ConnexPay – Launch Travel Innovation winner at The Phocuswright Conference 2023

ConnexPay – Launch Travel Innovation winner at The Phocuswright Conference 2023

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Founded in 2017, ConnexPay is a payments technology company that focuses on the travel industry by providing clients a single system to process the traveler’s payment, do a fraud check, authorize that payment and make a payment to the supplier – all in real time.

The company, a PhocusWire Hot 25 Startup for 2020, was named the Travel Innovation Award winner during the Launch competition at The Phocuswright Conference in Florida in November. During his pitch, CEO and founder Bob Kaufman spoke about making travel purchases easier, especially for consumers who use online travel agencies to book things like airfare, hotels and car rentals.

The system breaks down, Kaufman said, when a customer has to give credit card information to an OTA representative who probably isn’t even the person processing the payment.

“It’s crazy. I can’t think of another industry where this happens,” Kaufman said. “When I go to Amazon and I buy a pair of Nike shoes, Amazon doesn’t take my credit card and pass it on to Nike. No, they want to own that customer relationship from beginning to end.”

That system hurts both the OTA — which incurs the cost of acquiring the customer only to “say goodbye to them when it comes to the payment” — and the customer, who had been seeking the convenience of a “one-stop shop,” Kaufman said.

The pain point comes because banks don’t like the “future-delivery component” of the travel industry, which leads to high reserves, limits on accounts and above-average costs to accept credit cards, said Kaufman, a former banker.

“Banks hate travel companies,” he said. “They literally put travel companies in the same risk category as online gambling and online pornography.”

By giving its clients control of the process within a single system, Kaufman said travel companies can maintain control of their transactions in a profitable way. The company raised $110 million in late 2022 to take its product global and is now in 30 countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Eurozone region.

Watch Kaufman’s Center Stage pitch in full below.

ConnexPay – Phocuswright Innovation Launch 2023 – Winner: Travel Innovation Award

And watch Kaufman’s interview in the PhocusWire studio with news editor Derek Catron below.

Phocuswright Conference 2023 Launch Innovator studio interview: ConnexPay


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