BCD Travel has become the first travel management company to issue UATP accounts. UATP is the airline owned payment network. BCD will launch the payment program internally with a test group before making it available to all clients as early as the first quarter of 2020. UATP offers a focused payment and settlement process with hospitality industry players and touchpoints. Travelers can also use the cards for virtual payment solutions to book hotels. Cees Batenburg, BCD Travel’s CFO, said becoming the first TMC to issue UATP accounts is part of a broader effort to bring innovation to travel payments to improve both the traveler and travel buyer experience. And Ralph Kaiser, CEO of UATP, said the TMC Issuer Program is a next logical step in the company’s growth strategy because TMC’s are “uniquely positioned” to discuss form of payment with travel buyers. He said UATP expects the program will result in greater spend volume, an increased number of subscribers and more entrenched relationships with key travel agency partners.