Published on Thursday, August 31, 2017

Kuoni will help cover card fees for independent agents

Kuoni has announced that from next January it will help independent agents cover their costs for card bookings.

The long-haul operator has promised to uplift commission by 0.5% for all independent travel agents.

The move comes as new legislation will ban agents from charging fees to customers for the use of debit and credit cards.

Consultants say the new rules, which come into effect on January 13, could cost the travel industry up to £150 million.

Brad Bennetts, Kuoni national sales manager, said: "It may be good news for consumers but the impact on agents' bottom line from not being able to charge for credit card payments will be significant. We know this topic has been front of mind for many of our travel agent partners. The financial impact is a genuine cause for concern for them.

"Trade support is really important to our business and we want to send a clear message to agents now to say that we get it. We've listened and we want to take early meaningful action to help you to run your business profitably."

"We will cover the agents' costs by raising commission. It will be there for all independent agents from the start of next year when the legislation is due to come into force."

He said the proposals were developed with 'some really useful conversations' with The Advantage Travel Partnership.

"As industry leader for worldwide travel for more than 50 years, we remain firmly committed to supporting and investing in the trade," said Bennetts.

"It feels right that we should take the lead in responding to this potentially costly legislative change."

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  • Increased costs mean higher prices

    Well said ex Severn. Governments like playing to the public gallery but fail to understand that increased costs on business result in higher consumer prices. So to counteract this ill-judged directive, do we now have to give discounts to those who don't pay by credit card?

    By jake , Thursday, September 7, 2017

  • Old News

    Actually Sunvil had already announced this quite a few weeks ago so it is not unique to Kuoni. Good News all round

    By Kristina Hulme, Thursday, August 31, 2017

  • 'Potentially costly legislation' to whom?

    Great, so obviously Kuoni will need to raise their prices to cover increased commission to agents. And this increase is to cover what? The card fees are being charged anyway and, as an intrinsic cost of doing business, they'll go on being charged, only they will now be hidden from view as they will now also have to be paid, via price increases, by the people who are not incurring them ie. those paying by cheque or bank transfer. We pass on to our customers exactly, to the penny, what we are charged for taking their card. Many are shocked how expensive it really is and subsequently choose to pay by transfer. Why should this choice be taken away from them? And why should we be forced to hide the 'tax' imposed by card companies from our customers? This legislation only benefits the card companies, to the cost of the consumers who, until now, have not been paying by card. Great, it's lovely that agents are getting 0.5% commission rise but the card charges are what, at least 1.5%, and often far more! So this story is little more than rotten spin IMV. Kuoni is not 'looking after its agents' so much as it is capitulating to rotten, consumer-hostile legislation.

    By ex Severn, Thursday, August 31, 2017

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