes straight to that Rezpayments safe room to be exchanged for a token, without Webjet's clients ever needing to touch it. This means they don't have to shoulder all those PCI compliance costs.
Rezpayments has already been taken up by two external Webjet customers, and Rezchain is already delivering improvements.
Disclosure: The author holds BNB, BTC at the time of writing.