NewGen ISS is the new generation approach to doing business: Sunil Kumar, president, TAAI
On October 1, 2018, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) rolled out its NewGen ISS programme in India. This programme is expected to deliver faster, safer and more cost effective and relevant financial settlement services and solutions to airlines and travel agents that rely on the IATA Settlement Systems (ISS).
Speaking exclusively to Express TravelWorld, Sunil Kumar, president, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) said, “NewGen ISS is a part of a new governing resolution of the Passenger Agency Agreement of IATA. This will replace the existing 818G which is a resolution that currently governs us. The NewGen ISS which is resolution 812 is called the new generation approach to doing your business. It covers areas that perhaps were not part of the old resolution like different accreditation levels of members. To become an accredited travel agency of IATA you don’t need to have any financial security as a mandatory requirement anymore. And your financial review every year is also not mandatory. Instead what happens is that you are given an accreditation called the Go Lite model which primarily denotes that you are an IATA accredited agency but 100 per cent of the ticketing you do is by alternate financial transmitting methods. One is of course the credit card of the agency subject to the consent of the airline. Second is the credit card of the customer and third is called EasyPay.”
IATA EasyPay is a secure and cost-effective pay-as-you-go solution that transfers money from your account to a dedicated IATA account where in real time your GDS will support the issuance of a ticket. Kumar continued, “So Go Lite thus makes it easier for a lot of travel agencies who cannot get a bank guarantee or financial security or cannot get a financial review done annually to go forward and become an IATA agent.”
The other feature of NewGen ISS which can benefit agencies is the Remittance Holding Capacity (RHC) that will ensure a safer selling process. RHC is the agency’s credit worthiness and will for the majority of agents be calculated based on the average of their three busiest periods plus 100 per cent. Measures will be available to agents allowing them to manage their capacity, and to continue selling in a secure manner once their capacity is reached.
Kumar took pride in saying, “Most important TAAI as an association especially represented at UFTAA, was determined that Resolution 890 wherein airlines prohibited the use of agency credit card for third party sales be amended. This meant that airlines were actually taking shelter under 890 and not allowing agents to use their credit card. We didn’t want the NewGen ISS and Easy Pay to be launched without the provision of the credit card of the travel agency being accepted. So at UFTAA we took up this matter aggressively and now finally Resolution 890 stands amended and an agency credit card can be accepted with the consent of the airline. So from the earlier ‘prohibition’ from an airline to accept it, to now a ‘discretion’ of the airline to accept it, is the big change.”
Kumar said that they would be talking to the airlines. “And I am sure if the airlines want more business from travel agents, they will have to give us the credit card facility,” he added.