One legacy player still working in the commission payment space is Onyx Center Source, which serves as a conduit between hotels and agencies, helping hotels process stay data and send payments to agencies and working with agencies to commission chases.
Onyx offers tiered levels of service to agencies: The base level, receiving a commission check, is free for agencies if a hotel uses Onyx to pay commissions. Onyx charges agencies for additional services, including a consolidated weekly electronic payment with stay details; booking data for reconciliation and commission recovery; and reporting, benchmarking and analysis.
Chief commercial officer Tony Wagner said that in most cases, hotels send commission payments to Onyx within 30 days of checkout, and the funds are remanded to the agency the following week.
A common agency complaint about Onyx is its cost. Wagner would not disclose what percentage Onyx charges for commission recovery, but did point to its customer retention rate of 99.75%.
“Inherently, what I hear when people have pricing concerns, there’s a fundamental belief that, well, we don’t want to pay for those incremental levels of service,” he said.
Onyx is working to speed its payment process by moving toward using APIs, or application programming interfaces, to get data faster, Wagner said. The company is also investing in a solution for working with ICs.
“That’s an area that we want to invest in as the market continues to evolve,” Wagner said. “Our customers will see more of that. We’re looking to seek their input right now in some additional enhancements we need to make, so that’s a focus for us.”