Online travel bookings company Webjet has emerged as one of Australia’s leading blockchain developers after releasing details about an ambitious plan to bring the tech to the forefront of its booming business.
Publicly listed Webjet (ASX:WEB), has been an Australian Stock Exchange market daring and one of the few ASX tech stocks to emerge strongly from the dot-com ‘bubble’. Since listing in 1999, the company’s share price has risen almost 5000%.
Webjet’s early-mover advantage in the world of online bookings paid tremendous dividends to investors and now executives hope to generate the same success by being an early-mover in blockchain technology.
The company’s two – previously under-the-radar – blockchain projects have this week been detailed to investors, leaving many industry insiders surprised by their scale.
Webjet told investors Rezchain will be a “critical component” of its future business model.
Rezchain is a fully-functioning blockchain that processes settlements between hotel suppliers and travel partners.
By using the Rezchain blockchain, Webjet says common ‘mismatches’ in the online bookings process can be eliminated.
“Up to 1 in every 25 bookings results in a situation where service is provided and never invoiced.
“Rezchain is a simple solution designed to allow any two parties to verify that booking data matches… This ‘handshake’ occurs each time a booking is made or updated.”
Rezchain operates on a private Ethereum blockchain using smart contracts.
As well as being used by Webjet’s websites, the blockchain solution will be sold to other travel booking companies in the hope of boosting business-to-business revenues.
Rezpayments is a tokenised, in-house, payment card industry (PCI) solution.
The system, developed by Webjet’s blockchain team, eliminates the need for travel booking websites to capture credit card data.
“Rezpayments allows a company to easily implement a solution that captures the customer’s credit card data, directs it to Rezpayments where it is exchanged for a token, and that token is stored in the user’s systems,” says Webjet.
“At the point the card is to be charged or sent to another destination (ie: fraud checking; as a guarantee on a car or hotel booking; to a third party such as an airline), the message is routed through Rezpayments, the token exchanged for the credit card number and the message continues on it’s journey to the end point.
“The customer’s credit card data never touches the user’s/client’s environment and so those systems and processes are not in scope for PCI compliance; the client is able to rely on Rezpayment’s Attestation of Compliance and does not need to seek their own.”
Along with being implemented across five websites operated by Webjet, the solution has also so-far been licensed to two external companies.
Profit guidance update
During the investor session in which the blockchain developments were detailed, Webjet also reconfirmed its full year 2019 guidance of at least AU$120m EBITDA.